Week in Review: Vivendi Linked with Sky and Dailymotion Acquisitions, Advertisers Flock to Facebook and YouTube Subscription Service Imminent

In this Week in Review: Vivendi acquisitions rumoured, Facebook domination predictions and YouTube subscription service launch date leaked. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Vivendi in Sky Rumours and Dailymotion Bid
Rumours abounded this week that French media giant Vivendi was considering a bid to acquire all of the Sky-branded European pay-TV broadcasters. However, a Vivendi senior spokesman ‘vehemently’ denied the reports. Sky declined to comment, although their shareholders have benefited from a sharp increase in share prices.

However, Vivendi is in exclusive talks with Orange about buying an 80 percent stake in Dailymotion for €217 million. Under the terms of the negotiations, Orange will retain a 20 percent stake in Dailymotion, which will take on an enterprise value of €265 million.

Facebook May Dominate Video
Facebook could overtake YouTube as the leading video advertising platform in 2015, according to a survey from video ad tech firm Mixpo. Of the 125 agencies, brands and publishers surveyed, 87 percent claim they plan to run Facebook video ad campaigns and only 81.5 percent will run YouTube campaigns this year.

More advertisers plan on running campaigns with Facebook video this year than with YouTube.

YouTube Subscription Service May Debut By End of Year
Google plans to offer a subscriber version of YouTube as soon as this year, reports Bloomberg. The service will let viewers see millions of videos without having to sit through ads. Revenue from the new feature will be shared with video creators. The service may debut by the end of the year, said a Bloomberg source, but the plans aren’t yet public.

Liverail Announces Move into In-App Mobile Display
Liverail has announced additional capabilities, including extending its existing platform into in-app mobile display. Advanced controls will allow publishers to prioritise buyers, block certain advertiser categories, run real-time reports, and get suggestions for optimal inventory pricing. Mobile publishers will also be able to use Facebook’s Audience Network.

New Apple TV Will Not Support 4K Video Streaming
The 4th generation Apple TV will not initially support 4K video according to BuzzFeed News. This is despite reports that the A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is 4K-capable. Commentators argue that the lack of content likely to be available on 4K in the near future and economics are the likely causes of the move.

YouTube Kids App Under Fire
US regulators are being asked to investigate a YouTube app for children according to Reuters. Consumer organisations and childcare groups say YouTube is using the app to circumvent limits on adverts seen by kids. The groups have sent a joint letter to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking it to investigate if the app uses ‘deceptive marketing practices’. YouTube has responded by ‘strongly’ disagreeing with the conclusions of the campaigning groups.

OTT to See 26 Percent Growth in 2015
The pay-TV market has been struggling and is forecast for only 3.7 percent CAGR through 2020, according to ABI Research. In contrast, OTT video continues its strong growth, and should see around 26 percent total revenue growth in 2015, with 24 percent CAGR through 2019. Customers are starting to demand a similar experience to OTT from their pay-TV subscriptions, including features like content search and mobile device support.

MTV to Livestream Movie Awards to Social Feeds
MTV wants viewers to tune into its 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, but not just on TVs and connected devices according to Adweek. The network will be testing livestreaming integrations for red carpet coverage, including using Twitter’s Periscope and Orad Hi-Tec Systems’ Augmented Reality to add 3D graphic overlays to the live video feed. Viewers can choose from one of over 20 cameras positioned around the event, or an audience-focused camera angle that will be activated when a certain number of Twitter users tweet with #FrontRowUnleashed.

Pixability Raises $18 Million
YouTube ad buying platform Pixability has raised an $18 million Series C round, led by new investors Jump Capital and Edison Partners. The new funds will be used for product development and international expansion. The company has raised $28 million to date.

Snapchat Hails Rise of Vertical Video
Snapchat has reportedly told the Daily Mail, a Snapchat Discover content partner, that vertical video ads have up to nine times more completed views than horizontal video ads. This comes in the same week Madonna debuted her “Ghosttown” music video on the live video streaming app.

Hulu Launches GIF Search Engine
Hulu has launched a GIF search engine powered by Tumblr. The new site, called ‘The Perfect GIF,’ allows users to search for and discover TV-related GIFs by tag, show, reaction or action involved. It will seed social media with high-quality GIFs based on Hulu’s own licensed and original content and market the brand to Tumblr’s younger demographic.

Video Ad Platform Zefr Partners With SoundCloud
Zefr and Soundcloud are partnering to allow the audio distribution platform to better understand their fan activity. Soundcloud will slowly roll out sponsored tracks, mobile display ads that appear intermittently when users skip songs and 30-second audio ads skippable at the 15-second mark.

McDonald’s, Nike, Sprint Among March Madness Ad Winners
McDonald’s was the most-consumed brand during March Madness, according to research from Amobee Brand Intelligence. Luxury automakers like Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz saw more brand lift than during the Super Bowl.

Ooyala Announced Ooyala IQ
Ooyala has announced Ooyala IQ, which is claims is the first analytics platform to provide a 360-degree view of video performance and audience behaviour. The new system includes filtering by device, operating system, browser, country, state, DMA (for U.S.), player or traffic source.

Hackers Disable TV5Monde
French broadcaster TV5Monde is trying to regain control of its 11 channels and websites after an ‘extremely powerful’ cyber attack by so-called Islamic State. The attack began around 10pm French time on Wednesday and the hackers knocked out the TV channels and posted material on the broadcaster’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

BAFTA Nominations Live-Streamed on Periscope
Nominations for the 2015 BAFTA Awards have been live-streamed via Twitter-owned Periscope this week, the first time that the platform has been embraced by a major UK awards ceremony.

blinx Down But Claiming Transformation
blinkx has reported a decline in annual revenues, but claims to have made ‘transformational moves’ to turn its business around. In a trading update for the year to the end of March, the company said it expected to report revenues of ‘at least $210 million’ — down from $247 million in the previous year. Investors are unconvinced and blinkx’s share price declined 13 per cent as a result.

Viacom restructure costs US$785m upfront
The continuing restructuring of Viacom will cost the US-based media giant US$785 million, reports the Wall Street Journal. This will reflect costs relating to ‘underperforming programming, including the abandonment of select acquired titles, as well as costs associated with workforce reductions’.

Kia Links with Yahoo to Encourage ‘Getaways’
Kia Motors is launching a six-episode branded content series on Yahoo Screen. Called ‘The Getaway Guide,’ the show encourages viewers to take adventurous getaways in their new Kia Sorento crossovers.

NextRadio TV Preps DTT Acquisition
French media group NextRadio TV, operator of the free DTT news and discovery channels BFM TV and RMC Découverte, has entered into exclusive talks to buy Numero 23 for €90 million.

YouTube Celebrates VP9 Video Views
YouTube has revealed that viewers have watched more than 25 billion hours of video encoded using its VP9 compression standard in the past year. YouTube claims to support the open-source codec as it brings HD and 4K video quality at ‘half the bandwidth used by other known codecs.’

TRAI: India World’s 3rd Largest TV market
The annual report from India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) praises the nation’s subscription TV business, stating that its latest data shows that India is now the world’s third-largest TV market after China and the US.

Mexico’s 2.8m Digital TV Give Away
Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) says it has distributed some 2.8 million digital TVs to poorer families as part of the nation’s commitment to convert from analogue to digital TV.

Scripps Uses SpotXchange To Sell Digital Video Via Programmatic

The E.W. Scripps Company has announced SpotXchange will sell its digital video ad inventory across desktop and mobile devices programmatically.

This Week on VAN:

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