Widely reported going into the weekend, Orange is rumored to be entering talks with Hong Kong-based telecom controlled holding PCCW to buy a 49% stake in Dailymotion. According to the Wall Street Journal, PCCW’s boss Richard Li has reportedly made an offer which would value Dailymotion at about €250 million ($264.5 million) . While this valuation is about $100 million more than what Orange acquisitions valued the streaming service at, it comes in significantly below the world #1’s. Securing a strategic partner, would help the streaming provider make-up some ground to, hopefully, scale-up significantly and close the gap with YouTube in certain key markets around the world.
Both Dailymotion management and Orange have made no qualms about their desire to find an international partner for Dailymotion. While much of the touted future opportunity for Dailymotion was communicated as lying in the States, they are already reported to be quite popular throughout Asia, where 25% of their audience currently comes from. PCCW also appears to be a good fit for Dailymotion as it has various media activities in its portfolio, including Hong Kong pay TV service now TV, pay-for video streaming service Now.com, and digital music streaming site MOOV. It still remains clear how a more aggressive strategy in the US market could be facilitated with PCCW as the principal partner. Although, having a stronger foothold in Asia may increase their hand in attracting and negotiating with potential US partners.
The Dailymotion-Yahoo! saga a couple of years ago marked a low point for France in terms of building the ‘open for business’ image that it’s been trying to promote around the world. Opening up to a well-connected investor who can help Dailymotion gain substantial traction in fast-growing markets, particularly across Asia, will go a long way in helping France’s treasured streaming service turn the page.