French media company Vivendi yesterday acquired an 80 per cent stake in Dailymotion from Orange for €217 million. Dailymotion is a video sharing site and YouTube competitor, offering content from users, independent creators and partners. Since 2012, more than 18,000 Dailymotion Publisher accounts have been created, including MSN Video, Orange, and Yahoo, according to the company.
Vivendi operates throughout the media value chain, from talent discovery to the creation, production and distribution of content. Its main subsidiaries include Canal+ Group and Universal Music Group. In a statement, Vivendi commented that the acquisition ‘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.’
The acquisition ‘is at the core of Vivendi’s digital strategy’ the company has said, allowing it to benefit from an established international OTT distribution platform. In addition to the Dailymotion acquisition, the company last week increased its stake in Telecom Italia to 15 per cent, becoming its biggest shareholder. Vivendi had previously sold off tens of billions of euros of assets in telecoms companies, and there is speculation that it will continue to move into the media and content world with further acquisitions. It already owns the world’s largest recorded music company, the leading pay-TV operator in France, and a leading European player in production, sales and distribution of film and TV series.
Benjamin Bejbaum and Olivier Poitrey founded the Dailymotion website in 2005, and four years later the French government invested in the company through the Strategic Investment Fund. Orange acquired a 49 per cent stake in Dailymotion in 2011 and purchased the remaining 51 per cent in 2014 for €61 million. Yahoo attempted to acquire a majority stake in the company in 2013, which was blocked by the French government.