AOL Buys StudioNow, Bolstering Seed.com Video Ambitions

AOL has acquired online video production company StudioNow for approximately $36.5 million in cash and stock. It plans to leverage the Nashville-based company’s creative chops to support its nascent Seed.com platform.

StudioNow claims to represent 3,000 freelance filmmakers, editors, animators, voice talent, and writers. According to AOL, the business will continue to function as a provider of video creation, management, storage, and syndication services directly to corporate clients while assigning new work in support of Seed.com.

“The integration of StudioNow into Seed.com will enable us to increase our video content/offerings significantly,” said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.

Seed.com is AOL’s new data-driven content management platform. The system farms out articles and multimedia content to a network of contributors. Assignments are based in part on algorithms that incorporate data about user behavior and ad prices.

Additionally, AOL intends to leverage StudioNow to support its video efforts at AOL productions, which creates branded video for advertisers and produces editorial products such as AOL Sessions, Moviefone Minute, and the Engadget Show.

Under the deal’s terms, a portion of the cash payment will be paid out over several years.

Separately, AOL has hired an executive to manage a New York Technology Center with a focus on content and engineering. Jeff Reynar, a Google veteran and cofounder of DBT Labs, was named head of technology for engineering and products.

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