The long-running saga of who would become the new owner of online video site Dailymotion has finally come to an end. Vivendi has announced that it’s acquired an 80% stake in the company from French carrier Orange for €217 million ($241 million).
In a short statement, the media company outlined its ambitions to continue growing in OTT services and finding new audiences that go online first for their film, TV and music fixes:
The integration within Vivendi offers Dailymotion the means to strongly accelerate its growth and continue its international expansion. It gives the company access to particularly attractive music and audiovisual content and allows for the joint development, together with the Universal Music Group and Canal+ Group teams, of original and distinctive content and formats meeting the expectations of a whole new generation of digital consumers.
This acquisition is at the core of Vivendi’s digital strategy. With Dailymotion, the Group benefits from an over-the-top distribution platform of international stature and of a technological expertise which complements the Group’s existing one.
Orange is keeping the remaining 20% of the company.
Vivendi had been in exclusive discussions for the stake since April of this year, and before that other European companies like ProSiebenSat had expressed interest.
Although Dailymotion has long touted itself as the second-largest online video company after YouTube, it’s a very distant number two. The company in May 2015 posted 351 million visits on desktop, according to SimilarWeb. The same analytics company puts YouTube’s desktop visits as 15.20 billion, with site dwelling time more than three times as high, at 20 minutes. While Dailymotion is a relatively old company (by Internet terms), founded in 2005, its video presence also been surpassed by sites like Facebook on a global level.
Most immediately, the market doesn’t seem particularly impressed, with Vivendi’s stock trading down by 1.24% in after-market trading.
Still you can see how there might be some interesting developments for the company under Vivendi. One of its subsidiaries, Universal Music Group, is part owner of Vevo. Right now Vevo gets huge traffic via YouTube without shifting much to Dailymotion. it will be interesting to see if arrangements like that change.
Orange had been seeking a buyer for the majority of the company for years now. In 2013, Yahoo was reportedly very close to buying it until a deal was scuppered by the French government. The desire to keep Dailymotion European also meant that a later, potential deal with PCCW in Hong Kong also went cold.