The WiR: Google Launches AMP Project, Buzzfeed Launches a Video App and Mediaset Denies Talks with Vivendi

In this week’s Week in Review: Google launches AMP project, Buzzfeed launches a video app and Mediaset denies talks with Vivendi. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Google Launches AMP Project
Google has launched its Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) programme, which will speed mobile webpages up by 85 per cent. AMP utilises HTML tools to reduce mobile web page loading times, a benefit which will help load existing, or more data intensive, adverts. The aim of the initiative is that pages featuring video, animation and graphics will load faster, as rich content quite often populates the pages that are loaded on a daily basis.

Buzzfeed Launches Video App
Buzzfeed has created a video-only app, which is now available. Buzzed Video was launched by BuzzFeed founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and will be the place to binge-watch viral video clips, in addition to providing a platform for exclusive video releases.

Mediaset Refutes Vivendi Deal Talks
Italian TV company, Mediaset, has denied that they are taking part in an offer made by French company Vivendi for a majority stake in the pay TV unit of Mediaset. A spokesperson said the company was not in talks with Vivendi and that there was nothing new to report.

BT Welcomes Openreach Decision
BT says it welcomes Ofcom’s comments regarding the separation of BT’s Openreach network subsidiary and confirmed plans to build an even faster network and address slow speeds in the final five per cent of the country.

Liberty Global Teams Up With Twitter
Liberty Global is partnering with Twitter to integrate several features from the social media platform into its Horizon TV service, it has been reported. The launch brings its own TV app, Watch with Twitter, as well as a new feature via the Horizon Go mobile app, allowing customers to Tweet TV recommendations.

YouTube Launches NextUp 2016
YouTube will select up to 360 channels around the world to take part in its 2016 NextUp contest, it has announced. The annual scheme has been running since 2011, and is designed to help video makers on the site “turbocharge their YouTube channels”. It has so far helped 250 YouTube creators from 15 countries to date.

Foursquare’s New Tool Measures Foot Traffic Generated by Digital Ads
The social/location discovery platform, Foursquare, is going after retail marketing budgets and promising to connect digital ads from across the Web and mobile apps with visits to physical stores, with their new tool, Attribution Powered by Foursquare. Foursquare most recently used Attribution to follow trends during the Superbowl.

Ericsson Joins Twentieth Century Fox’s Innovation Lab
Ericsson is to become a partner in Twentieth Century Fox’s Innovation Lab, the communications company has announced. The Innovation Lab is an initiative dedicated to raising and accelerating the bar for next generation content and devices. Ericsson have also announced the launch of their ‘OTT Cloud Connect’ service for mobile, which is a cloud service that allows mobile operators to offer OTT services from multiple providers.

Snapchat Launches Shorts With Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival has partnered with Snapchat, who are inviting its users to create humorous videos no longer than 200 seconds, the festival has announced. Snapchat users can film their entries using Snapchat’s Story function, which strings together short clips and photos.

MobasEngage Appoints Social Media Expert
The PR and content division of Mobas Group, have appointed social media specialist Neil Coomber-Webb to enhance and expand their range of services. Neil has spent the last three years at Greene King, providing strategic direction and managing hundreds of sites for the business and its multiple brands.

Contently Acquires Docalytics
Content marketers, Contently, have announced they have acquired Docalytics, a download tracking company that provides sales and marketing teams with detailed data on how people engage with downloadable content like PDFs and sales materials. Integrating Docalytics into Contently’s software will allow Contently customers to track engagement on downloadable content, thereby getting a deeper understanding of how well their content investment is paying off.

BT Welcomes Openreach Decision
BT says it welcomes Ofcom’s comments regarding the separation of BT’s Openreach network subsidiary and confirmed plans to build an even faster network and address slow speeds in the final five per cent of the country.

Digital Tech Sector Growing Faster Than Any Other
In turnover, the UK’s Digital Tech Industries are growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the UK economy, the Tech Nation 2016 report has shown. The report also said that The Digital Tech Industries are creating employment opportunities and accounting for 1.56M jobs across the UK.

Economic growth

Viacom Velocity Launches Targeted ‘Viewprint’
Viacom Velocity have launched their new tool that tracks fan passion and affinity across multiple social, linear, and digital platforms, called Viewprint. Viacom Velocity have said that Viewprint will enable the Velocity team to better develop and target custom campaigns for clients.

Snapchat Show Marketers App-Install Data
Snapchat is looking to keep marketers happy by providing insights around Snapchat’s recently launched app-install ads, reports have claimed. Snapchat is reportedly working with data company Tune in order to provide the stats.

AOL Appoints Chief Mobile Officer
AOL has appointed a new mobile chief, who has been given the task of growing the company’s revenue and competing with the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter for the mobile markets. Mark Connon previously worked at Millennial Media, where he served as EVP, Platform Business. His newly created role at AOL as Chief Mobile Officer of AOL Platforms & Advertising means Connon will be leading AOL’s progressive mobile strategy to ignite innovation and grow revenue for the company’s global mobile offerings.

Facebook Creates VR Team
Facebook has announced it has created a “social VR” team to explore virtual-reality technology’s potential beyond games, as it prepares for the consumer launch of its Oculus Rift VR headset. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed the plans in a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress press conference, while talking up the popularity of 360-degree videos on Facebook, and on Samsung’s Gear VR headset, which uses technology from Oculus. There have also been reports that Facebook is loosening its video ad ban for publishers.

AppNexus Increases Video Market Charge With Teads and StickyAds
AppNexus has continued its push into video by announcing the launch of its open marketplace for video inventory and introduced its extensive supply of outstream inventory, both proprietary and third-party. This involves tie-ins with companies that include and Teads, it’s been reported. Through its outstream supply, AppNexus’ marketplace empowers all publishers — not just video publishers — to auction video inventory with customisation and control across desktop, mobile, and native.

Facebook “Could Monetise Messenger”
A document that was reportedly leaked from Facebook has shown that the social media giant plans to introduce adverts in its messenger service in Q2 2016. The document apparently says that businesses will soon be able to send adverts to users who have previously voluntarily chatted with them in the past. Facebook haven’t confirmed this but have made it clear that its users won’t be receiving any unwanted or spam messages.

Financial Times Appoints Shazam’s VP of Product
The Financial Times has announced that Cait O’Riordan is its chief product and information officer (CPIO), responsible for product and technology across the FT Group. O’Riordan has most recently been Shazam’s VP of product and oversaw the BBC’s cross-platform digital product for the London 2012 Olympics, which set new digital standards for live-event coverage.

Web Brands Drive Record TV Ad Spend
TV advertising spend topped £5bn for the first time in 2015, according to a report from Thinkbox. The growth was driven in part by online brands like Netflix, Facebook and Google which focused more than £500m into getting on TV screens last year, a study has found.

Native Ads to Make Up Bulk of Digital Display Media
More than half of the display media bought across Europe by 2020 will be made up of native ads, a report from Yahoo and Enders has predicted. The report shows that, as display media’s share of the media market dwindles, mobile and social are becoming more influential, particularly when it comes to the mass adoption of native ads in the coming years; mobile native spend is set to reach €8.8bn by 2020.

Synacor Acquires Technorati
Multiscreen and monetisation for video company, Synacor, has announced it has acquired advertising company Technorati, for an undisclosed sum. Synacor is hoping to add 1,000+ publishersm which are served by Technorati, to create 100+ million monthly unique visitors to Synacor’s advertising reach, half of which are mobile.

Advertisers Increasingly Using TV Data for Video Buys
There has been a 114% increase year-over-year in digital video campaigns that leveraged TV audience data to target with, Videology’s “4th Quarter U.S. Video Market At-A-Glance” report has found. The report showed that marketers are leveraging their TV advertising plans to inform their digital video ad buys. and that in Q4, 56 per cent of advertisers chose to optimise their campaigns towards viewable rates.

Inneractive Hits $100 Million Run Rate
Native and video advertiser, Inneractive, has seen a 196 per cent increase in video revenue in 2015, as it celebrates breaking the $100 million run rate mark towards the end of the year. Inneractive currently processes over 1.5 million requests per second.

Teads Announces Record Revenue
Native video monetisation platform, Teads, have reported record revenue for 2015, reporting a revenue of $144 million representing a 50 percent organic growth year-over-year. The company was EBITDA-positive for the fourth year in a row, and thanks to the availability of its inRead video technology on iOS and Android, for mobile web and in-App, Teads’ reach has grown up to 745 million monthly unique visitors, including 425 million on mobile and 320 million on desktop.

FCC Proposes to “Unlock the Box”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a proposal to “unlock” the set-top-box, it has announced. The proposal would pave the way for software, devices, and other solutions to compete with the set-top boxes that a majority of U.S. consumers lease from pay-TV providers today.

U.S Pay-TV Subscribers Dropped in 2015
The six leading pay-TV services collectively lost 781,000 subscribers over the year, according to January’s informitv Multiscreen Index. The top six gained 125,000 subscribers overall in the last quarter of 2015, and whilst four of the six leading services lost television subscribers over the year, only 2 reported subscriber losses in the last quarter.

JW Player Launches Apple App TV Builder
Mobile video platform, JW Player, has announced its Apple TV App Builder, an open-source product within its platform. The Apple TV App Builder enables JW Player customers to develop a customised app for new Apple TV devices (fourth generation) with no coding and minimal configuration.

Akamai Launches Predictive Content Delivery
Akamai technologies have announced the launch of their Predictive Content Delivery solutions. The new solutions are designed to optimise content delivery and on-device caching to improve video quality and enable offline viewing, and are intended to help solve the challenges of HD quality video distribution to mobile devices across all networks.

Simplestream Demos Live-to-VoD Solutions
Live-to-VoD and streaming solutions have been demoed by Simplestream at the UK’s BVE expo. The live-demo will reveal how entertainment providers such as QVC, Box Plus Network, Turner and sports customers such as At The Races, Racing UK and Box Nation are delivering premium quality streaming with increased efficiency.

Intelsat Experiences Drop in Revenue
Intelsat’s revenue has dropped from $619 million to $571 million, looking at the same period last year, as Intelsat reports its Q4 2015 results. Intelsat’s management have said they were expecting the drop, based on trends and previous guidance, which saw pricing pressures in certain regions and continued reductions in US governmental spending, plus continued currency challenges from some markets.

Nokia Joins Telecom Infra Project
Together with Facebook, Intel, Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe, SK Telecom and other operators, Nokia has joined the Telecom Infra Project as a founding member, it has announced. The overall target of TIP is to accelerate sustainable global growth of high quality, scalable and affordable telecommunications infrastructure by driving innovation in collaboration with the industry.

Jon Steinberg Launches Millennial Platform, Cheddar
Former Buzzfeed president, and CEO of Daily Mail US, Jon Steinberg, has launched Cheddar, a new startup which is positioned as a CNBC for Millennials. Cheddar’s role is of a news source where the digital video will be made for streaming on smart TVs rather than on mobile devices or Snapchat.

RR Media Appoints Former WRN Broadcast CEO
David Treadway has been named as the joint MD for RR Media in Europe, the company has announced. Previously, David Treadway was CEO of WRN Broadcast, and he has held a number of senior executive roles at Virgin Media, 3i plc and the BBC.

Hulu Japan Inks Deal With HBO
Hulu Japan has agreed a deal with Time Warner-owned HBO to deliver HBO’s content to Hulu Japan’s customers, such as Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, Time Warner has announced. Hulu in Japan will have exclusive subscription video on demand rights to hundreds of hours of programming from HBO’s library.

Pixability Enables Unified Video Ad Buying
Video ad tech company, Pixability, has released v4 of its platform, which enables unified video ad buying across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Combining these premium video platforms provides advertisers the reach of television while overcoming the limitations of open web video, and v4 aims to bring these together with their data-driven approach, making video ad campaign management simple and effective, and unlocks the potential of unified, KPI-driven video advertising.

Connected TV Users To Continue Climbing
By the end of 2016, connected TV users will have grown by 17 per cent, and a further 11 per cent by 2017, according to findings from eMarketer. Games consoles are still set to command the most users, at 54.3 million. eMarketer has also reported that the U.S digital video advertising market is on pace to nearly double by 2019.

Ad spend

AMC Networks Employs NexGuard Watermarking
AMC Networks is deploying the NexGuard forensic watermarking system at its New York, NY facilities, the watermarking company has announced. AMC owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television, including AMC, WE tv, BBC AMERICA, SundanceTV and IFC.

Malaysians Prefer YouTube to TV
More than half of Malaysians prefer YouTube content to TV, according to a report from TNS Research for YouTube has found. The survey, conducted in collaboration with Google, found that millennials aged 16 to 34 prefer the video platform over conventional options.

Warner Bros to Aquire Streaming Service DramaFever
Time Warner-owned Warner Bros, has announced it has signed an agreement to acquire DramaFever, a streaming SVoD service. DramaFever is a U.S.-based company that operates subscription and on-demand video services, including its flagship DramaFever channel.

Global Media Technology Revenues Decline
The total market for media technology products and services declined 4.3 per cent in 2015, according to the 2016 Global Market Valuation and Strategy Report, published by IABM DC, a joint venture between IABM and Devoncroft Partners.

ProSiebenSat.1 Posts Strong Results
ProSiebenSat.1 has posted strong results for 2015, with the German TV company reporting 13.4 per cent year-on-year increase in revenues of €3.3 billion. In Germany, it claimed a 44 per cent market share and said the buoyant ad market had driven its strong performance.

Over 50 Per Cent To Use Facebook This Year
Facebook will see over half of the UK population logging on this year, according to findings from eMarketer. In 2016, an estimated 50.5 per cent of UK residents will log on to the social network at least once a month, up from 49.5 per cent in 2015.

This Week on VAN:

Why It May Cost Publishers More to Prioritise Revenue over User Experience, read more on VAN

NBC Universal Launch Programmatic Linear TV Advertising, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Moyee Fairchain Coffee, End of Days, Canning
A brilliant riff on the idea of fairness from a ridiculously cheerful coffee producer. This had us giggling over our laptops this week.  

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