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Dailymotion Plans Major Relaunch, Focused on Premium Content and Sidelining User Videos

Dailymotion is about to largely abandon its roots in user-generated content.

The video site, now majority owned by French media conglom Vivendi, plans a significant relaunch of the service in June that will be geared toward serving up a curated feed of professionally produced content — not the grab-bag of stuff that populates the site today.

The new Dailymotion will provide a “daily digest” of topical video programming, centered around news, sports, music and entertainment, said Maxime Saada, CEO of Dailymotion and also chief exec of Canal Plus. “We want to highlight the ‘daily’ in Dailymotion.”

Dailymotion, which first launched in 2005, has long been compared with YouTube. With the relaunch, Dailymotion is positioning itself as a top-down, curated video experience, instead of being a catch-all repository for short-form UGC.

At launch, the new Dailymotion will be available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple TV. That will be followed by support for Google Chromecast, and Microsoft Xbox, Android TV and Sony PlayStation later.

The new Dailymotion will still allow users to post their own video, but “it’s not the main purpose of the platform” going forward, Saada said. He added that Dailymotion does not monetize UGC videos.

The goal: to tap into the existing base of Dailymotion’s 300 million-plus unique monthly visitors — and take advantage of its video-delivery infrastructure — with a new and improved product built around premium content. “A lot of companies are trying to build audience, and we have massive, global reach already,” Saada said. Dailymotion will look to target viewers 18-49, and will put an emphasis on live-streaming video events.

The new design will feature an Instagram-like design on mobile devices, and the Dailymotion engineering team built the user interface first for smartphones before adapting it for desktops and connected-TV devices. Guillaume Clement, Dailymotion’s chief product and technology officer, said the apps were built entirely from scratch and include a new video player. Said Saada: “We threw everything away.”

Under the deal announced in June 2015, Vivendi paid 217 million Euros ($230 million) for 90% ownership of Dailymotion. Orange, which previously owned the company, retains a 10% stake.

Since the acquisition, Dailymotion has taken steps to remove sexually explicit and pirated content. “The first thing we did was clean up the platform,” Saada said.

Dailymotion is in the process of on-boarding an expanded lineup of content partners, but already in the mix is Universal Music Group, which Vivendi also owns. Saada declined to reveal what Dailymotion’s ad-revenue split with content partners will be, but he said, “We intend to be more generous than existing platforms.” YouTube, the leader in ad-supported online video, gives 55% of ad revenue to partners under its standard agreements.

The new Dailymotion has three sections: a personalized feed with videos of accounts you follow; a search and discovery section, with suggestions about trending content; and a library for saving videos to watch for later. It will also let users follow topics in their feeds, like “politics” or “pop music.”

One of the design goals was to deliver something that felt like an “endless watching experience,” said Clement. “We want you to always have the feeling there will be more video.” The new Dailymotion apps also feature a shrink-back feature that keeps the current video playing in a window on the bottom of the app while a user browses other content.

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