It’s clear that YouTube has become the dominant player in the video viewing and sharing over the Internet. But Dailymotion, an international online video player headquartered in France, bets that its innovative sharing platform can give the video giant a challenger in the field.
Dailymotion launched in 2005 in France and registered its web domain name just one month before YouTube. Dailymotion has 100 million unique viewers per month compared to YouTube’s 800 million, but it also has a global reach based on its origins.
“There’s clearly room for a #2,” said Senior Vice President of International Development Luc Dumont. “We’re building an ecosystem around our player to narrow the gap [between ourselves and YouTube.]”
Dailymotion established a Redwood City office on 811 Hamilton Street in late 2011 to work on its business development arm of the company.
Dumont said one of the best parts of working at the company was seeing such quality videos revealing such talent.
While the average 9-5 office worker may see these sites as productivity killers, part of Dumont’s job is to view the videos and understand how to make the user experience better. Some of his favorites are an animation short of New York invaded, and eventually overtaken, by pixels and a citizen's video of the Japanese tsunami as he's swept away in his car.
“There’s so much talent out there,” Dumont said. “From indie artists to animators, everyone has a chance to get their content in front of an audience.”
Like YouTube, Dailymotion gets revenue from ads played before many of their most popular videos. But it hopes to better monetize its content with a shared revenue model.
Dumont explained that third party websites, like Redwood City Patch for example, could stream any of the content with the ads, and both parties would share in the revenue from the ads.
“It’s a win-win,” he said. “The stars are perfectly aligned to have exponential growth in the video sector.” Currently there are 200 publishers of Dailymotion’s content, including MSN video.
He said that the incentive for publishers is to enrich their sites with premium content as well as increase monetization on a blog or any other site.
Dumont didn’t even try to challenge YouTube’s current dominance, explaining that the American market typically trumps any European market based on the much larger reach the US has. Whereas an American company can reach a country of 200 million citizens, an average Western European country will have approximately 60 to 80 million.
Why Redwood City
“When I came back to California [from France] after four years, it was amazing to see the difference,” Dumont said.
He liked the burgeoning start-up culture, and mentioned that there was a video ad company in the same building that Dailymotion works from.
Redwood City’s location, between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, makes it an appealing destination for commuters all over the Bay, Dumont said. The proximity to the airport also allows Dailymotion's employees from Paris and New York to quickly travel to the Redwood City office.
Expanding to Different Platforms
“We’re not here to kill anyone out of the space,” he said. “We’re just trying to answer demand.”
And part of that demand is making these videos readily available on smart phones, television, even the Xbox 360.
Now artists can view themselves projected onto large living room walls through the Xbox 360, which has been used traditionally for video games but provides a host of other uses.
The opportunity to see themselves on television is also enticing, Dumont said.
“There’s something magical about seeing your face on a TV screen,” he said.
Dailymotion has also had the second largest gain in Facebook app users this week, down from #1 last week. There are approximately 26 million people using the app on Facebook.
The company has partnered with larger organizations to stream events, from private charity concerts to large sports matches.
Because of the international origin, Dailymotion has focused on this broad appeal. Users can add sub-titles in any language to their videos to reach an even larger audience.
Rather than try to break down walls in countries that ban the site, like China and North Korea, Dumont said they are focusing on growing markets like Brazil and Japan.
“We don’t want to waste energy on those more complicated countries,” he said. “The world is still so big.”