The WiR: RNTS Acquires Inneractive for $46 Million, Facebook Unveils ‘Canvas’, NBCUniversal to Sell Linear TV Programmatically

In this week’s Week in Review: Facebook released vertical video ads, NBCUniversal goes programmatic and Snapchat inks deal with Nielsen. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

RNTS Media Acquires Inneractive

RNTS Media, a mobile-focused holding company who own Fyber, a mobile ad tech platform, announced yesterday that it is to acquire Inneractive, a mobile ad exchange that focuss on display, native and video advertising, for $46 million in cash. The agreement also provides for potential earn-out and retention payments of up to USD 26 million upon achievement of certain ambitious growth targets over the next three years, which could bring the deal up to $72 million.

RNTS say the acquisition of Inneractive will make the RNTS group one of the largest, independent mobile supply-side platforms globally and the vision is to integrate the Inneractive offering with Fyber’s. Inneractive’s user reach currently stands at 630 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs), which when combined with Fyber’s 500+ million MAUs will significantly increase the addressable audience for the group’s demand partners.

Facebook Launches Canvas and Redesigns ‘Like’ Button
It was a busy week for Facebook, as they made their Emoji ‘reactions’ available globally across the platform and launched Canvas, a full-screen, video mobile format intended to be more engaging than traditional ads. ‘Reactions’ replaces the ‘like’ button so users can show a range of emotions in reaction to a post and is in response to a year of user surveys It’s also a smart way of avoiding a negative ‘dislike’ button. Canvas is similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, with ads loading ten times faster than a standard mobile website.

NBCUniversal to Starts Selling Linear TV Advertising Programmatically
NBCUniversal will be allowing programmatic buys on its linear networks, the company has announced. The launch of NBCUx for Linear TV comes after two years of selling its digital video and display inventory programmatically. It is an extension of NBCUx, which the company launched last year as a digital programmatic offering after making its digital video and display inventory available for programmatic buying two years ago.

Snapchat Inks Deal With Nielsen and Innovid
Snapchat has selected Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings to measure the audiences of its 3V advertising on mobile devices. The deal offers marketers third-party stats on their Snapchat ads, bringing Nielsen’s gravitas to the messaging company. Snapchat also used the Academy Awards to launch its Live Stories to the web, which allows users to watch videos out-of-app for the first time. Innovid clients will also be able to leverage Snapchat’s video ad unit and also access detailed performance metrics for video campaigns.

Google To Work With Vizio on Chromecast Streaming
With plans to challenge the Roku effect, Google has partnered with TV manufacturer Vizio on a series of new TV sets that offer Chromecast-like functionality out of the box. The new TVs won’t feature any traditional smart TV apps, but they will function just like Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, offering consumers the ability to watch online services like Netflix and Hulu on their TV sets, but with the streaming initiating from mobile devices.

Amazon Hints At Free Videos
With the release of the third season of ‘The Fashion Fund’, Amazon has hinted at the move into free videos as the show is currently available at no cost on, outside of the Amazon Prime world, but viewers must watch a few minutes of commercials for the privilege. Amazon would only say that Prime will remain ad-free.

TubeMogul to Offer Automatic Refunds for Non-Human Traffic
With the launch of its Non-Human Traffic Credit Program, TubeMogul has offered automatic refunds to advertisers for non-human traffic identified as fraudulent by White Ops. The refunds are available to platform clients that have a master services agreement (MSA) with TubeMogul. The news comes off the back of TubeMogul’s strong Q4 results, with revenue up to $180.7 million.

Twitter Lists ‘Live Streaming Video’ as Priority
In its annual report, Twitter has named live streaming as its top priority for 2016. Twitter has said that the category is “a strong complement to the live nature of Twitter,” and their efforts in live video will serve users and advertisers alike.

Instagram Attracts Over 200,000 Advertisers
Over 200,000 brands are using Instagram to advertise each month. The image sharing website has put the rise down to the massive growth that has been logged since scaling up its advertising at the end of 2015, to push integration with sister company, Facebook.

Worldwide Wearable Market Leaps Ahead in 2015
The worldwide wearables market leapt 126.9 per cent in Q4 2015 and 171.6 per cent for the entire year, based on units shipped, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Fitness tracker, Fitbit, lead the pack in 2015.

Mobile devices

Mobile Devices Account For Over Half Online Sales
Tablets and mobile phones now account for 51 per cent of UK online retail sales, according to new data from IMRG and Capgemini. Desktop and laptop accounted for 49 per cent of ecommerce sales, 33 per cent of sales came via tablets and 18 per cent via smartphones.

Newsy and SpotX Partner For Programmatic
Video platform, SpotX, has announced it has partnered with OTT video news service, Newsy, to monetise Apple’s new tvOS in response to increasing advertiser demand for connected TV video inventory. Newsy, whose Apple TV app was named a “Best of 2015” app by Apple, has chosen SpotX as a partner to power the sale of video ads programmatically on Apple TV.

WhatsApp Drops Mobile Platforms to Focus on iOS and Android
Facebook-owned messaging service, WhatsApp, will be cutting back on some of the mobile platforms it operates on in order to focus on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. About 70 percent of smartphones sold when WhatsApp launched in 2009 had operating systems offered by BlackBerry and Nokia, whereas today Google, Apple and Microsoft account for 99.5 percent of sales.

18-24s Most Likely to Block Ads
Over half of people using ad-blocking technology would turn it off to view content they want to see, a new survey from the IAB has found. Ad blocking has taken a sharp rise in the UK with those utilising some form of the software rising from 18 per cent of web browsers in October, to 22 per cent, and ad blocking was at its highest among 18-24 year olds.

IAB ad block

SuperAwesome Launches Kid-Safe Branded YouTube Content With Kidfluencer
Digital engagement platform for kids, SuperAwesome, has launched its first kid-safe branded network on YouTube to enable advertisers to safely target the valuable family/kid creators segment of the video sharing platform. Kidfluencer allows brands like Hasbro and Lego to target as many as 250m children a month, but in the knowledge that it won’t track children’s behaviour whilst guaranteeing the appropriateness and safety of content.

Facebook’s Moments App Adds Video Feature
To celebrate hitting the 400 million share milestone, Facebook has announced its ‘Moments’ app will now support videos. Facebook has also promoted Moments through the News Feed, something it doesn’t often do. The product was created by the company’s Creative Labs division, and the firm has been selling the benefits of the product to it’s one billion users via news feed promotions and integration with Facebook Messenger. Facebook have also confirmed that they are tweaking their News Feed to prioritise live video.

SourceKnowledge Raises $1.5 Million
Video advertising company, SourceKnowledge, has announced a $1.5 million financing round from BDC Capital, a subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada. The video ad platform says it will use the money for product development and building out its West Coast operations.

SnapChat Clocks Up 8 Billion Video Views
SnapChat has claimed the same amount of video views as Facebook, with 8bn views reported on the messaging service, according to reports. Chief Executive, Evan Spiegel, also revealed that the image-sharing app’s 100-million strong user base, spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes using the service each day.

PBS To Launch Kids Streaming Service
Educational content provider, PBS, will be releasing a 24/7 streaming service with their PBS Kids app. Provided by local stations, the free services include a new TV channel and live stream on digital platforms.

BBC Worldwide Signs VoD Deal in Korea
BBC Worldwide Asia has announced a Video on Demand (VOD) deal with BTV, an IPTV service in South Korea provided by one of the country’s largest telco operators, SK Broadband. The two year deal will include 600 hours of content ranging from drama, factual and natural history titles.

Telefónica Obliged to Share With Orange and Vodafone
The CNMC has made a decision that Telefónica is to share its FTTH networks at regulated prices with its competitors Vodafone and Orange across Spain, it has announced. The announcement means that Telefónica will have to cut its FTTH investments by 20 per cent and concentrate on those 66 cities out of the legal obligation. The news comes as Telefónica release their Q4 results, showing video revenue has risen by 14 per cent, and that video revenues for the full year amounted to €2.142 billion.

Voddler Group Partners With Conviva Over Streaming Commitment
OTT company, Conviva, has partnered with cloud streaming platform, Voddler Group, in order to create an online video delivery solution that guarantees the highest quality viewing experience on any device in any place. The focus of the partnership is on emerging markets, where broadband and connectivity can be a challenge.

India Converts 90 Per Cent To Digital
The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has said that its Phase II cable TV analogue-to-digital conversion process is going well, with over 90 per cent of India now converted.

Netflix Binge-Watching on Mobile to Get Easier
SVoD platform, Netflix, is about to make it easier to binge-watch shows on mobile devices, Chris Jaffe, Netflix’s vice president of product innovation, has announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The iOS app will begin auto-playing the next episode of the show a user is watching, encouraging them to stay within the app for longer.

Cablevision Video Customers Fall
Video customer results showed improvements for Cablevision, as shown in their Q4 results. Video customer results showed marked improvement in 2015 with 45,000 fewer losses than the prior year period.

Allegro DVT Launches AVS2 Compliance Streams
Video hardware platform, Allegro DVT, has announced the launch of new AVS2 compliance streams which allow validation of AVS2 decoders with the latest version of this video coding standard. It is expected that AVS2 will reduce the video bitrate by 50% without any loss in quality.

TV Everywhere Shifts To Connected Devices
TVE consumption is slowly moving toward connected devices, such as Apple TV and Roku, ADI’s Q4 Digital Video Benchmark report has shown. The report also shows that the iOS share of TVE decreased 20 per cent year over year, while connected devices saw 31 per cent growth.

Online Video Content Eats into Traditional TV
New forms of online video content are taking numbers away from traditional TV viewing, according to new data from Hub Entertainment Research. The report also found that 77 per cent of TV viewers with broadband access have watched online-only video in the past six months, with 88 per cent being among 16-24 year olds.

RR Media Merges With SES Platform
Digital media service, RR Media, has announced it has been acquired by SES and will merge its activities with SES Platform Services to form a new company providing media solutions. Once the regulatory approvals have been completed, RR Media and SES PS will be combined to create a new, stand-alone media services provider, offering full continuity and enhanced service to their existing customers.

Vivendi and Liberty Global Agree to End Litigation
Media group Vivendi has agreed to pay $775 million to Liberty Media Corp. to end allegations it hid its financial difficulties to inflate its stock ahead of a deal to buy Liberty’s stake in USA Networks Inc., nearly four years after a jury awarded Liberty $847.4 million. Vivendi maintains they did not commit any wrongdoing, and have only settled in order to move forward for both companies.

Intelsat Continues to Suffer
Intelsat has seen its share price fall a further 20 per cent, from $2.14 to $1.69, taking its market capitalisation down to $181 million. The fall means that Intelsat’s share price has tumbled over the past 12 months from $12.93 to its current $1.69.

A+E Networks Appoints Scripps Exec as VP
A+E Networks UK has appointed former Scripps Networks International executive, Matthew Westrup, to the new role of vice president, operations. Westrup, who takes up his new role in March, will oversee broadcast operations, media management, facilities and IT infrastructure for all A+E Networks channels across the UK, Ireland, Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Benelux, Eastern Mediterranean, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Everyflix Announces Streaming TV and Movie Launch
Everyflix has launched in the UK, claiming to be the first streaming TV and movie aggregator which sends personalised alerts based on what users like to watch. With Everyflix, viewers can find streaming movies and TV shows available on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and other online UK TV providers.

Amazon Could Launch in Australia
Amazon could use the relaunch of Top Gear to generate the maximum publicity to launch its Prime service in Australia, The Australian Financial Review has reported. If Amazon released a SVoD service in Australia, it would go head to head with rival Netflix and local competitors Stan and Presto.

Over Half of Impactful Ad Campaigns are Digital-Led
55 per cent of the top-ranked campaigns in the WARC 100 are digital-led, according to the 2016 WARC 100 report. The second ranked campaign, for Always, celebrated female empowerment with a campaign which included a video shared 1 million times within a month, and enhanced purchase intent in the process.

16 Per Cent of Spanish Homes Subscribed to Pay-TV For First Time
Despite Spain’s broadband households still exhibiting high incidences of cord shaving, cord cutting, and “cord nevers”, 16 per cent of Spanish homes have subscribed to Pay-TV for the first time, according to Parks Associates. The report shows that Spanish consumers are more likely than consumers in other Western European markets either to have never had pay TV or to have cancelled pay TV in favour of online video sources.

Parks Assoc

AMI and ConvertMedia Partner For Programmatic Outstream Video
American Media Inc. has announced it has partnered with video advertising platform, ConvertMedia, to deliver outstream video units. AMI will be the first publisher to use ConvertMedia’s new outstream video “Coffee Break Unit,” which is a desktop screensaver that plays when a viewer is idle or stops browsing in an active tab.

Reuters Launches Android TV App
Following the successful launch of Reuters TV for iPhone in 2015, as well as iPad, Apple TV and desktop versions, Reuters has announced it has launched a TV app for Android devices. Active users of Reuters TV on iPhone/iPad, the Web, and Apple TV tripled in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone.

UK Ad Expenditure to Keep Growing
UK ad expenditure is set to keep growing, with a strong 2015 followed by strong growth through 2018, according to Enders Analysis. Enders put a focus on the importance of Channel 4’s remit for diversity and experimentation and its impact upon the independent production sector.

Online Demand Growing for ITV
ITV has reported strong figures for Q4, with advertising revenue rising 6 per cent to £1.72 billion, with total revenue up 14 per cent to £3.38 billion. Over 2016, ITV experts to outperform the television advertising market and are expecting online, pay and interactive will again deliver double-digit revenue growth. Appoints Rashmi Paul and Richard Astley has appointed Rashmi Paul as UK Head of Publisher Services and Richard Astley as Head of Agency Partnerships. They join them from MediaCom UK and Videology respectively.

Bray Leino Appoints Nicola Roberts As Executive Creative Director
Creative comms agency, Bray Leino, has appointed Nicola Roberts, who is currently a creative director at M&C Saatchi’s Lida, as Executive Creative Director. Roberts will join the company in May.

iCrossing Hires Paula Jago as Head of UK Ops
Digital marketing service, iCrossing, has announced that Paula Jago will be their new Head of UK Operations. Jago joins iCrossing from the Professional Intelligence Academy, where she held the position of chief operating officer/chief of staff.

This Week on VAN: 

A First Look at Videology’s TV Enterprise Solution, read more on VAN

Video Soars as Display Declines for UK Publishers, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: smart, The Most Open Test-Drive, BBDO Berlin

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