AOL Europe Acquires Video Network Goviral

AOL Europe, part of AOL Inc., has acquired the video distribution network Goviral. Goviral distributes branded video content across the Internet for leading brands, media agencies, creative agencies, and content producers.

The transaction is supposed to strengthen AOL’s video offerings in Europe and ultimately North America. AOL Inc. has completed the purchase of Goviral A/S (“Goviral”) for $74.1 million. It was announced Monday, Jan. 31.

In addition, $22.6 million of consideration will be deferred and paid over two years following completion. Goviral is set to join other strategic acquisitions made by AOL in 2010 including StudioNow, 5min Media, TechCrunch, Thing Labs, Pictela and most recently, about.me.

With its increasing focus on digital content, recently AOL Inc. has launched a new site programmed in day-parts, putting video front and center, featuring original and sourced content and emphasizing local integration. (Read: AOL Wears New Garb to Please the Users)

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“Video is core to AOL’s consumer programming strategy and Goviral has created an incredibly compelling platform that delivers highly measureable and cost effective solutions to publishers and advertisers,” said Kate Burns, SVP, AOL Europe.

Goviral will retain its offices in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Spain – and further global expansion is planned.

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According to the company, its current video content distribution network includes more than 18,000 publishers across 24 verticals, allowing its clients to reach over 350 million global Internet users and generate more than 60 million video views monthly.

Specialising in the distribution of viewer-activated videos, it has delivered campaigns for brands including: Nike, LG, Unilever, Paramount, Nokia, Hyundai/Kia, Audi, Nintendo and Gucci.

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“AOL has made a clear commitment to deliver great original content, and with their strong US position, it is a great accelerator for us to grow internationally and realize the potential of video,” said René Rechtman, CEO, Goviral.  

As a part of AOL Europe, Goviral will help distribute both branded video content and premium digital content from across the entire AOL network of content sites from MyDaily and Eleven to AOL Music and Fanhouse UK.

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In the second half of 2010 alone, AOL has closed deals with more than 20 premium content partners and digital studios to deliver a mix of programming to AOL’s audiences around the world.

Within that mix, AOL has announced several new video franchises, including partnerships with Endemol, Vuguru, Ben Silverman’s Electus, Next New Networks, ChannelFlip, Telepictures Productions and the Ellen DeGeneres Show Web site, Dannii Minogue, Heidi Klum and MarloThomas.com.

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