U.S. telecom giant Verizon is reportedly in serious talks to acquire the video startup Vessel. Founded in 2013 by the former CEO of Hulu,Vessel offers free video from new content creators as well as a subscription service, and is said to be developing a social media video product similar to Snapchat.
Like many operators, Verizon is looking for ways to expand beyond traditional telecom roles, and video entertainment content is a key element. Verizon’s recent acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo are expressions of its strategy of essentially becoming a digital media company as well as a telecoms ervice provider. While the operator has struggled with providing video content in the past, due to competition from more established players, it is clearly not giving up. The news of the hacking of some 500 million Yahoo accounts,which comes on the eve of the completion of the deal, is causing difficulties for Verizon, but the company is clearly not retreating from its ambitions in the digital media space.