Ooyala Management Completes Buyout from Telstra

SAN JOSE, CA.–Ooyala and Telstra have announced that the management of Ooyala has completed a buyout of Ooyala from owner Telstra. Telstra says it will remain a "valued partner and customer" of Ooyala.

Telstra began investing in Ooyala, a Silicon Valley-based provider of OTT, content production, and digital distribution technology in 2012 and then bought the company outright in 2014 in a deal worth approximately $270 million with plans to take the company public. But the deal has gone south since then, with Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, announcing earlier this year that it had taken more than $500 million in write-downs for its acquisition of Ooyala over the past several years.

“This was a business that Telstra purchased when the market dynamics were very different,” Telstra Chairman Stephen Elop said in February. At the time, the company valued its Ooyala investment at zero and Elop noted that its advertising technology division "has not performed well."

Ooyala’s management team said it will focus on continuing to market its Ooyala Flex Media Platform that provides cross-device playback and monetization, TV-grade live streaming, MAM-based content management, and insights-driven content creation. Customers include Audi, Chelsea FC, Dell, National Rugby League of Australia, PGA, Starhub, Sky Sports, Turner and Telstra.

“The management team is excited to take on this next chapter in Ooyala’s growth,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO of Ooyala. “We are pleased by the tremendous market reception of our flagship product, Ooyala Flex Media Platform, and how it has enabled our OVP and media logistics customers to drive supply chain efficiencies and revenue growth through automation and AI-driven insights. We will continue to invest in Ooyala Flex Media Platform to increase our market-leading position in video streaming and media logistics. In addition, leveraging our resources and in partnership with private equity investors, we are actively exploring acquisition opportunities to further accelerate Ooyala’s growth.”

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.