Week in Review: Premium Publishers Scale Up With Pangaea Co-Operative, UK Streaming Booming and Channel 4 Rolls Out Programmatic Campaigns


Publishers join forces, Channel 4 goes programmatic and Facebook acquisitions solve niggling targeting problems. 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.

Guardian, CNN, FT and Reuters Create Pangaea, a Global Publisher Co-Operative

The Guardian, CNN International, the Financial Times and Reuters have joined forces to sell inventory programmatically through a program called Pangaea. The Economist will also sell inventory through the platform but is not a founding publisher. Pangaea gives publishers greater leverage due to their combined scale and will mean advertisers can buy programmatic campaigns across their combined 110m-strong global audience via a single system.

In the beta phase, launching in April, the publishers will commit up to 10% of their inventory in their ad servers to Pangaea. Publishers will give buyers the same priority for an impression as private marketplace deals, which will be above open marketplaces. The collective hopes to increase the sophistication of its data assets, to the point where Pangaea could recognize the same user browsing across multiple publisher sites and expand to include rich media units, expandable ads and custom ad units unique to the publishing group.

UK Streaming Market worth £1bn by 2019

The UK streaming market has risen from £28 million (39 million) five years ago, according to research by Mintel. The online streaming market was worth £437 million in 2014 and is forecast to top £1 billion by 2019.

The research also shows that one in three Britons who stream video are prepared to pay for content. Netflix leads, attracting a fifth of British consumers who paid to stream video in the last year. This is more than double the 9 per cent of people who chose to use its nearest rival, Amazon Prime Instant Video. Netflix gained 13 million global users last year, with a third of its 57.4 million subscribers based outside of the US. However, the monthly subscription service has yet to catch up with the UK’s free streaming sites; YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD still beat Netflix in the UK last year.

Channel 4 Rolls out First Programmatic Campaigns Ahead of All 4 TV Relaunch

Channel 4 has launched its first programmatically traded video-on-demand ads on 4oD, soon to be rebranded as All4, with Dentsu Aegis Network as a launch partner. The broadcaster will open up its inventory to be traded programmatically across Samsung TVs, YouView and Xbox consoles later this year. The deal will see Dentsu Aegis media agencies Carat and Vizeum buy targeted on-demand TV inventory via the group’s media investment arm Amplifi. In the coming months Channel 4 will extend the targeting capability to include interest-based targeting. Although it is currently for programmatic-direct deals only, it has not ruled out opening its private marketplace up to auction-based buying – or real-time bidding (RTB).

Apple Courts Programming Partners With Data Share Offer

Apple is offering to share data with programming partners to get them on board with its cable-like TV network package, according to the New York Post. The company is willing to share details on who its viewers are, what they watch and when they watch it to entice broadcast networks and others to use the service, sources said. The information could help programmers better target shows to viewers and advertisers, who are increasingly chasing niche audiences. This is unusual for the company, which is famed for its highly controlling approach to information.

ABC to Independently Certify Newly Agreed Social Video Code

ABC launched its Social Video Code certification this week, the latest in its series of independent brand safety certifications to standards set by JICWEBS (www.jicwebs.org). The new Code is an extension of Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) Good Practice Principles and seeks to deliver greater brand safety to advertisers. The new certificate is available to businesses who sign up with ABC to verify their compliance with the JICWEBS agreed Code of Conduct around Social Video ad placement.

RTB on the Rise in the US

RTB will account for 33% of digital ad sales in the US by 2018, jumping to $18.2 billion from 2013’s $3.1 billion, spurred by mobile and video ads, say BI Intelligence. The report counts Criteo, Rocket Fuel, Rubicon and AOL among the top programmatic players in the US, together grossing more than $1.5 billion in global ad revenue in 2013. The study also explores barriers to programmatic adoption, changes in pricing and evaluates other key players in the programmatic space.

Use of Ad Blocking Software Continues to Grow

Ad-blocking software is on the rise, fuelled by use of pre-roll video ads, according to a Wells Fargo Securities report. The report ranks ad blocking as a challenge on par with viewability and highlights the power that Google and Apple exert over their respective ad ecosystems and counteract ad blockers as areas of interest. According to the findings, publishers are hit the hardest by ad-blocking practices.

Millennials Want Interesting Native Video Ad Content

A majority of UK Millennials (57 percent) surveyed by by native ad platform Adyoulike are happy to view interesting sponsored online content, and this number is even higher for younger adults (18 to 24), at 63 percent. The research also looked at kinds of content those surveyed were interested in, with news, sports, lifestyles and food proving most popular. However, those surveyed were more interested in ‘top tens’ and articles than sponsored video. The report underlines the idea that people want great content first, whether or not it’s sponsored.

Content Rules OK on Instagram 

The size of a brand’s Instagram following doesn’t necessarily equal greater engagement, according to new research from L2, a digital think tank, and visual commerce platform Olapic. In its second annual Instagram Intelligence Report, L2 looked at the Instagram activity of 250 major brands in nine categories over the last year. Companies with the best correlation between audience and engagement – including Nike, Starbucks, GoPro, Aeropostale, and Victoria’s Secret Pink – generally share a combination of Millennial popularity, strong lifestyle branding, and iconic visuals. Interestingly, Instagram also chose this week to release tips on how to create the most sharable video.

Facebook Acquisition Could Mean the End of Ads for Purchased Products

Facebook has bought The Find, an e-commerce search engine with technology designed to make the social network’s ads more relevant. Commentators are suggesting that it could mean an end to the serving of ads to consumers who have already bought the product. Facebook will shut the site down, but incorporate its technology into its advertising services.

CBS Gets Into Big Data

CBS has unveiled a new product designed to demonstrate TV’s reach power to CBS clients, which it’s calling “Campaign Performance Audit,” or CPA. CPA’s information comes from numbers from Nielsen units including Catalina Solutions, Buyer Insights, MotorStats, MRI Fusion, Brand Effects and Cambridge Media Demand Landscape as well as proprietary data on ad effectiveness from CBS’s studio complex Television City.

ASA Turns Attention to Vine

The ASA is ‘looking to do more’ on Vine, according to Huw Samuel, a content creator who has gathered hundreds of thousands of followers but claims his clips with product placement can run without any disclosure. Samuel made the comments at The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit on the topic of ASA regulation.

Product TV Connects Users with Cool Products Through Video

Startup Tube Centrex has launched a new iOS app called Product TV, which brings together product videos from across the web. In a blog post announcing the app, Tube Centrex founder Fahad Khan suggests that it can be tough for startups to get attention without significant PR spend. The app’s potential is already being touted by commentators.

BrightRoll Bakes Yahoo Audience Data Into Video Buying Platform

Just over three months since Yahoo bought the video demand-side platform and exchange BrightRoll for $640 million, BrightRoll revealed it’s weaving Yahoo audience demographic and behavioral data into BrightRoll’s DSP. The company claims this will enrich ad-targeting capabilities on and off Yahoo-owned and -operated inventory. In addition, it’s bolstering mobile video ads with Flurry, increasing the interaction between Yahoo’s many acquisitions.

YouTube Swaps Annotations for Mobile Friendly ‘Cards’

Annotations, YouTube’s clickable pop-ups are being joined by a new feature called ‘cards’ which will now work on mobile. The cards will take up a relatively minimal amount of video real estate when they first appear, showing teaser text that, if clicked, will pop up more information. At later points in the clip, a small “i” will indicate the presence of cards.

Kenshoo Named Social Inventory Provider by AOL 

AOL has announced a ​global ​platform licensing agreement with software provider Kenshoo. Through this agreement, AOL clients using ONE will gain access to inventory on two large social platforms and will be able to activate cross screen audiences.

AppNexus Acquires Yieldex, Publisher Forecasting And Pricing Platform

AppNexus has acquired Yieldex, whose platform provides publishers with analytics, forecasting and sales management tools. The deal may help strengthen AppNexus’ relationships with media sellers at a time when direct deals between marketers and publishers represent a growing portion of the programmatic ad market. The Wall Street Journal placed the deal’s value at approximately $100 million in cash and stock.

Sony Launches PlayStation Vue Cloud TV Service

Sony has launched its new cloud-based, pay-monthly TV service, PlayStation Vue, in the US cities of New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. At launch Playstation Vue will offer 85 channels, including networks from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBCUnversal, Scripps Networks Interactive, Turner, Viacom and AMC Networks. The company said that further channels will be added ‘at a later date.’

Sling TV on Xbox

Sling TV has released its app for Xbox One, the first gaming console to support the live, OTTTV service. Xbox One joins a raft of other devices that support Sling TV, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick; current-generation Roku players and Roku TV models; Android and iOS devices; and Macs and PCs.

Ooyala Partners with TubeMogul to Build Programmatic Marketplace For Brands and Broadcasters

Videoplaza has announced a partnership with TubeMogul, to create a programmatic marketplace for global brands and broadcasters. Pairing TubeMogul’s platform with Konnect, Videoplaza’s sell-side programmatic solution allows brands, agencies and trading desks using TubeMogul video advertising software to access Videoplaza’s international inventory of video publishers, broadcasters and operators.

PowerLinks and Respond Partner on Native SSP

PowerLinks, a programmatic native advertising platform, and Respond, a publisher platform for creating and delivering native ads, have partnered to create a native SSP. The Respond SSP, built on top of PowerLinks’  technology, pairs demand from leading global buyers on the PowerLinks’ open exchange, with rich media and responsive features from the Respond Platform. The platform will enable publishers to create, manage and deliver custom native units that fit the look and feel of their site, using their existing ad tech.

Out of SXSW

This week saw the eponymous SXSW festival take place in Texas. Here are some of our video based highlights…

Meerkat Restores Faith in SXSW’s Startup Magic

Social video app Meercat has made a huge splash in Texas, the three-week-old company told The Wall Street Journal that it had 120,000 users going into the festival and later informed Mashable that it grew 30 percent daily during it.

DirectTV Shows How Virtual Reality Could Transform TV

For the second year in a row, virtual reality and augmented reality formed the basis of some of the highlights. DirecTV held an eight-hour digital entertainment innovation lab that included demonstrations about how TV home viewing can be transformed with VR headsets Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear. Virtual reality content house, Jaunt, also premiered new, film-like programming, including a comedy and HBO’s Game of Thrones’ augmented reality activation was a huge hit, with lines forming around the block.

This Week on VAN…

Publishers Have no More Excuses When It Comes to Offering Video at Scale

One of video advertising’s main stumbling blocks has been the shortage of inventory. However, the new breed of in-feed video ads, sometimes referred to as ‘outstream’ video ads, have opened up new opportunities for publishers. Here Christophe Parcot, COO at Teads, explains his company’s ‘inRead’ product and why many publishers still need to rethink their approach to video advertising. Read more on VAN.

Q&A: Dailymotion CRO Damien Pigasse Discusses Programmatic and Profitability 

Last year Dailymotion, the Orange-owned video hosting platform, launched the Dailymotion Exchange. Here Damien Pigasse, CRO at Dailymotion, discusses the platforms move to programmatic, Dailymotion’s data strategy, and the secret to building a profitable business with video advertising. Read more on VAN.

Ad of the week: The Open University, Life-Changing Learning

This moving advert from the Open University celebrates the process of learning and the personal challenges that come with it.


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