Week in Review: AOL and Guardian Partner, Google Confirms ‘Buy Button’ and Charter Buys Time Warner Cable

In this week’s Week in Review: AOL partners with the Guardian, Charter buys Time Warner Cable and Google announces a ‘buy’ button. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Charter Finally Lands Time Warner Cable Deal
Just one month after its merger with Comcast was fell through, Charter Communications, announced a $55bn cash-and-stock deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. Charter is also moving forward with a separate deal to acquire Bright House Networks.

AOL UK Announces Guardian Partnership
AOL On and Guardian News & Media, have signed a deal to globally distribute original video content. AOL On will distribute the Guardian’s original video content, whilst the Guardian News & Media will act as content and publishing partner to the video syndication platform.

Google Confirms ‘Buy’ Button
Google has confirmed that a ‘buy’ button is coming to search pages, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to those familiar with the matter, the new button will also be rolled out on mobile devices.

CBS Will ‘Probably’ Do A Deal With Apple
Apple and CBS look to be teaming up as part of CBS’s new internet-based, stand-alone TV service, according to MediaPost.

Live-Streaming Lauded but Smart Watches are “Over-Hyped”
Whatsapp, Meerkat and Periscope are among this year’s top priorities for marketers, but the Apple Watch is all noise and no substance according to Greenlight’sHype or Ripe’ study has revealed that. The study also found that one in five marketers plan to use apps like Periscope and Meerkat in campaigns, but fear using the losing platform.

Snapchat Makes Moves Towards Original Content
Snapchat wants to be the future of distribution for TV content according to an interview with Evan Spiegel. The Former Fox Senior Vice President of Comedy, Marcus Wiley, has been employed by the company as tries to establish itself as an original content player.

Lenovo Unveils Mobile Which Can Project a Touchscreen Onto Any Surface
Lenovo has unveiled Smart Cast, a smartphone with an in-built projector which can be used to cast content and control interfaces such as keyboards onto surfaces. The concept smartphone featured a laser projector and infrared motion detector enabling users to project touch screens of varying size and style onto surfaces. The device was also capable of large-scale projection enabling users to watch movies, play games or conduct video chats via a screen on their wall.

YouTube Worth More than 85 Percent of Companies in the S&P 500
A valuation from Bank of America Merrill Lynch suggests that YouTube, which is owned by Google, is worth more than $70 billion on its own. According to Bloomberg data, only 66 companies in the S&P 500 have a higher market value.

Business Insider Pushes into Video and Personalisation
As well as a planned launch of a standalone consumer tech site, Business Insider plans to double the size of its video team. It has also extended its contract with Taboola to power content recommendations on desktop and mobile for the next three years.

OTT Battle Looks Set to Intensify
Telecos have a key role to play in the intensifying battle between traditional media providers and OTT (Over-The-Top) content services, predicts a report from strategy consultant Arthur D. Little and investment service, Exane BNP Paribas. Experts anticipate that the battle between traditional and emerging players will continue to inflate overall content costs.

US Cable TV Losses Improve
US cable companies improved on normal quarterly losses in the first quarter of 2015, says a report by IHS. The report shows that companies have lost only 132,900 subscribers since the fourth quarter of 2014. Many pay-TV operators have already seized the initiative to attract non-pay TV households, starting with the launch of Sling TV by Dish, as well as customisable packages from Verizon and new ‘cord-cutter’ packages at Cablevision.

Apple Replaces Google as ‘Most Valuable’
Brandz Top 100 Rankings has put Apple, who have grown 67% from last year, above Google for the top spot in WPP’s annual ranking of the top 100 global brands, demonstrating technology’s strong growth. Traditional brands such as M&S and the BBC also saw gains.

Visa Threatens to Revoke World Cup Sponsorship
In light of Fifa’s latest corruption scandal, Visa said that the body must “make changes now” to avoid it ‘reassessing’ its sponsorship. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Adidas have also expressed concern over the allegations.

Confidence in Programmatic Video Advertising on the Rise
Online video advertising is viewed as more effective than TV and confidence in programmatic is growing according to the BrightRoll 2015 Advertising Agency Survey. The survey also revealed that completed views, conversions, and brand lift are the metrics that matter most to the agencies surveyed.

Twitter’s Periscope Released on Android
Android has launched the Twitter-backed streaming app, Periscope. Periscope has been available only on iOS devices until now and the app has dominated its strongest competitor, Meerkat, in initial sign-ups with more than one million users in just ten days.

Sling TV App For Nexus Player
Available for immediate download in the Google Play Store, Sling TV has launched its Android TV application for Google’s Nexus Player. Sling TV and Google are offering a half price promotion on the Nexus Player.

American Homes Increasingly Connect TVs to Internet
More than half of American homes now have at least one TV connected to the Internet and just under a third have TVs connected using multiple devices, says a new survey from Leichtman Research Group. This number is more than double the 24% level from 2010.

Ad-Blocking Legal, Rules Court
Court officials in Germany have ruled that Adblock Plus software is not anti-competitive. RTL, the German publishers, and ProSiebenSat.1, have failed to prevent their users blocking ads on their sites.

Video Advertising is Surging
Digital video spending soared 44 percent year over year, says a new report from Standard Media Index. At the same time, TV spending fell by 7% for broadcast and 8 percent for cable.

‘Highlights’ is Instagram’s New Initiative
Instagram has launched e-Mails reminding users what they may have missed in a bid to win back long-time users. The e-mails should drive users to the site, upping the online engagement, according to TechCrunch.

IP Video To Represent 80% of Global IP Traffic by 2019
Annual Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, according to the 10th annual Cisco® Visual Networking Index™ (VNI) Forecast . Factors expected to drive traffic growth include global increases in Internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine connections, faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services.

Twitter ‘Beaten’ by Beamly in Eurovision Engagement
TV social network site Beamly claims that it topped 9 million ‘engagements’ during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The figure is more than the 5.38 million Tweets that Twitter logged around the broadcast.

Homes With Satellite TV to Rise
Growth in emerging markets will help push the number of satellite pay TV homes globally up by over 60 million between now and 2020, according to a report by Digital TV Research. Four countries: India, the sector leader, the USA, Russia and Brazil, will account for over half the total.

Ooyala Adds Viewabilty Measure and Campaign Planning
Ooyala has introduced a new feature in its video ad campaign management workflow that enables clients to book campaigns based on ad completion, in addition to traditional CPMs.

Over Half of UK Homes Own a Tablet
More than half of UK homes now own tablet computers, reports communications regulator Ofcom. Figures are up from just 2 per cent in 2011 and the devices are particularly popular among people aged 35-54.

This Week on VAN:
Let’s Not Settle for Low Video Viewability Standards, read more on VAN

Why More Online Publishers are Creating Linear Experiences, read more on VAN

PowerLinks and Unruly Join the Dots on Native Video, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Vodafone NZ, FCB NZ, Piggy Sue

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