Samsung Acquires Boxee As Yahoo Acquires Yet Another Startup

smasung-yahooSamsung has acquired Israeli streaming media player manufacturer Boxee while Yahoo digs deep yet again to buy Xobni smart email and communication start-up Xobni for a reported $30m.

Samsung has undergone massive resurgence in its fortunes, thanks largely to smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy and the Note. Clearly, they’re not afraid to splash the cash in a bid to progress in other areas too having forked out to buy Israeli set-top box manufacturer Boxee.

Boxee devices enable users to record TV shows and store them on their own servers. Subscribers can then access this content and play it via the Boxee streaming player. Not only does the company then make money from the sale of the box itself but also from ongoing subscriptions, representing a beneficial revenue stream that Samsung clearly wants to tap into.

Samsung is already the world’s biggest seller of smart TVs but analysts believe that the market will nearly treble in the next four years. Through this acquisition, Samsung look set to further improve their dominance of the market.

As well as the acquisition of Boxee, Samsung is also planning to spend a staggering $4.5bn developing five new research and development centres in home country Korea. The story has been reported by newspaper Korea Times, who have said that the construction will be completed by 2016. There has been neither confirmation nor denial of the story from official sources so far.

One company that is not afraid to make acquisitions and purchases to turn their own performance around is Yahoo. We only reported on their acquisition of video production app Qwiki yesterday but CEO Marissa Mayer has dug deep to pay a reported $30m for smart email management firm Xobni (Inbox backwards).

Yahoo has said that the features of Xobni, which provides more in-depth information about the people users communicate with than other email systems, will be integrated into their own email system.

Smart email and communications like this are similar to friend and activity streams found on mobile devices and this acquisition again points to a swing to an extensive and all-encompassing mobile and social experience being offered by the web portal.

Xobni have stopped selling premium accounts but will continue to offer services to their existing customers until next year. They have also stopped downloads of the Xobni app so it seems that those interested in the service will have to wait until Yahoo extends its Yahoo Mail services.


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