Dailymotion‘s US division recently announced its plan to spend several million dollars on originals, with Feedback Kitchen, an interview series hosted by Mario Batali, serving as the Paris-based company’s first offering. This decision, at first glance, seems like a risky one. There are many other platforms producing original content in-house, and the struggles of YouTube’s Original Channels Initiative suggest that the process will sometimes fail to be successful.
How, then, can Dailymotion succeed where others have failed? A talk with Nick Fortunato, the Creative Director at Dailymotion USA, revealed the details behind the company’s original content strategy.
A key part of Dailymotion’s approach, according to Fortunato, is a focus on “passion projects from really interesting people that we felt deserved to get made, and maybe couldn’t get made other places.” Fortunato emphasized that Feedback Kitchen is Batali’s idea, not Dailymotion’s. “We had a couple great meetings with him, and he brought this idea to us that, to him, was something he’s wanted to produce since he was a teenager.”
Dailymotion, then, is offering Batali little interference in order to make sure his series, which will feature chats with his famous musician friends, is as close to his vision as possible. “The creative team on the Mario show is five or six people,” explained Fortunato. “Stripping it down like that is keeping it very authentic.”
In return, Dailymotion hopes Batali will draw in viewers who already watch food and music content on the site. Fortunato noted his company’s 20 million unique US viewers, who, according to first-party data, watch categories in which the original programs will fit. This data made the decision to produce Feedback Kitchen a “no-brainer.”
Beyond Batali, Dailymotion will also reach out to a number of other potential showrunners with personal stories to tell and will invest heavily in just a few of these stories, a very different approach that the one YouTube used for its Original Channels. “YouTube, in those investments, did a very shotgun approach,” said Fortunato. “They threw a lot of money, often not at specific projects, but at channels. We’re investing in a handful of projects that we want to be with 100%.”
Some of these projects may come from creators who have already established their places in the online video world. “We’re having conversations with all the MCNs,” noted Fortunato. At this point, though, only the Batali series has been announced. It’s release is planned for sometime this spring.