Forget the "Like" button. Dailymotion hopes users will hit its Flattr button as it seeks to create what it calls the first worldwide crowd-funded social video network. Dailymotion, the world’s second largest video portal, has partnered with Swedish micropayments platform Flattr to create  its new payment system. Under the Motionmakers program, users can pay  online video creators directly for their content, giving artists, actors, musicians, podcasters and others a straightforward way to monetize their work. Video creators who are part of Dailymotion’s program, the site’s premium content hub for HD content, can import a Flattr button directly onto their channels and each individual video. “We’re pioneering a new world for video makers to earn a living just by broadcasting their own content on our site,” says Roland Hamilton, Managing Director for Dailymotion U.S. “Creating online video doesn’t have to be an unpaid pursuit.”


Flattr users make a monthly donation of any amount via credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer and click the Flattr button on any video they like. At the end of the month, their donation is shared evenly among all the video creators they “flattered.” “We want to make it as frictionless as possible,” says Flattr community manager Siim Teller. “Earlier systems have been a pain because of the number of decisions you have to make about how much to pay and the number of buttons you have to click. All that can be annoying, and that’s what we avoid.” If a Flattr user fails to click on any videos in a month, the money rolls over.

Build it, But Will They Come?

But given the limitless amount of entertaining video available for free online, why would anyone actually pay to watch? “We find that communities build up around content creators, and they’re passionate about the content,” says Hamilton. “They want to see more, and this is a way to guarantee the creator will have the means to keep the content coming.” Unlike paid subscriptions or YouTube’s ad revenue sharing model for its top talents (YouTube sensation KevJumba is rumored to make more than $100,000 annually), this new revenue model, Dailymotion says, is democratic and simple. Hundreds of Dailymotion content creators are already in a position to make significant revenue, and Hamilton expects to welcome thousands more as the program grows. “There’s a constant stream of new emerging talent showing up online,” he says. Now, perhaps, some of that talent will get paid at least enough to feel motivated to continue. Dailymotion’s announcement highlights the growing interest in social and crowd-supported online video as millions of people, equipped with everything from iPhones to professional HD videocams, rush to post their content at social online. Although most will never expect to make money doing so, at least now they have a fighting chance.

Related Links