Tag Archives | Dailymotion

Big Changes Coming at Dailymotion?

Le Journal du Net is reporting that Dailymotion is aggressively seeking new financing and that its Chairman and CEO, Mark Zaleski, may be on his way out. Reliable sources suggest he may be replaced by Ian Brotherston, who is, according to his LinkedIn profile, a London-based management consultant currently with Severn Trent Plc and previously with Red Bee Media and Anam Mobile.  Brotherston lists “M&A” and “turnaround” among his specialties, so it would be consistent with the notion that Dailymotion is looking for a serious infusion of cash or perhaps even looking to get acquired.

CNET France is also reporting that the company has been ordered by the TGI of Paris to pay a total of 80,000 euros in back royalties to video creators. All in all, it doesn’t bode well for Dailymotion’s future, which has until recently looked quite bright as it became the closest thing to a YouTube-killer in the European market.

We’ve got a message in to Dailymotion’s press office, and will post more information as we get it. Updated 4/24/09: Dailymotion has confirmed that Zaleski has stepped down, and that Brotherston will be replacing him.

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Streaming Media Europe: Beyond Skateboarding Dogs

Two terrific keynotes this morning. First, Alec Hendry went into great detail about MTV UK & Ireland’s workflow, both from capture to distribution and among MTV offices in different territories —  much of the content is entered by MTV’s New York offices and then when it’s approved for European distribution, it becomes available to the MTV UK offices, pending any edits that have to be made because of rights considerations (sometimes the music on the U.S. shows isn’t approved for use in the UK). He also talked about how the MTV Overdrive player allows the network to achieve two of its core objectives: “It lets the user control MTV, but lets MTV control the content.” 

Dailymotion\'s Digby Lewis speaks to Streaming Media Europe attendees Friday morning.

Digby Lewis from Dailymotion talked about the company’s standing as the #2 video site in the world, just behind YouTube. “We don’t really view them as competitors, because they’re really in their own universe,” he said. Dailymotion’s strategy now is to focus not so much on user-generated content as on professional and semi-professional filmmakers and content producers. “It’s about more than just skateboarding dogs and copulating kangaroos,” he said. “That stuff might interest people for five minutes, but it’s not content that’s going to keep them engaged.” He also shared a statistic worth reflecting upon. “Video now is where the internet was a few years ago. 60% of users feel overwhelmed by all of the content, while 40% feel they’re able to cope.”


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Dailymotion: More Than Just UGC

Dailymotion first achieved success as a platform for citizens and independent journalists during the Paris riots of 2005, but it has gone past its roots in user-generated content to become one of the leading publishers of professionally produced independent video content in Europe. Creative director Digby Lewis, who will be keynoting at Streaming Media Europe on 17 October, spoke with Eileen Broch recently about the company’s development and future plans.

First, a little bit about your background. How did your work with Google and DoubleClick prepare you for what you’re doing at Dailymotion?

Digby LewisI joined Dailymotion after six years working in television and online media. Before that, I worked in the print publishing sector as a writer and editor for newspapers and magazines. I’ve always worked on the editorial side of things, and Dailymotion provided an excellent opportunity to put my experience to use in an exciting, developing medium. It’s also interesting, having been a content creator before, to be able to see things from the other side and act as a curator in this role.

How does a site like Dailymotion distinguish itself from YouTube? What’s its value proposition for users? What about for advertisers?

Firstly, the most noticeable aspect for the user is the video quality. Dailymotion has led the field in high-quality streaming video and we were the first major player to introduce HD video streaming this year. Professional content creators want users to have the best possible playback experience and Dailymotion delivers that.

Secondly, we have very strong links with the independent film sector, from students right the way through to Oscar-winning directors like Michel Gondry. Our Motionmaker programme is all about giving talented young professionals the tools and visibility they need to succeed in the industry. 

We then act as curators to programme the best of our contributors’ work-both Official Partner and Motionmakers-on our local homepages and channels. So when someone goes to the Dailymotion homepage, they should notice a significant difference in the quality of video content available on the platform.

All of this is attractive to advertisers-Motionmaker and Official Content provides a safe environment for brands. We have developed a number of products, display and instream, to maximize the opportunities for advertisers.

What advertising strategies do you predict will be most successful moving forward: typical text/banner ads, video ads, or perhaps branding and placement campaigns that blur the line between “advertising” and “content”?

We offer advertisers a suite of products and branding opportunities because we recognize that clients have different needs and business models. The key thing is to be as dynamic as possible. Display advertising provides a great starting point. In-stream is still finding its feet, but done well, can be far less intrusive a user experience than the standard pre-roll format which we have seen to date.

Original sponsored or branded content is clearly another very exciting arena for platforms like Dailymotion to work alongside advertisers. Once again, the key thing for us is to maintain our core values of quality content, so a project has to be just right for us to develop it beyond the concept stage.

Brands are also keen to engage with our Motionmaker community, and we have run successful campaigns in France which have harnessed our own “production team” if you like, and we hope to replicate this in the UK.

Do you have a geographic breakdown on viewers and users in terms of Europe vs. elsewhere?

Dailymotion is now the 50th largest website globally and the world’s second largest video entertainment website with 38.8 million monthly uniques. Our home territory, France, is still our most dominant user-base, making up about a quarter of that total audience. Our next biggest community is North America, with around 6 million uniques. Belgium, UK, Italy, Spain and Germany are our other principal European territories, ranging from 1.5 million to 600,000.

How much of your emphasis is on professionally produced content as opposed to user-generated?

Dailymotion started life as a platform for user-generated content and during the Paris riots of 2005 because synonymous with citizen journalism and editorial independence from mainstream broadcasters. While UGC continues to make up a large portion of the videos uploaded to Dailymotion, the landscape for streaming video has changed remarkably in the last 12 months and we believe that users are now hungry for professionally produced, quality video content. We are constantly signing Official Content partnerships-broadcasters, production companies, film and gaming studios, record labels, you name it. What’s exciting is that these partnerships are not about pushing TV content online, but creating web-specific content with professional quality production standards. As a former TV producer/director, that’s very pleasing to see on the site.

What sort of traction is your HD content getting, and how important do you think HD content will be to Dailymotion’s future success?

Dailymotion pioneered high-definition streaming video on a mass scale and it works well both for our users and content providers. These days, everyone from home-movie enthusiasts to super-indies can shoot in HD, so if you can provide a means to distribute this online it has to be a real bonus. As technology moves forwards and current data transfer limitations are overcome, high def streaming video will become the norm.

Will delivery to mobile devices figure into Dailymotion’s roadmap? And what about getting Dailymotion content onto TV screens? In the long run, can companies like Dailymotion compete against traditional broadcasters without a presence on the television screen?

While our website remains core to the business, we want people to be able to access Dailymotion videos wherever and whenever they choose. We’ve just announced a partnership with Orange World, which will launch in France over the coming weeks, soon followed by other European regions including the UK. We have also partnered with IPTV platform Channel Neuf in France to show Motionmaker videos. We don’t consider traditional broadcasters as direct competitors, in fact I think they are more concerned with reaching the digital audience than we are trying to reach the highly fragmented cable or satellite audience.

Finally, a big-picture kind of question. As you look forward, what kinds of online video initiatives do you see as being most successful in the next year or two? What are current video sites doing right, and what do they need to be doing differently?

Longtail UGC will become much less appealing to the online audience as we move towards an era of greater quality content-both in terms of production values and playback. But interactivity will also remain crucial to the user experience, so how do you develop those aspects further? Original sponsored series, as we have seen on a few of the major social networking sites, can be a fantastic fusion of sponsorship, entertainment and user interactivity (although the product placement can still be clunky and the scripting/acting a bit dire, so I would expect the standards to be raised here).

Dailymotion is also working to take its online communities offline-we have a monthly screening of Motionmaker films in Paris called ‘La Séance’ and looking at venues to do the same kind of thing in the UK. We are also partnering with major film festivals in Europe and the US to strengthen this bond between our Motionmakers and the independent film industry.


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Fourth Keynote: Digby Lewis, Dailymotion

We were certainly disappointed when Kate Burns left Dailymotion and had to back out of the keynote slot for the show, but we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll have Digby Lewis, who is creative director for Dailymotion UK, on Friday, 17 October. He’s in charge of the acquisition of UK-relevant content and sourcing and devloping “unsigned” directors through the platform’s Motionmaker programme.

Digby LewisHe also directs the platform’s editorial strategy, and brings a wealth of experience to Dailymotion, including 12 years in print, TV, and online journalism, including five years at MTV producing interviews and coverage at European music festivals. Prior to that, he was a diary writer for Daily Telegraph and features editor at the youth music bible Ministry. His career highlights include interviewing David Bowie (three times!) and producing documentaries for the Rolling Stones.

Watch this space for an interview with Digby soon!

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Kate Burns leaves Dailymotion for Bebo

Just a quick post to note that Kate Burns informed us today that she’s leaving her post as Managing Director UK at Dailymotion for the newly created position of vice-president and managing director at social media site Bebo. You can read more about it in this Guardian story. Congratulations to Kate!

So what of her scheduled keynote at Streaming Media Europe? We’re working on a replacement right now; in the meantime, check back later this week for another keynote speaker announcement.

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Keynote speaker announcement #2

Since I couldn’t resist doing so and already let the cat out of the bag, it seems like a good time to formally announce our second confirmed keynote speaker for the upcoming event.  As hinted in the Advance Programme, we felt that this Streaming Media Europe conference just would not be complete without hearing from an executives of…

Europe’s biggest threat to YouTube to date

And as hinted (noted!) in my post from earlier in the week regarding the comScore UK report, we are extremely pleased to announce that Kate Burns, MD of Dailymotion, will be our second keynote speaker.

As all of us surely already know, Dailymotion is the phenomenon which came out of France but is now live in 12 different countries around the world — France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, the US, Poland, Holland, Greece, Sweden, Denmark and India, and is one of the 60 most visited sites in the world (source: comScore World Metrix).  In the month of April 2008 alone, the sites received more than 51.9 million unique visitors and registered 1.5 billion page views (source: Xiti).  The company has received financing from premier investors Partech International, Atlas Ventures, Advent Venture Partners, and AGF Private Equity (a division of Allianz AG), and has content relationships with MTV Networks, Turner Broadcasting (CNN), Warner Music, CANAL+, SFR, whilst also promoting and harvesting user generated and independent film maker content abound.  In February 2008, the site also started offering all of this content (where available) in high definition, raising the bar for online video globally.

We’re so fortunate to secure Kate’s commitment to speak because she has overall responsibility for all operations in the UK and reports directly to CEO Mark Zaleski.  She’s played a leading role in developing the UK’s digital media industry for over a decade with experience in launching and leading several businesses to success including Google — where she was the company’s first employee outside of the US — and DoubleClick.  She’s also held senior positions at AltaVista, Ziff-Davis and News International, and her experience and vision for the future of this sector will be invaluable.

As was the case when we announced our first keynote speaker, Claude London, let us know in comments if you have any questions for Kate, and we’ll definitely pass them along.

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27 Million People Watched More Than 3.5 Billion Videos Online in the U.K. in March 2008: comScore

I’m quite a bit late in picking this up and taking notice of this, but in case you might have missed it too, comScore released a report last week that cites 27.4 million UK internet users viewed 3.5 billion videos online in the month of March 2008.  Of those totals, Google Sites (i.e., YouTube which accounts for 99% of Google’s video traffic) had 48% market share, with second place BBC sites far behind with only 1.2% market share.

What surprised me was that there was such a gap between YouTube and BBC sites (and of course any of the others) — This will be worth asking Claude London about at our event in October, as well as some of the other keynote speakers, including Dailymotion (oops, did I say that out loud?) which only grabbed 0.4% of the UK audience according to comScore figures.

Other notable findings in the report:

  • 81.2% of the total UK internet audience viewed online video
  • The combined UK online video viewing audience watched a total of 172 million hours of video content
  • 20.5 million viewers watched nearly 1.7 billion videos on YouTube.com (47.3 videos per user)
  • The average online video duration was 3 minutes

And of course with yesterday’s news that Kangaroo’s release could be delayed up to 6 months because of competitive review (coverage everywhere, but our media partner paidContent:UK has a nice summary here), this gives YouTube — or some of the even smaller players — even more time to grab more market share.

Tell us, from which sites and services do you consume your online (or mobile) video?

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