Some sites have reported the Microsoft – Yume deal as an acquisition, which is not what I initially understood from YuMe’s PR.
YuMe confirmed recently that the deal is indeed a partnership and not an acquisition, so that clears the waters in case there was any confusion or doubt.
I got to think more about this deal and it surely makes sense now… Microsoft wanted Yahoo, but only if it came as a bargain. It didn’t. They were in discussions with YuMe all this time and it seems that what they were really after was a large chunk of the video advertising pie. They got it not only through the YuMe deal that’s supposed to monetize their video inventory, but also through the acquisition of Navic, for TV ads. Google is way behind in the video ads game and finding ways to monetize video content – Microsoft just took a good leap with its recent moves.
I guess we’ll soon witness Google speeding up on their video advertising efforts, opening their currently closed programs (Google In-video, for example, consisting of text overlays) and be more aggressive in their approach to monetize TV (AdWords for TV, where they even reimburse advertisers some of the costs to produce TV creatives but the program is still far from being a success).