AOL Acquires Video Syndication Startup 5min

Amidst reports from Om that AOL (s AOL) is close to buying TechCrunch, the web giant announced today that it has acquired online video-syndication specialist 5min Media. The purchase will help boost the amount of video AOL can serve on its sites, while also increasing the syndication and distribution possibilities for its own video assets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although some estimates place the value of the deal at around $50-$65 million.

5min runs a syndication platform that acts as a middleman between publishers who wish to share their videos with each other. It allows a publisher that doesn’t have a ton of video assets to bulk up its video pages with syndicated videos from other sources, and delivers them based on a semantic technology that matches up videos with the content of the web page that they run on. Participating publishers can then get a share of the advertising revenue, with 5min taking a cut as well.

The startup has had good traction in attracting partners, with more than 1,000 media companies and independent video producers syndicating videos into the platform, which are sorted into 21 different verticals to appear on more than 800 partner sites. Altogether, 5min has more than 200,000 video assets in its network, and served more than 130 million video streams in August, according to comScore.

The value proposition to AOL is clear — 5min gives it a fast and easy way to bulk up its video offerings without having to invest too much to produce its own original videos. Instead it can now automatically match up relevant video content to run alongside whatever text it has in its network. At the same time, it’ll open up the possibility for more broadly distributing and monetizing whatever original videos it has produced.

5min had raised a total of about $13 million in two rounds of funding, including a $7.5 million round last July. The company, which was founded in 2006, has offices in New York and Tel Aviv.

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