December 10, 2013
With a Yahoo purchase very much off the cards, France's Dailymotion is making an acquisition of its own: it is buying Jilion, the developer behind the SublimeVideo platform for distributing web videos with customized features. It looks like this is the acquisition that Dailymotion, known as the YouTube of Europe, has been teasing for a few months now.
Dailymotion today has around 120 million unique monthly visitors and 2.5 billion video views each month; comScore places it as the 35th most visited website in the world - quite a ways from its leviathan competitor YouTube. So it's no surprise that France Telecom-owned Dailymotion - which earlier got a $40 million injection of cash after its failed sale to Yahoo - is looking to other routes to building its business.
It's not revealing the financial terms of the acquisition, but it is disclosing some of the strategy behind how it will use it. Dailymotion says it will offer SublimeVideo customisation technology to the brands, media companies and ordinary consumers who create web-based video content.
The acquisition is interesting for a couple of reasons.
For starters, it gives Dailymotion a way of adding more paid, B2B style services into its platform. That will help it grow its revenues serving professional video makers - that is, those who are either paid to make videos, or monetise them otherwise.
SublimeVideo has built out its business based on a freemium model, with prices ranging from no charge for unlimited page views, HD switching, responsive layouts and so on; through to removing the Sublime video and logo ($9.90/month); social sharing options ($6.90/month); adding your own logo ($19.90/month); and VIP e-mail support ($99.90/month). We've reached out to Dailymotion to see if they can confirm whether this pricing will change.
The other area where this spells opportunity is potentially in the fact that Dailymotion is buying into a service that can be used on platforms besides its own. SublimeVideo got its beginnings as a service that could work with videos hosted in sites like YouTube - its customization service, in fact, was partly created out of the idea that many people hosting vidoes there may want a more unique look to the content when it appeared on their own site. It's unclear whether this is how Dailymotion will ultimately use SublimeVideo itself, although this certainly is how existing customers, which include Sony Europe, Ralph Lauren, Ford, Qualcomm, Activision, NPR, Twit.tv, SchoolTube, Jingit, use it today.
"The player is at the heart of our video distribution platform - it is key for us to offer the best experience on the market, and Jilion with its SublimeVideo engine is by far the best solution out there." said Cedric Tournay, CEO of Dailymotion in a statement. "The Jilion team will further help us connect users, content producers and advertisers on an unprecedented viewing experience on desktop, mobile, tablets and TV."
This will be a talent and tech acquisition, Dailymotion says. "Joining forces with Dailymotion is a tremendous opportunity for our team, and we could not be more excited about sharing our technology with such a high-profile company," said Zeno Crivelli and Mehdi Jacques Aminian, co-founders of Jilion. "Over 200 million unique users will soon be able to enjoy SublimeVideo!" - Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch
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