By Olivia Solon | 02 May 12
Video sharing website Dailymotion has teamed up with Swedish micropayments platform Flattr to allow individuals to make direct payments to online video creators. This is the first large-scale implementation of the crowd-funded revenue model for online video.
Flattr is a micropayments platform that allows content creators to add a button to their website that facilitates donations from visitors. Flattr users choose a fixed amount they’re happy to spend each month, at the end of which the number of donations is calculated and payment is divided up evenly among the recipients that user has chosen that month. The Flattr button was described by co-founder Peter Sunde as “the [Facebook] Like button that means something”.
Paris-headquartered Dailymotion is the world’s second largest video portal with more than 115 million unique monthly visitors (compared with YouTube’s 800 million and Vimeo’s 70 million).
The partnership relates to a particular subset of Dailymotion’s content, created by independent filmmakers called “Motionmakers” (Ithaca Audio is one such filmmaker). These people can now simply add a Flattr button to any videos they publish on Dailymotion to start letting visitors pay them for their content. “This allows Motionmakers to be remunerated for providing valuable content,” Daniel Adams,VP of international content at Dailymotion, told Wired.co.uk. “Many of them are not interested in having 30-second ads against their videos.”
The partnership does not currently affect the other two types of video content on Dailymotion: the user-generated content and that created by official content partners, including record labels, ITN, Bloomberg and Reuters. The former is generally not monetised and the latter is generally ad-supported.
There are currently around 50,000 Motionmakers signed up to Dailymotion (getting a total of around 2 million daily hits) but the addition of Flattr is likely to tempt many filmmakers over from other video platforms such as Vimeo, where users must currently pay to host their videos. Flattr takes a flat fee of 10 percent from people using their platform, and has negotiated a separate deal with Dailymotion to pass some of that on.
Siim Teller, the community manager at Flattr, told Wired.co.uk that it’s very hard to tell how much filmmakers could make, because it depends on the number of people who view the content, how well the Flattr button is promoted and how much people donate through Flattr. However, he could draw some conclusions from the data they have on podcasts. “Some people get hundreds and thousands of Flattrs per month — thousands of euro per month. I wouldn’t be surprised if video makers with tens of thousands of views became as successful.”
In order to sign up for the service, filmmakers need a Dailymotion Motionmaker account and a Flattr account. It is then a few-click process to connect them and start placing Flattr buttons next to your videos.
Teller said that Flattr was working on other partnerships, but “nothing we can share yet”.