Will Softbank pick up Yahoo?

Now that the spinoff is in motion it could make a lot of sense for someone to pick up Yahoo and to me that someone is Softbank. I had planned to write this last night before going to bed and after talking to an employee and ex Yahoo colleague. The idea being that since Yahoo owns a chunk of Yahoo Japan then it could make sense for Softbank to get that back and Yahoo in the process.

Sure it would not be easy and the spinoff is not done but Yahoo has pulled back a lot in Asia. No more Korea. No more Indonesia or Thailand. Some pull back in India. I always felt this was a sly way of making it easier for someone else who is also in Asia to come in and not have a lot of competing assets or property. Softbank fits that bill – especially since they share Yahoo Japan which is probably worth more than all of Yahoo’s other Asian assets combined. The other JV is Yahoo Australia which I hear that the local team wants to dump Yahoo and then one could argue that Taiwan is a stand alone Yahoo business but I am sure Softbank would love those assets.

Anyways. Kara of course covered this by the time I got up this morning.

http://recode.net/2015/01/29/yahoo-as-target-not-so-certain-but-japans-masa-son-will-surely-be-company-kingmaker/

I personally don’t think all these shenanigans are simply just a spinoff plus a stand alone Yahoo going forth – to me this is a setup for something else. But I could be wrong.

Online Video post from A16z blog

http://a16z.com/2015/01/22/online-video/

This read is a doozy. Pretty much agree with all of it and it will be interesting to see some of the predictions play out.

— There will be new business models for video beyond traditional advertising. The reality is that without the scale of a YouTube or Facebook, platforms will have to find more creative ways to make money, whether it’s through subscriptions, micropayments, exclusive previews, community benefits, or other methods.

Full agree on this one. Tough to build a big ad business unless you are huge and in regions where monetization is very advanced. YouTube has massive scale but I know lots of other players with big scale and it still isn’t enough for the ad play. I think micro TX are very interesting and models like daily subs with telco billing.

— The age of platforms not taking care of makers may come to an end. YouTube “stars” generate tons of views for YouTube, but those views don’t translate into meaningful earnings for most of them. As the size of the entire pie grows bigger, there needs to be a piece for everyone. In most media businesses, rents typically acrue to the creators. And this is critical to the long-term success of any two-sided marketplace that connects providers and consumers.

This one also interesting and I think YouTube super stars are making bank but you have to be big again to really make it. I am keen to see how vessel does and what other production companies or talent management will do but yet many of them rely on YouTube for their stars.

None of this addresses what happens to the video landscape once new or newly popularized mediums (such as podcasts, animations, mashups) or entirely new platforms — VR, AR, and so on — become more popular and create new forms of content that live in different ways next to video.

Personally I do see the next thing for video. I have ideas but still work with the type of media that is quite traditional and still finds things like downloading a movie to be really pushing it. So a whole new format or medium? I can’t wrap my head around that but I am sure it will happen eventually.

What we do know is that online video is far from done… so it will be interesting to see what even a little competition will do here.

I guess he means things like vessel for example and I am sure others but for the moment I don’t see a lot of innovation but stuff is always evolving. Just not sure I see where the next thing is coming from.