By Sahil Patel
Microsoft is in talks with French telecom provider Orange on a potential partnership for Dailymotion.
In an interview with BFM Business radio in France, Orange CEO Stephane Richard confirmed that Orange had met with Microsoft, with conversations revolving around some sort of “industrial” partnership, according to The Wall Street Journal. As vague as that is, Richard cautioned that these were just talks, and that there is nothing at the moment to suggest a deal was in place.
Regardless of any tie-up with Microsoft, Orange would still maintain a majority stake in the online video company. Yahoo famously tried to acquire a majority stake in Dailymotion close to a year ago, before the French government, which owns 28.4% of Orange, put the kibosh on the deal.
The conversations with Microsoft stem from a desire to expand Dailymotion, which reaches more than 230 million monthly uniques globally, further into international markets — particularly the US.
“For the time being Dailymotion or YouTube are 100 percent free,” Richard said in the BFM interview (per Reuters). “But the future of such sites is to make high-quality content available for a charge, which justifies us speaking to content-creators.”
For Microsoft, a partnership with Dailymotion would be interesting. The company has obviously placed a major emphasis on turning the Xbox into a home-entertainment system, and has a team in place to develop and distribute TV-quality original programming on the console.
It’s hard to see any partnership with Dailymotion having much influence over what the company is doing with Xbox, but there could be opportunities with MSN Video, which, frankly, doesn’t get the attention that competitors like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, AOL, and Yahoo do.