Orange Acquired Dailymotion For $168 Million. [NEWS]


Back in January 2011, Orange acquired 49 percent of Dailymotion for $78 million (€59 million), and declared that they wanted to buy out the remaining 51 percent. But Dailymotion had to wait two years before further talks. By spending $80.6 million (€61 million) for the remaining stake, Orange acquired 100 percent of Dailymotion for $168 million (€127 million).

Rumors have been circulating for months that Orange was finally ready to up its stake. The confirmation comes from its earnings documents. The deal was closed on January 10.

With 2.5 billion video views per month and 106 million unique visitors according to its latest public numbers, Dailymotion is a solid video sharing service, but far behind YouTube. When it comes to market share, it competes with Vimeo more directly than with YouTube. As video hosting consumes a lot of bandwidth, it’s hard to cover operating expenses with advertising.

Yet, the company has been profitable for a couple of years. Considered as the platform of choice in France, Dailymotion is very strong in other markets as well. In 2011, only 15 percent of its users were French. The U.S., Turkey, Japan and other countries are important markets as well.

Dailymotion’s immediate future will largely depend on whether Orange is ready to invest and support it. For instance, Orange has been key to Deezer’s expansion by bundling premium subscriptions in many mobile and Internet plans.

According to the AFP, Orange is currently looking for an American investor to buy out a small stake. The telecommunications company doesn’t want to stay the sole investor for long. While diversifying shareholders is a good financial decision, it also means that Orange probably doesn’t want to further integrate Dailymotion in its offerings and business units.

Update: An Orange spokesperson provided the following statement.

Since January 2013, Orange has increased its stake in Dailymotion to 100% (following an initial acquisition of 49% in April 2011). It is not our ambition or our role to remain a 100% stakeholder of Dailymotion and we are currently working to find the right partner/s. Obviously we cannot comment on this until a deal has been reached but it is clear that to accelerate the development of the company, Dailymotion needs to find a solid strategic partner, probably American, that is capable of opening the doors to the US market.

Beyond this, we are very happy with what has been achieved in the past few months (revenue growth of 55% in 2012). Our partnership with Dailymotion is an excellent illustration of the pertinence of our content strategy.

 

#Apple Entering into the Gaming Industry. [INFO]


Apple entering the gaming industry  has been a topic of discussion for a long time. Some people think they already made their move and it’s still playing out. Some people think they are yet to drop the bomb. Most oversimply the issue.

There’s a funny thing, though, about the way proponents of Apple (I say this without denigration) cheer-lead their champion. In a lot of ways, there’s already an Apple in the games industry: it’s the Games Industry. Apple is filling the position in the games industry that Android fills in the mobile world.

Part of what makes it problematic to discuss is that is that it’s really difficult to disentangle content from platform these days, both in mobile and gaming (and mobile gaming, for that matter). The complex network of relationships, channels, and emerging methods for distribution make practically every comparison apples to oranges.

I’m not going to unravel that knot just now. I’ll get to the nut of the issue instead of dancing around it.

One of Apple’s greatest strengths, something that it understood early and has exploited continuously, is the value of the premium platform — including hardware, of course. They were always, and remain, the premium choice in consumer tech. As others have put it, this moots certain comparisons: you can’t, they say, compare a Ferrari to a Toyota. And that idea is not without legitimacy.

So it’s funny when the opposite seems to apply for the games industry. There’s already a premium product out there: the triple-A games produced by huge studios like Ubisoft, EA, Valve, and so on. The Xbox 360 and PS3, and soon the Xbox 720 and PS4, or whatever they’re called, have always been and will continue to be the premium platform — something that has worked well for Apple elsewhere, and something they’ll never be in the games space.

Why? Here’s that content-platform thing again. Apple simply isn’t a triple-A platform for games. Sure, there are great games on it, good-looking games, expensive games. And millions of people play them. But let’s not kid ourselves.

Notice that almost everything relating to the success of games on iOS is in terms of numbers downloaded and hours played. In like wise, one could say that YouTube is far more of a success than Hollywood, based on viewer hours. In a way, it’s true! But what is iOS’s Godfather? What is its Shadow of the Colossus? Angry Birds and Infinity Blade are arguably is the closest thing to either. Talk about comparing a Ferrari to a Toyota.

In the other corner is a premium platform with exclusive, popular content — the very thing Apple was when Android entered the scene. And now Apple is playing the scrappy underdog, eating up all the low-end users, winning on volume instead of quality. It’s the same strategy that provokes such venom against Android! Thousands of options, barely differentiated, priced to sell, with wildly varying quality, except for a few high-end flagship items – am I talking about Android handsets or the games in the App Store? Hard to tell, isn’t it?

And of course, that’s a recipe for success, as either Apple or Google can tell you. But again, as either can tell you, it’s hardly a recipe for total domination. For that, one must control the vertical and the horizontal.

All the same, it’s funny to see the bottom-up strategy of the App Store and Android reviled one moment and then praised the next.


So far, so obvious. But the unknown creeps in when you consider how platforms may evolve over the next five years — which is about what we can realistically expect for the life of the next consoles, with increased entropy due to changing markets.

The platform/content thing enters again, bringing with it quite a bit of uncertainty. How long is Call of Duty and its ilk going to remain a console exclusive? It’s practical now, and I’m willing to speculate that it will be practical two years from now. After that, things get more hazy.

The way people acquire and play games is changing in a serious way. Will the next consoles have huge hard drives to store downloaded games? Will they stream them over high-speed internet? Will they integrate with smartphones? Will they use discs? Will they allow used games? Will they replace your set-top box? Will they be open to hacking? The answers to the questions are maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, and that’s hilarious. And there are a lot of other questions that will need to be answered before we can really start making predictions.

What about Microsoft, whose long-term three-screen plan is in serious jeopardy? What about Sony, which is in many ways falling to pieces (not in all cases a bad thing)? What about Google, which is a total wildcard? What about the publishers, who know which way the wind is blowing but can’t abandon ship yet?

There are too many variables to say with any kind of assurance how things will be in a few years. Apple will continue to make its play for the living room, but supplanting the consoles is out of the question (not that many have advanced this notion). But it isn’t going to enter the space in a way that requires them to abandon the last five years of app and device development, and they’re not going to compete directly against an opponent that offers a product they can’t hope to match. They may like to lead the charge, but they’re no Leeroy Jenkins.

 

YouTube’s 7th birthday.


May 20th 2012: In May 2005 we first shared YouTube with the world. Seven years later, you’re the ones doing the sharing! We’re so honored that you’ve used YouTube to share how-to tips, political momentshome videoscomedymusic, and so much more.

Last year to celebrate our birthday, we wrote you, the YouTube Community, a thank you note for making our first 6 years so special. And on that birthday you gave us a great present by reaching a record rate of 48 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute. Well Community, this year, on our 7th birthday, you’ve outdone yourselves once again.

Today 72 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute. Like many 7 year olds around the world, we’re growing up so fast! In other words, every single minute you now upload three whole days worth of video instead of two. That’s 61 Royal Wedding Ceremonies, 841 Bad Romances, and 1,194 Nyan Cats.

We’ve come along way in the past 7 years. What started as a handful of videos shared among friends has transformed into a global platform delivering the next generation of channels to anyone, anywhere, and on any device. This last year was especially big for us. We helped bring more great channels to YouTube and weredesigned the site, making it easier for you to discover, watch and subscribe to the videos you love. And all 800 million of you all over the world have shown us we’re on the right track by increasing subscriptions 50% and watching over 3 billion hours a month.

Behind the tens of millions of channels on YouTube featuring talented filmmakershome videosskateboarding tricksmusic, and car enthusiasts there has always been one consistent voice: you. Throughout our seven years you’ve made the YouTube community what it is. Thank you!

-(via YouTube Blog)

YouTube Opens Partner Program to Everyone


Youtube CreatorsYouTube‘s Partner Program, previously opened only to producers of very popular content, is now open to all content creators from the 20 countries where the program is available.

To become a YouTube Partner, you need to enable your YouTube account and successfully monetize at least one of your videos.

YouTube’s guidelines for successful monetization are here, but in a nutshell, your best bet is to create original content while owning all the rights to commercially use all the visuals and audio in your video.

YouTube Partner program is currently available to everyone in these countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.

Newcomers to the program won’t immediately enjoy all the perks popular content creators have, such as custom thumbnails and banners. “We are working on making these and other features available to more newly made partners over time,” says YouTube.

-(via Mashable)

New YouTube comes with new Features and Content:


YouTube is partnering with Ashton Kutcher, Amy Poehler, Shaq, IGN, The Wall Street Journal and dozens of others to launch a slew of premium video channels.

The channels, which have been in the works for months, is a big and risky play to get premium content onto its servers. Google (YouTube’s owner) is reportedly spending $100 million to secure the deals for its original channels.

“The first of these new original channels will appear on YouTube starting next month and will continue over the next year,” YouTube Global Head of Content Partnerships Robert Kyncl said in a blog post. “They’ll be available to you on any internet-connected device, anywhere in the world, with all the interactivity and social features of YouTube built right in.”

The channels will be anchored by a celebrity lineup that includes Madonna (DanceOn), Shaq (The Comedy Shaq Network), Rainn Wilson (SoulPancake), Ashton Kutcher (Katalyst Thrash Lab) and Deepak Chopra (Generate The Chopra Well). YouTube’s partnerships run deeper than celebrities though: WWE, WSJThe Onion, SB Nation, Demand Media, CafeMom, TED, IGN, SlateBleacher ReportInStyle Magazine and Lionsgate are all partners that will seed the content for the new YouTube channels.

YouTube has also launched a preview site for the new channels.

It’s no secret that Google has been wanting to move more into premium video. It’s far more monetizable than cat videos, and it sets up YouTube to be the cable channel of the future. It acquired Next New Networks to help it produce more premium content, and it isn’t sparing any expense to land big-name celebrities for its channels. It won’t be long until we see whether those deals were worth the price.

YouTube Now Allows Music Partners To Sell Merchandise, Digital Downloads And Event Tickets


We already know that YouTube is seeing 3 billion videos viewed per day day, but now the online video giant is now seeing a whopping 800 million people per month visiting the site, Google revealed in its third-quarter earnings report last week. And today, YouTube is also announcing the ability to sell merchandise, tickets and more via the site.

Through a feature called the Merch Store, YouTube partners will be able to sell artist merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and other experiences to fans and visitors. YouTube has partnered with a number of companies to launch these stores. Topspin is helping power merchandise sales, concert tickets and experiences; SongKick will help sell tickets for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon will power transactions for music downloads.

YouTube says be rolling out the Merch Store to music partners globally over the coming weeks. YouTube declined to reveal the specific nature of the financial split for these sales, but did say that the site takes a small percentage of sales just to cover costs. However, the artist gets the same revenue no matter if they go through the Merch Store or through the affiliate on other channels.

The ability to add merchandise sales, ticket sales, digital downloads and more to an artists YouTube site definitely gives these sites more of an engaging presence for artists with their fans. These destinations will now become more than just a way to discover music videos, but also a way to transact business and actually see the artist and buy their works.

iPhone 5 ‘Concept Features’ Draw Millions of Views


The iPhone 5 might not be out yet, but that hasn’t stopped Apple fans from seeking out supposedly “leaked” videos of the device and video makers from creating futuristic concept videos. Searches for “iPhone 5” have risen dramatically in the past two weeks and over 5,000 various iPhone 5-related videos have been posted in the past month.

One of the most popular of these types of videos was a product imagining produced by AatmaStudio, and with 16.5 million views, it’s among the most-viewed videos overall in the past month. Here’s a chart tracking its popularity:

 Humorous “review” of the yet-to-be-released iPad 2 drew over 4 million views itself:

(via YouTube)