Yahoo! Japan has acquired a 51% controlling share of wholly-owned Usen subsidiary GyaO. Yahoo purchased 4,998 shares at a cost of $5.32m (Y529,778,009). The shares will be transferred on April 30.
The partnership will see the merging of Yahoo's own Yahoo Doga contents streaming portal and GyaO into one service. Both services currently offer a mix of free movies, trailers and music videos to broadband subscribers. Yahoo! also operates a pay-per-view service dubbed Online Theater.
GyaO currently boasts 22 million registered subscribers, with only a portion of that being core users.
The two companies stated their aim to synergise their connections to film production consortiums and ad agencies, maximising internet ad revenue streams and subscriber fees, becoming Japan's largest such portal.
The deal follows Usen's divestment of VoD pay-per-view broadband portal ShowTime last month. As reported on Screendaily.com in early March, Usen divested its 50% share in ShowTime to online shopping giant Rakuten Inc for $18.38m (Y1.784bn).
Usen cited rapid diversification of the broadband contents business model in recent years, choosing to focus on its core business of internet service as the reason for the divestment.
Usen subsidiary Gaga Communications continues its feature film distribution and international sales activities but withdrew from acquisitions and production last year.