Online video platform Ooyala is announcing this morning a big customer win, with Yahoo! Japan. Under the multi-year deal, Yahoo! Japan will standardize on Ooyala across all of its hundreds of sites and will also sell and support the platform to its ecosystem and to the broader Japanese Internet market. Yahoo! Japan is majority-owned by Softbank and is affiliated with Yahoo!.
The deal is significant to Ooyala because of the size of the Japanese Internet market and the fact that Yahoo! Japan, with 80 million monthly unique visitors, is the dominant player. Ooyala's CEO Jay Fulcher brought me up to speed on the deal last week.
Though there wasn't a formal RFP, Jay said that Yahoo! Japan stress-tested the Ooyala platform with millions of streams. Jay believes that while robust content management and publishing capabilities are now table stakes in big deals like these, it was Ooyala's analytics and monetization tools that were the differentiators. Yahoo! Japan is looking to take insight around consumer behavior and use it to drive monetization strategy across PCs, mobile devices and connected TVs.
Video is already served on 40% of Yahoo! Japan's 200 million pages viewed per day, growing at 25% per year. Jay said that Yahoo! Japan has tried just about every OVP available in one or another of its properties, but has never selected just one to use, as it has now. Yahoo! Japan has made online video a key strategic priority for both ad-supported and subscription options. Ooyala will power video online and on connected TVs and mobile devices.
With the deal, Yahoo! Japan is building a new business unit to sell and support Ooyala, as well as to deploy it on its own sites. Jay said it is by far Ooyala's biggest deal to date and also illustrates the company's strategy of finding "anchor tenant" partner/customers who in turn will drive Ooyala deployments throughout their own ecosystems. Jay hinted at another big international deal to be announced later this quarter. He also said that Ooyala had a strong finish to 2010 and a fast start to 2011, and is already "a long way to meeting this year's goals." (more in the video below).
All in all, the deal signals a further maturing of the online video market, with large media companies making ever-greater commitments. It further underscores that online video is global, with lots of international activity (see also Youkou's recent IPO). With numerous companies moving the online video market forward, continued innovation and success stories are expected.
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