It’s easy to forget that Yahoo has had a long on-again-off-again love affair with online video. Remember Broadcast.com, which kicked off the Mark Cuban Era? But you might not remember that, because other online video platforms long ago left Yahoo in the proverbial dust. Today, as Yahoo streamed its Flickr product and Tumblr acquisition announcements, we were given a demonstration of why Yahoo has been left in the dust — and why it’s had to turn to acquisitions for help in, well, nearly every department.
The event was nearly impossible to watch. Because, well, you know, Yahoo! As you’ve heard by now, Yahoo has been on an impressive buying spree over the last month — including, by the way, a scuppered deal to boost its video tech and buy the “YouTube of France,” Dailymotion — snatching up a new company seemingly every week.
But today, the company raised the bar even higher with the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, hoping to turn back the clock and gain access to Tumblr’s millions of young users.
The company held a media event in New York City this afternoon to formally announce the acquisition — along with sharing the news that it will be moving into new digs in Times Square — but something was stealing the spotlight from Mayor Bloomberg and Marissa Mayer. And that would be Yahoo’s questionable video tech. Those who watched the event from home spent most of that time enjoying a hiccupy stream. Or none at all.
You can see the error message above. The video-streaming technology is Yahoo’s own, running through Yahoo! Screen, first launched back in 2006, renamed Screen from Yahoo Video. With all the acquisitions Yahoo has been making of late, it makes one think that, for its next acquisition, Yahoo should go for some new video technology. Of course, after Tumblr, it may be broke.
But, come on, Yahoo has somehow become the Rudy story of the tech industry. At the very least, someone should launch a Kickstarter page so that it can continue to make acquisitions.