Orange confirms Dailymotion bid

Orange yesterday confirmed it will acquire 49% of online video site Dailymotion for €58.8 million to tap into growing demand for video across fixed and wireless networks.
The French carrier has opened exclusive talks with Dailymotion’s management regarding a deal that will give it access to the video site’s 93 million unique monthly visitors, and the option to gradually increase its stake to 100% from 2013 onwards.
Orange plans to use Dailymotion’s video platform to advance its multi-screen strategy, delivering content via fixed Internet, Wi-Fi and 3G networks. The acquisition will also boost the carrier’s presence in global markets, with around 80% of the video site’s content accessed in markets beyond France.
Dailymotion was founded six years ago and already handles over a billion downloads each month, ranking it as the second largest online video provider, according to Orange.
The carrier is aiming to tap into growing demand for video services, which it says has seen one in three French smartphone owners watch video on their handsets each week.
Network management firm Bytemobile recently revealed that video accounted for 40% of all mobile data traffic in 2010, and predicted the volume would hit 60% in 2011.
Orange is also seeking to advance its strategy of becoming a content aggregator and distributor. The firm has already struck up publishing and music deals as part of the strategy, which forms part of chief Stéphane Richard’s five year plan unveiled in July.
“This operation once again illustrates the role that Orange intends to play in the content value chain. Although we are no longer publishers ourselves, we are strengthening our position in the fields of aggregation and distribution,” Richards said of the deal.