WiR: Mediaset Poised to Close Vivendi Deal, Verizon Acquires Volicom and Integral Ad Science Launches Video Viewability Targeting

In this week’s Week in Review: Mediaset nears close of Vivendi deal, Verizon acquires Volicom and Integral Ad Science launches video viewability targeting. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Mediaset Nears Close of Vivendi Deal
In a move that would allow France to have even more of an influence over the Italian media, Mediaset is reportedly close to sealing the deal that will sell its pay-TV unit to Vivendi. Vivendi is reportedly seeking to buy Mediaset’s entire 89 per cent stake in the unit, for which it would pay half in cash and half in Vivendi shares. Vivendi, has also upped its stake in Telecom Italia to 24.9 per cent, making their stake in Telecom Italia just under the threshold that would force a takeover bid. Vivendi has more than tripled its holding on Telecom Italia in less than a year.

Verizon Enters Into Agreement To Acquire Volicon
Verizon has agreed to acquire video archive company Volicon. The move is set to further establish Verizon Digital Media Services as a key provider of technology and media services to the broadcast and online video industry.

Integral Ad Science Launches Video Viewability Targeting
MediaMath has become the first company to make Integral Ad Science’s new video viewability pre-bid segments available. The pre-bid segments allow advertisers to target specific viewability thresholds for video ads in programmatic buying.

OpenSlate’s New GRP Planning Tool Translates YouTube Views into TV
Social video analytics company, OpenSlate, has launched a tool that allows advertisers to program and size custom media networks on YouTube. The planning tool combines all of YouTube’s ad-supported inventory with an advertiser’s own definition of content quality, brand safety and subject matter, offering previously unseen insights into the world’s largest online video site.

Google’s Analytics Suite Chases Advertising Revenue
Google has released the beta launch of Google Analytics 360 Suite, a set of integrated data and marketing analytics tools, designed specifically for marketers at large companies that need to transition their practice to facilitate consumers’ multi-screen media consumption. The new analytics will allow marketers to see the entirety of their customers’ path to purchase, develop audience insights and enable a systematic company-wide approach to marketing activity through integration with a host of its other tools such as AdWords and DoubleClick. It will also allow access to third party platforms, which should enable marketers to take immediate action and drive business impact.

Instagram Changes Algorithms
Instagram will soon change its current formula of showing posts in chronological order, instead serving up pictures and videos with a personal, user-led algorithm based on what that user likes the most, in a move that’s similar to sister-company Facebook’s practice. Currently, users lose 70 per cent of content in their feed, and Instagram has been keen to change this, by sending e-mails listing posts missed by the user. This targeted approach, which has had success on Facebook, should allow users a more personalised approach to Instagram.

Shorter Video Ad Lengths Not Always More Popular
Increased consumption of snack-sized content has made shorter video ad formats more popular, but longer video ad formats have become increasingly prevalent as marketers start to invest in custom content created for digital platforms, a study from YuMe and IPG Media has found. The report explores the pros and cons of long and short format video advertising, with fifteen seconds being the shortest amount of time for making an impact on persuasion metrics.

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YouTube Gaming Expands
Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland can now enjoy YouTube Gaming, as the video streaming company expands the reach of its dedicated gaming offering. YouTube also announced a number of new design features for the service, which it said would make it easier for users to find and watch videos and live streams.

Mediaocean and Rubicon Partner For Digital Media Transaction Automation
Advertising software provider, Mediaocean, has partnered with Rubicon to offer a global automated guaranteed solution for its direct advertising business. The partnership aims to help scale automation efforts for the direct buying sector through the integration of Rubicon Project’s industry-leading Orders product with Mediaocean’s Prisma platform. 

Buzzfeed’s Swarm Further Monetises Its Social Reach
Online publisher, Buzzfeed, is distributing content through more channels in order to capitalise on their social media reach, and their new ad format, Swarm, is set to do this. Utilising six of its social media outlets, and the company’s Web and mobile properties, Swarm allows advertisers to run campaigns simultaneously through a multi-channel approach.

IAB Combats Ad-Blocking With Primer
The Internet Advertising Bureau UK wants to combat the rise of ad-blocking with their Publisher Ad-Blocking Primer, outlining the tactics publishers are successfully employing to persuade users to stop deploying ad blockers. The IAB Tech Lab has simultaneously released its ad-blocking detection script, which allows members to see, and to eventually engage with, visitors to their site who have ad-blockers on.

Snapchat Adds NowThis to Discover
Mobile communications company, Snapchat, has added another publishing partner, this time for its Discover section. Video-only publisher, NowThis, will be the 21st publisher partner for the messaging company.

YouTube Beats Facebook In Visitation Figures
Facebook has taken the lead when it comes to traditional metrics, such as membership and active useage, but YouTube has taken first place for visitation, according to the latest GWI Social report. The report shows that YouTube leads Facebook in 21 of the 33 markets tracked in the report. It’s a similar story by age, with YouTube ahead in every bracket.

Videology Launches Education and Feedback Portal
Videology has jumped straight into tackling ad fraud, with the launch of their new industry education and feedback portal. In partnership with White Ops, a global bot prevention company, Videology is hoping to educate people on the dangers of bots and fraud, and how to prevent or detect bots.

Napster Founder Plans SVoD Service
Music streaming company Napster’s co-founder, Sean Parker, is planning on creating an on-demand service that aims to shake up the theatrical film release window. Parker, who was also influential in Facebook’s establishment, reportedly wants the US studios to back his new venture, The Screening Room, which he is leading another tech entrepreneur, Prem Akkaraju.

VoD Services Expect Robust Growth in Asia Pacific
The global Video on Demand (VoD) service market was valued at $45,034.3 Mn in 2014, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.3 per cent over the forecast period by 2026, Future Marketing Insights has predicted. The advent of advanced LCD TVs integrated with built-in Internet connectivity, which enables users to access VoD directly from TV, is further contributing towards the growth of the VoD market in the developed economies, including the U.S. and Western European countries.

App Advertising to Hit $44 Billion
App advertising, using context and location targeting, will exceed $44 billion by 2020, according to new research from Juniper Research. The report has found that social apps provide invaluable information to advertisers, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram leading the social applications using mobile location data to target users.

Traditional TV Habits Influence Digital

Traditional TV is playing a central role in ushering in digital video services, a new report from eMarketer has found. Watching linear broadcast TV continues to be a popular pastime in the UK, and whilst digital viewing is becoming increasingly popular, the study found that online viewing appears to be in addition to traditional TV viewing.

Video Ad Views On Devices Overtakes Laptop/Desktop
Video ads have been viewed more on devices such as smartphones and tablets than on laptops or desktops for the first time, Freewheel’s Video Monetisation Report for Q4 2015 has found. Desktops and laptops accounted for 40 per cent of video ad views, but connected TV devices, smartphones and tablets combined accounted for 50 per cent of views.

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Asian Brands Switching More to Online Video
Three quarters of all buyers and sellers currently involved with video advertising in Southeast Asia increased their video budget in 2015, a report from AOL on the video advertising opportunities of the region has found. The report has also highlighted the adoption of programmatic video in the region, with more than 50 per cent of publishers surveyed said they were using programmatic to sell their premium video inventory.

U.S Multichannel Market Loses Over 1 Million Subscribers
Despite a resurgence in cable subscriptions and solid direct broadcast satellite results, the downward trajectory of the US multichannel segment continued in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to SNL Kagan. The report shows that the number of lost subscribers topped one million.

Over Half of Broadband Customers Engage in Second Screen
65 per cent of U.S broadband households engage in at least one second-second screen activity on at least a monthly basis, according to a new study from Parks Associates. According to the research, the second screen is most commonly used to find out information about the programme being watched.

New Players Drive Boost in Broadband Connections
Broadband connections in the UK are set to rise by 70 per cent over the next five years thanks to new players, the IHS has predicted. New players in the high-speed broadband market will boost connections from almost nine million at the end of 2015 to more than 15.5 million by the end of 2020.

Mobile Ad Spend To Surpass Desktop
Mobile ad spending in the UK continues to show strong growth and is expected to rise 35 per cent during 2016, according to the latest data from eMarketer. The report shows that the digital category will take the larger portion of the share, generating 53 per cent of the total sum, and the report has shown that mobile ad spend will surpass desktop for the first time in 2016.

Millennials Can’t Live Without YouTube or Netflix
Generation Zers are beginning to overtake millennials as the demographic for marketers, as younger audiences’ appetites for video are surpassing that of millennials, according to the annual Acumen Report from Defy Media. The report showed that 67 per cent of millennials watch YouTube, with digital content reigning. 13-24 year-old viewers spend 11.3 hours a week watching “free” online video and have said the internet is the dominant platform that delivers the experience and content more suited to their lifestyle.

Cord-Cutting Remains Muted
The thirteen largest pay-TV providers in the U.S have lost about 385,000 net video subscribers in 2015, compared to a loss of about 150,000 subscribers in 2014, and a loss of about 100,000 subscribers in 2013, according to the latest data from the Leichtman Research Group, Inc.. The report also showed that the top nine cable companies lost about 345,000 video subscribers in 2015.

Triple-Play Market Reaching Saturation Point
Triple-play bundles are reaching saturation point, with mature markets such as North America and Europe having an average communications subscription of almost two products to every customer, reports Ampere Analysis. The report shows that some customers have even been upsold to three products.

Portable Devices Account For 46 Per Cent of Online Viewing
The total number of programmatic transactions increased 160 per cent, Ooyala’s Global Video Index Report for Q4 2015 has shown. The report also highlights video consumption trends throughout Asia-Pacific,as five of the 15 Asia-Pacific countries analysed in the report usurp the global average of mobile video viewing, specifically on tablets. Mobile phones and tablets combined now represent 46 per cent of all online viewing across the globe, up from 34 per cent in Q4 2014.

Digital Ads Are Shifting To Mobile
The balance of digital ad delivery is shifting away from desktops/laptop computers to mobile and over-the-top devices, a new report from Viant has found. The report shows that the amount of digital ads being served to Internet-connected TVs grew six-fold in 2015, and the share of ads being delivered to computer devices continues to drop, with 18 per cent of ad impressions now coming from smartphones and tablets.

A Third of Netflix Users Don’t Pay
Thirty-one per cent of American who have access to Netflix don’t pay for it, a survey conducted by Survata for Quartz found. The survey found that 69 per cent of 13-17 year olds use someone else’s Netflix account.

North America Will Lose Fewer Pay-TV Subscribers
Pay-TV subscribers in North America will fall to 106m in 2021, according to data from the Digital TV North America Forecasts report. The peak year for pay-TV subscribers in North America, which includes Canada, was 2012, with 112m subscribers.

Meredith and Unconventional Studios Partner For Millennial Video
Millennials are the target for the partnership between Meredith Corporation and Unconventional Studios. The partnership is based on creating and distributing entertainment and lifestyle video content that resonates with the millennial audience.

Vimond Partners With Fastly
Norwegian broadband television provider, has partnered with content delivery network, Fastly, to provide a combined platform that processes live (or on demand) video streams using popular video formats, the moment the video is requested by a user.

Traditional TV Habits Influence Digital
Traditional TV is playing a central role in ushering in digital video services, a new report from eMarketer has found. Watching linear broadcast TV continues to be a popular pastime in the UK, and whilst digital viewing is becoming increasingly popular, the study found that online viewing appears to be in addition to traditional TV viewing.

Phablet Sales Driven by Video Views
The main drivers of purchasing phablet sized devices of 5.5” and above, are text visibility, viewing media (especially video), web browsing and productivity, Strategy Analytics has found. Phablets still come with inconveniences, such as their bulk and difficulty in using keyboards.

Broadstream Solutions Experiences Strong Results
Playout solution provider, Broadstream, has experienced the strongest growth yet, according to the company’s President and CEO. The company is now looking to strengthen its worldwide operations by bringing in new sales, marketing, operations and R&D experts to further expand its global reach and to better serve its growing customer base.

Mobile TV Booms in Japan
Japanese customers prefer watching TV and subscription services on mobile devices over other digital means, a study from Nielsen NetRatings Japan has found. In November 2015, Japan had 5.32 million smartphone viewers of VoD content, the report shows.

Yahoo Sports Partners With NHL For On-Demand and Live Games
Yahoo customers can access live, out-of-market National Hockey League (NHL) games for free on Yahoo, with the latest partnership between Yahoo Sports and the NHL. The strategic partnership introduces advertising opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences, alongside and within this live and on-demand sports contents.

Social Bro Rebrands
Social media marketing software company, has rebranded as Audiense, citing a commitment to provide deeper social media insight as the reason for the change. The company has said they have evolved with their customers as social medias change.

RTL Group Posts Record Results
Entertainment company, the RTL Group, has seen its revenue grow by 3.8 per cent in Q4 2015, driven by a revenue increase from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. The revenue has come from an even spread of places, with 53.7 per cent from broadcasting advertising on TV and radio, 22 per cent from content and 8.4 per cent from digital activities.

Wazee Creates B2B Portal for BBC Worldwide
Wazee Digital has created a B2B business content portal for BBC Worldwide in order to enhance the marketing of programs to broadcasters from around the world. The platform was built around the Wazee Digital Core platform, technology that manages all the tasks of video content acquisition, effective workflow, universal access, metadata management, and automated delivery to any affiliate on any screen.

RT Pulls in 70 Million Viewers a Week
In areas where RT broadcasts are available, 70 million people watch RT channels every week, according to a new study from Ipsos. The study of TV news consumption, was conducted in 38 countries out of the 100 plus that have RT broadcasts available, found that half of that number, around 35 million, watch RT daily.

YouTube Founder Creates Live Food Channel
Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, has released a new video platform that allows viewers to host their own food show. Nom, created by Chen and Vijay Karunamurthy, former engineering lead for YouTube, allowed viewers to host their own live food show, as well as ask questions with chefs and other viewers.

Dog Appoints Mike Mason As Chief of Operations
Independent agency Dog has appointed Mike Mason, formerly chief operating officer at DigitasLBi, as its chief of operations. Mason will be responsible for the design, implementation and continuous refinement of Dog’s global operational process across its offices in Glasgow, London, Singapore and Jakarta.

A+E Networks Appoints New Ad Sales Chief
Luke Duffy, previously head of trading at Viacom-owned terrestrial channel Channel 5, has been named as A+E’s VP of ad sales. Duffy, who will head A+E Networks’ UK-based sales team, will work across the History, Lifetime, Crime + Investigation and H2 brands in the UK and international markets.

This Week on VAN:

New Study Find that Publishers Need to Face Up to Mobile Ad-Bloat, read more on VAN

Hands on with the Thomas Cook Experience on the Samsung Gear VR, read more on VAN

Q&A: Innovid’s Zack Zigdon on Interactive TV Advertising, OTT and the Adoption of Tech by the Creative Agencies, read more on VAN

Coming Soon: the Global Publisher Focus and the StickyADS.tv 1to1 Roadshow, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Hitman, Kill this Ad, Omelet

Assassination video game Hitman has taken video ads to a new level of interactivity by implementing a ‘Kill This Ad’ option, which opens up branching narratives. Emulating the game’s hit missions, viewers are shown the Wolfshark, a man dubbed the King of Corruption, who the Hitman can dispose of in three ways.

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