Telstra writes off Ooyala subsidiary; announces exit of adtech business

ASX-listed telco writes off $273m after failing to turnaround the video adtech and platform provider

Telstra is writing off investment in fledging video adtech and platform player, Ooyala, and will exit the adtech side of the business after it failed to meet performance expectations.

In a statement to the ASX today, the telco said it would take a one-off impairment charge of $273 million and write down the value of the US-based business to zero after failing to turn around its performance over the past 18 months.

Telstra initially took a 5 per cent stake in Ooyala back in 2012, and gain 98 per cent ownership of the company in 2014 in a deal valued at US$270 million. Prior to that, Telstra had previously invested US$61 million over two years.

By 2016, Telstra had already impaired the business, announcing plans aimed at trying to turn Ooyala around in the face of changing market dynamics. Ooyala was founded in 2007 and had a customer base including Dell, News Corp, The Washington Post, ESPN and Univision.

Telstra group executive of technology, innovation and strategy, Stephen Elop, who is also the chairman of the Ooyala board, said the group had purchased the business at a time “when the market dynamics were very different”. Ooyala has three components to its business: An adtech offering, an OVP, or video player, and a workflow management system.

“We believed Ooyala remained a young and exciting company with leading offerings in intelligent video, which were continuing to evolve and scale,” he said. “While some of these initiatives have been successful, the market has continued to change.

“Adtech has not performed well and we will therefore seek ways to exit that part of the business. Importantly, we do see a future in other core parts of the Ooyala business – video player and the workflow management system.”

Elop claimed the new Ooyala management team was making progress around improving booking trends, product quality and reduced customer churn but admitted the company had yet to achieve sufficient scale.

“From here, we will sharpen Ooyala’s focus by exiting adtech and focusing on the underlying video platform and continuing to serve our customers,” he said. “We will increase emphasis on our differentiated Flex media logistics product and we will drive operational efficiencies and leverage our go-to-market partnerships with companies such as Microsoft.”

Elop also flagged Telstra had its eye on broader options strategically for Ooyala given the fragmented competitive environment.

During Telstra’s ownership of the business, Ooyala has made several acquisitions, including European adtech provider, Videoplaza, in October 2014, and logistics and workflow software vendor, Nativ, in 2015.

 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu    

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 marketing mistakes to overcome when courting prospective customers

Marketing that urges respondents to ‘buy now’ is a little like asking someone to marry you on your first date. At any time, only 3 per cent of the market is looking for what you’re selling, so the chances of your date randomly being ‘The One’ is pretty slim.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

RIP holden

Max Polding

Marketing professor: For Holden, brand nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

Read more

Where does the claim that 2 million Australians have tested come from ? Anecdotal information suggests that this is way off the mark.

David Andersen

DNA-based marketing: The next big thing?

Read more

Thank you for the info , being part of a digital marketing agency in kerala , this proved handy and get to know with upcoming trends. htt...

Dotz Web Technologies

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

Read more

So who then is correct? The Research or The skilled Digital people.

Anene

Report reveals Australia faces digital skills shortage

Read more

The blogs are really appreciable and one can trust the knowledge and information provided in the writing.The article you do produce on a ...

Prince Arora

5 brand strategy lessons from Gelato Messina

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in