Week in Review: Facebook Builds New Ad Exchange, Twitter Acquires Live Streaming Company, and UK Hits TV Advertising Record


New exchanges, new products and white hot competition across platforms. Welcome to VAN’s Week in Review. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the Weekly Video Round-Up.

Facebook Building Ad Exchange Through LiveRail
Facebook is continuing its campaign to invade Google‘s ad-tech turf, this time by building an ad exchange to automate the sale of other publishers’ ads. According to AdAge, LiveRail, the online video ad-tech firm that Facebook bought last summer, will operate the exchange, which will handle video and display ads. Though LiveRail currently provides an ad exchange for primarily desktop-based video ads, this new ad exchange will reportedly focus on mobile app display inventory, but it won’t replace Facebook Audience Network. This has lead some commentators to suggest LiveRail’s may eventually support cross-device automation without relying on a Facebook login for user identification.

Brands Are Now Posting More to Instagram Than Facebook
Instagram is luring brands away from Facebook, according to a new report from research firm L2, which found that brands now post more content on the photo-sharing app. Brands know everything they post on the platform will appear in fans’ feeds, but the same is not true on Facebook, if brands don’t pay to promote their posts. This, alongside growing numbers of users is turning Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, into a growing marketing force.

Instagram is also attracting younger users than Facebook. While an estimated 3 million U.S. teens abandoned Facebook between 2011 and 2014, the same demographic now cites Instagram as ‘the most important’ social network.

UK TV Advertising Market Hits Record £4.91bn in 2014
The UK advertising market continues to grow following a 6 per cent increase in sales last year to reach £4.91bn, its fifth consecutive year of growth. The latest figures compiled by Thinkbox were boosted by the growth of online brands such as Amazon, Google and Netflix with online brands and services doubling investment in the sector to over £400m since 2010. The market was also boosted by 800 new and returning advertisers who took linear spots, sponsorship, broadcaster VOD, and product placement packages in 2014. Their combined output saw the average commercial TV viewer exposed to 45 ads whilst watching 2 hours and 25 minutes of content each day.

Ooyala Study Reveals Continued Surge in Mobile Video Viewing
PCs still lead in video ad monetisation, with smartphones second among digital devices according to Ooyala’s Q4 2014 Global Video Index Report. Videoplaza data reveals Mobile viewing has grown to over one third of all online viewing, with viewing on tablets and smartphones doubling in a year. Ad impressions have followed suit, with broadcasters and publishers seeing a high percentage of video ad impressions on tablets and smartphones compared to all other devices. Tablets also have the highest ad completion rates for broadcasters, followed by PCs and mobile phone.

The Telstra owned analytics firm analysed global video viewing data gathered through Videoplaza from 220 million unique viewers around the world.

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Twitter’s Live Video Acquisition
Twitter has reportedly spent somewhere between $50-$100 million for Periscope, a startup that’s been developing a live-video streaming app. The deal was first reported by Business Insider and was quietly finalised a month ago. The buy bolsters Twitter’s video offering which now allows for easier sharing, greater potential for ads and possibly an autoplay option. The site also bought SnappyTV, a video player that lets media companies broadcast content quickly and sell ads against that material and also owns the six-second video app Vine.

Newcomers Undercut YouTube
Technology companies including Facebook, Snapchat and streaming-startup Vessel are promising large TV-channel owners better terms for their video programming than YouTube. According to the Wall Street Journal, these newcomers are hoping to capitalise on mounting frustration with the Web giant in the entertainment industry and have been in talks with programming suppliers such as Viacom, Time Warner, Comcast Corp, NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox.

Adobe Announces New Marketing Cloud Elements
Adobe has announced two new elements of Marketing Cloud- Adobe Primetime, a multi-screen TV platform, and Audience Manager, a data management platform which considers customer journeys. Highlights also included new capabilities in Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics. Primetime now allows content providers to import first, second and third-party audience data into Audience Manager, the company’s data management platform. The result is better targeting to specific audience segments. Audience Marketplace allows buying and selling of anonymous audience data, and cross-device identification that lets marketers take advantage of user authentications to target individuals in a household that share a single device.

Non-Human Traffic More Prevalent on Video Sites than Display in UK, Says ComScore 
Bot generated clicks are higher in on video sites than display according to a new report by ComScore. In the UK, 89 per cent of ComScore’s MMX top 100 properties offering display advertising have low non-human traffic, meaning the amount of bot-generated clicks are below 5 percent of overall site traffic. More than a third of them (35 percent) of them have sections with medium or high non-human traffic, meaning bot-generated clicks account for between five and 10 per cent and 10 and 20 percent of traffic respectively. However, video sites tend to have a higher rate of non human traffic in the UK, with 64 percent of the top sites averaging a low rate, but 29 percent of those featuring sections which have medium or high levels of bot-generated traffic. The UK’s video sites don’t compare well to the US, whose video sites with sub five percent non-human traffic is at 79 per cent.

StickyAds.tv Takes a Look at the European Video Advertising Market

StickyAds.tv released some interesting data on the European video advertising market and found that advertising for food and nutritional products accounts for one in every four euros spent on video advertising in Europe. The video SSP also looked at eCPM by country and found that the German market leads the way when it comes to generating high CPMs for publishers:

Video Advertising eCPMs in Europe

Subscription-Based Video on Demand Fights Cable in USA
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and other subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) are increasing in popularity in the USA according to a study released by Nielsen. The US public is watching less live television and more SVOD on their televisions, computers, and mobile devices, with 40 percent having made the switch. Last year, consumers spent 48 more minutes a day watching SVOD than live TV.

The findings have prompted a meeting of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, which says it estimates that about 40% of third and fourth quarter TV ratings declines can be attributed to subscription online video services. Total TV viewing fell about 10% in the third quarter and about 9% in the fourth quarter, according to an analysis of Nielsen data by Sanford C. Bernstein according to the Wall Street Journal.

Cable Viewing Figures Surprise the Industry
Research from MoffettNathanson has revealed viewers primarily watch cable for library content, rather than originals. The research also reveals that the originals they watch aren’t the big award winners, either. It seems that a fondly remembered show that can entice a channel surfer such as WWE, Syfy movies and South Park may be a much more valuable piece of real estate.

Teads Launch Mobile SDK for Outstream Video Advertising
Teads has launched a new feature that allows brands to include outstream video within app content. The move opens up new premium ad inventory using outstream video advertising formats within apps. The move comes in the wake of a recent report from Nielsen showing that 89% of the time we spend on our mobiles is now in app.

Video Ad Firm Innovid Adds Integral For Viewability Measurement
Innovid has announced a partnership with Integral Ad Science, just days after the viewability and fraud measurement firm acquired Veenome last week. Integral’s viewability, fraud and brand safety metrics will be made available to the interactive online video ad platform clients as a result of the partnership.

Mashable Launches Mashable Collective
Mashable has launched Mashable Collective, a group within the company that will be responsible for experimenting with emerging technologies. The collective will also work with brand partners to find new and interesting ways to engage the digital generation.

90min Selects Adap.tv to Power Private Video Ad Marketplace
90min has selected Adap.tv, to power its video ad private marketplace across Europe, USA, Latin America and South East Asia. The private marketplace will enable 90min to sell its video inventory, to selected trading desks and agencies and offer addressable advertising for the first time.

SpotXchange Launches in Benelux, Appoints New MD for DACH
SpotXchange has officially launched its Benelux operation, rebranding Videostrip, the online video advertising platform of RTL Nederland, as SpotXchange Benelux. The company will focus on Benelux and the Nordic regions. Advertisers will now have access to the video inventory of RTL XL, and has added the stock of new associate publisher, women’s game focused Gamehouse and cinema chain Pathé.

SpotXchange has also appointed former MD of Infectious Media, Stefan Beckmann as Managing Director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  Reporting into CEO Mike Shehan, Beckmann will recruit a team based at offices in both Hamburg and Munich, to drive adoption of SpotXchange’s supply side platform and grow the business across the D.A.CH region.

Exponential Interactive appoints Jason Trout as UK MD 
Exponential Interactive has promoted UK commercial director Jason Trout to the role of managing director UK. Trout, who recently joined the digital advertising shop, is to help drive the company’s video offering. The appointment enables current UK managing director and global chief strategy officer Doug Conely to focus solely on strategy around product development.

This Week on VAN…

Viewability Could Become an Issue with Some In-feed Formats
In-feed formats have been hugely successful for mobile publishers and are playing a major role in generating additional video supply, especially on mobile. While some of the leading in-feed formats comply with viewability standards and only play when in-view, there could be scope for abuse if less scrupulous players enter the market, as Robert Kramer, General Manager, Mobile at OpenX, explained to VAN. Read more on VAN.

Google Reportedly in Talks to Buy InMobi
Google is in early talks to buy InMobi, one of the industry’s leading mobile ad networks in a deal thought to be worth around $1 billion, according to two sources familiar with the deal who spoke to The Economic Times. The sources are quoted as saying that Google is being forced to scale up to counter Facebook’s surging growth in mobile. Read more on VAN.

‘Not All Video Advertising is Created Equal’ Says Opera Mediaworks SVP
One of the highlights of last year’s video ad tech feeding frenzy was Opera Mediaworks‘ acquisition of AdColony, a mobile video advertising platform, in a deal worth approximately $350 million. VAN spoke to Nikao Yang, one of AdColony’s founders and now SVP Global Marketing & Business Development at Opera Mediaworks, who says that his company is leading the field – ‘bar none’ – when it comes to playing HD video ads on mobile devices. Read more on VAN.

Connecting the Pipes: How Bidswitch is Enabling Programmatic Trading to Scale More Quickly
While the programmatic era has made buying and selling digital media more efficient, joining the ‘pipes’ to enable those transactions has been anything but. Integrations – linking DSPs to exchanges and SSPs – has been a notoriously difficult process that required engineers to deal with the nuances of each individual platform. VAN talks to Iponweb, whose product – ‘Bidswitch’ – is solving the problems associated with both setting up and maintaining integrations. Read more on VAN.

Ad of the week: Ad Council, ‘Love Has No Labels’, R/Ga
We’re all human underneath. Dancing skeletons remind us that love has no labels in this big brand partnership to promote diversity and inclusion.


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