The online video space is about much more than YouTube, as you know. Dailymotion is one of the rival sites finding a growing audience, and working with a number of creators, media and brand partners to share their content.
The panel comprised Marc Eychenne, VP of international content at Dailymotion; Vincent Colombet, head of live at Dailymotion; Julie-Anne Gross, head of TV and new media rights for the French Football Federation; and Michael Haenisch, CEO of Freaks4U Gaming.
The 10 year-old company was founded in 2005, and as of today has 300m people watching each month, with 3bn monthly video views – 500m in the Americas, 1.3bn in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 1.2bn in Asia Pacific. Its conversation today focused on live streaming video.
Eychenne talked about how Dailymotion moved into live: in 2010 with the World Athletics Indoor Championships, developing the necessary technology from scratch. “We’ve seen that a lot of our partners were very interested in the live technology,” said Colombet. “We gathered a big team of engineers and started working a lot on this project: our main goal was to give our partners the capacity to broadcast their live events from wherever they were in the world, to whatever else in the world, on whatever devices.”[youtube]https://youtu.be/qm-7F1qu4UM?list=PLwwdjGwnXX8RRuBP2PHp9N–F0VLq6WBn[/youtube]
Last year, Dailymotion broadcast more than 150m hours of live video, and it now has 200 streams live at any one time. “But we could have 20,000, 200,000, with the same quality of service,” said Colombet. He talked about more than one million people watching the eclipse live on Dailymotion on 20 March at 9am. “I don’t think many French television channels have such an audience so early in the morning!” he said.
Over to Gross to talk about the football federation’s partnership with Dailymotion. It’s not just about the top league. “I’m in charge of developing the exposure of the other less popular championships,” she noted, talking about the experience of live-streaming youth matches.
The FFF actually streamed live a match every weekend from the French third division, attracting 35k-40k viewers per match. “It was the first time a French football championship was really free: free access for any viewer,” she said.
The FFF is also responsible for the French national football team. It livestreams all press conferences and team announcements. “To be honest, it’s not very exciting content! It’s just a list of players, but each time we have 20,000 viewers,” she said. “Our goal has been reached, together with Dailymotion, to engage more people around this.”
Amateur football matches is another niche that works well for the FFF, with a growing number of clubs requesting approval for live-streaming their matches online. It experimented with producing 3-4 matches live every weekend for a few months until the budget ran out. But the FFF then found interest from a banking partner to help fund this until the end of the season. “It’s a win/win collaboration,” she said.
Over to Haenisch, who talked about e-sports – the exploding category of people playing multiplayer games competitively for online audiences. His company has various websites for gamers, producing live and video content for different platforms. “We educate the market about gaming and e-sports,” he said.
“It has always been a niche. I would say it is still a niche because a lot of people don’t know about it. But it has been growing really quickly over the last few years,” he said. Freaks4U Gaming actually developed its own livestreaming technology in its early days, but found the audience sizes at the time didn’t justify the costs involved.
“There wasn’t really a business model,” he said. But now that’s different: “The market has started to grow a lot faster… and now we see TV stations are getting interested in that.” But he stressed that it’s still more natural to broadcast e-sports online than through a traditional TV channel.
E-sports teams have their own sponsors now, so they can pay their players salaries and travel costs, much like any sport. “What we have seen is that the audience has grown to levels, for example last year we went to a FIFA football stadium in Frankfurt… having seats for close to 50,000 people, and for two days we have shown games in the stadium… and actually we had 25,000 people watching them in the stadium and a couple of hundred thousand watching online. So the numbers you reach through online viewership is immense… And the niche is opening to the public a lot more.”
In a month, Freaks4U Gaming has between 1.5m and 2m unique viewers watching its livestreams on its own site, but its actual audience is larger through its streams being embedded on other websites using Dailymotion’s player. “We try to get the fans to the platforms and make them watch the content,” said Haenisch.
Dailymotion launched its dedicated gaming livestreaming platform in January this year as a rival to Twitch, which is now owned by Amazon. “Today we have events regularly that are hitting one million concurrent viewers,” said Haenisch, of the wider e-sports market. “What we need as partners is to have a decent understanding of technology… Dailymotion is a partner who tries to understand what we need. The product is developed in co-operation, the product is scalable, and we can discuss all the issues that we see.”
“Collaboration is important because we can start developing new features,” agreed Colombet, noting that interactivity is one of the key areas: helping people chat about the game they’re watching. He talked about new features coming up: a digital video recorder (DVR) feature: “Join whenever you want and if you are late, you can go back in the past,” he said. “We are also working on re-broadcasting.” Meaning that channels without a currently-live event can re-broadcast older ones, with advertising.