Video-sharing site DailyMotion has commissioned a ‘sci-fi hipster’ drama as its first piece of original scripted content, which will also receive a theatrical release.
Portal is a 6 x 15-minute series produced by Manchester-based indie Future Artists. The series, exec produced by Mark Ashmore, is set in a world that outlaws social media after its inhabitants become addicted to it.
The series, which will also have a theatrical release as a feature film, is due to launch in September and will be made available globally to the site’s 250 million monthly unique users.
The French service already has syndication deals in place with online publishers including ITN and The Guardian, and was bought out by mobile operator Orange for £100m last year.
Portal, which has a budget of “tens of thousands of pounds”, has been funded through DailyMotion’s global content budget. Director of content and partnerships Harriet Fuest said she planned to tap into the pot to invest in more projects.
“Commissioning original content is good for our brand identity. House Of Cards generated a significant number of subscribers for Netflix, so it makes sense for us to play in the space too,” said Fuest.
“We are not a broadcaster so we won’t be focusing all of our efforts on it, but it is important to try out. There is an opportunity for us because YouTube is not prioritising drama and Netflix is a subscription service.”
She added that gaming videos are one of the most popular areas of content on the site, and that she is interested in ideas relevant to that community of users.