The WiR: Vivendi and Mediaset Negotiations Turn Sour, Verizon to Acquire Yahoo’s Operating Business and Improve Digital Rolls Out Full Video Proposition

In this week’s Week in Review: Verizon to acquire Yahoo’s operating business, Vivendi and Mediaset negotiations continue and Improve Digital rolls out full video proposition. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Vivendi and Mediaset Negotiations Turn Sour
French media group Vivendi is reportedly seeking to pull out of a deal to takeover Mediaset. Its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine informed Mediaset Management of significant differences in the analysis of its subsidiary, Mediaset Premium’s results, for which the two companies are currently in negotiations. In addition, the Group made a proposal to Mediaset to come to a new agreement, under different terms, so as to pursue discussions. Mediaset however, have suggested the deal with Vivendi was derailed, “out of the blue”, when Vivendi decided not to buy the premium (pay-TV) asset a month ago. Vivendi seemingly wants only 20 per cent of Mediaset Premium, instead of the originally proposed 100 per cent. The uncertainty has sparked a large sell off in Mediaset shares.

Verizon to Acquire Yahoo’s Operating Business
Verizon Communications Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo’s operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Read more on VAN.

Improve Digital Hires Top Video Execs and Rolls Out Full Video Proposition
Improve Digital has released a full video solution including ad serving, full reporting capabilities and integration with major video demand sources. They have also on boarded 75 new team members in the last five months who will be responsible for developing the company’s programmatic video offering following investment by Swisscom. These hires include Kyra Steegs as Senior Director Video, and Harold van Asdonk, Director Business Development.

Facebook’s Staggering Growth Continues

Facebook posted another set of staggering results for Q2 of this year. Advertising revenue was up by 63 percent to $6.23 billion, which is an astonishing achievement considering Facebook’s pre-existing scale. Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 84% of advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2016, up from approximately 76% of advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2015.  Daily active users (DAUs) were 1.13 billion on average for June 2016, an increase of 17% year-over-year, while monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.71 billion as of June 30, 2016, an increase of 15 percent year-over-year.

Google Sees 21 Percent Rise in Revenues

Google saw 21 percent revenue growth year on year, and 25 percent on a constant currency basis. Here’s a breakdown of the revenue sources:

Google Revenue Sources

Guardian News and Media Unveil New Programmatic Offering
Guardian News and Media (GNM) has unveiled Pulse, a new programmatic offering that will let advertisers target its most engaged users by identifying popular content on the site, and then offering brands the ability to message them. Advertisers can also contextually target across the Guardian’s verticals such as travel, finance and life and style for maximum impact.

People Are Spending More Time on Pokemon Go Than Snapchat
Gaming phenomenon “Pokémon Go” is proving it can retain users and keep them playing. Analytics company 7Park Data says that users spent an average of 75 minutes in the app during its first week of release. In addition, Pokémon Go users continued to spend around 35 minutes on the Facebook app, 19 minutes on YouTube, and about 9 minutes on Snapchat on a daily basis.


Twitter Warns that Advertiser Demand is Falling and the Stock is Crashing
Twitter’s stock is crashing, down 10 per cent in after-hours trading, after delivering a revenue forecast that fell short of expectations. Twitter blamed the slowdown on increasing competition for social-marketing budgets and the fact that the prices it charges to advertise on its service is higher than others. Q2 revenue was $602 million, up 20 per cent year-on-year, and short of the $607 million expected by analysts.

BT to Retain Openreach
BT will not have to sell off its Openreach broadband division despite concerns that it has been starved of investment and provides a poor quality of service to millions of homes. The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has instead ordered BT to give more independence and investment powers to Openreach.


Augmented Reality Next Step for Floundering Apple
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has told investors that augmented reality is going to be “huge” and that the company is investing in the technology. The comments came during an earnings call to discuss the results of the company’s third financial quarter, the three months ending 30 June, in which the company earned $42.4bn in revenue, a 15 per cent decline from the same period last year. It’s the second consecutive quarter that Apple has reported a revenue decline, following a streak of uninterrupted growth since 2003.

China’s Online Video Market to Quadruple
The Chinese online video market, including revenue from advertising and content purchases, is forecast to more than quadruple from 22 billion Chinese yuan (€3.1bn) in 2015 to 96.2 billion yuan in 2020 according to IHS Markit. With the rapid adoption of smartphones and growing penetration of broadband, Chinese consumers are gradually switching from TV to online for video content.

Nielsen Integrates Viewability’s Big Three Into Digital Ad Ratings
Nielsen is integrating three of the leading “viewable impression” verification providers, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat, into its digital media ratings system. Nielsen did not say if and when other “viewability providers” would be integrated. Nielsen clients can determine which provider’s estimates to factor, but the integration will enable them to calculate the delivery of “viewable, human, demographic ad metrics within Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings using a single tag,” the company said.

IAB Reveals Steps Taken to Solve Digital Advertising’s Biggest Issues
One year after launching its “IAB Believes” initiative, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK is publishing a summary of the progress made to tackle the five biggest issues facing digital advertising: brand safety, viewability, ad-fraud, (all ad verification issues), ad blocking and privacy (both consumer-led issues). The full list of steps taken is available on the IAB website.

ITV Increases Profits, Announces Cuts
ITV has increased its pre-tax profits for the first six months of the year by 9 per cent to £425m as growth at its production arm offset stalling TV ad revenues. However, it says it plans to cut costs by £25m by 2017 in response to uncertainty over the fallout from the UK’s Brexit vote. Total external revenues across the group were up by 11% to £1.5bn for the six months to the end of June, driven primarily by a 31% rise in revenues from ITV Studios, which makes programmes for both ITV and other broadcasters around the world.

Comcast Down Five Per Cent
Comcast reported a 5 per cent drop in quarterly profit with lower film division sales, but growth in its business services and high-speed internet units.

Intelsat Down Nine Per Cent in Q2
Intelsat’s revenue picture continues to suffer, with a 9 per cent decline in its Q2 revenues of $473 million (€430m) and Adjusted EBITDA income of $411 million.

Sky Italia to Lose 36 Per Cent of Value by 2020
Sky Italia is set to lose 36 per cent of its value over the next five years, going from £2.6 billion (€ in 2014 to £1.6 billion in 2020, according to ‘The Boiling Front’ report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The report indicates that the number of pay-TV subscribers will grow from the around 7 million in 2016 to 9.5 million in 2020.

SVoD Revenues to Double by 2021
Revenues from SVoD services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, are set to more than double from $14.6 billion (€13.2bn) this year, to $34.6 billion in 2021 according to data from Juniper Research. Netflix now has US subscriber numbers that are level with the nation’s leading network providers DirecTV and Comcast (47 million and 47.7 million respectively).

Online Revenues Still Trail Traditional TV
A report examining changes in television viewing behaviour across broadcast and digital platforms has found that Italians watch more TV than any other country and that online revenues in 2015 were just 3 per cent of total television revenues in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. IHS Markit published findings from its study across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Young Brits Prefer Laptop Viewing
TV sets are still the preferred viewing device for video-based content among the UK adult online population overall, but younger adults show significant deviation from this trend, according to GfK’s international ViewScape study. UK adults spend two-thirds (65 per cent) of their total viewing time watching video content via TV sets. Only a fifth (20 per cent) of total viewing is via PCs or laptops. For those aged 18 to 24, the picture is quite different and the majority of their viewing time is spent on PCs or laptops. This accounts for 41 per cent of their total video viewing, while viewing on a TV set accounts for just over a third (35 per cent).

Pay-TV Subs ‘Want to Take Summer Off’
Today’s subscribers are looking for greater flexibility from their TV packages according to research from Paywizard. Increasingly, pay-TV customers are demanding a better experience at each of the key ‘Decision Moments’ along their subscriber journey, particularly when it comes to changing their subscription packages.

Havas Launches Third Full Media Network, FullSix 
Havas Group has launched its third full-service media network operating alongside Havas Media and Arena Media. The new network, dubbed FullSix Media, was created on the foundation of FullSix Group, a Paris-based digital marketing services shop it acquired last year for $75 million. The new network, which launches Sept. 1, integrates FullSix with Havas’ preexisting Forward Media unit, to form a new global media services practices with operations across Europe, Latin America and the US.

In-app Revenue 13x Higher than Mobile Web Ads
In-app ads are more than 13 times as valuable as mobile web ads in APAC, according to an Opera Mediaworks study. While the two produce a comparable volume of impressions, apps produce more than double the CTR of web and 13.5 times as much revenue.

In app

Teads Launches 360 Degree Outstream Video Format
Teads have launched inRead 360, a 360 format which allows advertisers to serve interactive and immersive online video ads to tell their story through publishers’ sites.

LeEco Acquires VIZIO for $2bn
Global technology company LeEco and connected entertainment platform VIZIO have agreed a deal which will see LeEco acquire VIZIO for $2 billion (€1.82bn). The VIZIO hardware and software businesses will be owned and operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of LeEco, while the VIZIO data business, Inscape, will spin out and operate as a separate, privately owned company.

Quiptel Hong Kong Agrees Terms of Sale with Falcon
Orbital Multi Media Holdings Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Quiptel Hong Kong Limited, an OTT Video Streaming Technology, has agreed terms and entered into exclusive discussions to sell 100 per cent of the group to Falcon Acquisitions.

This Week’s New Partnerships:

Mail Brands UK Opens Up Data in Deal with Infectious Media
Mail Brands UK has struck a deal with programmatic agency Infectious Media to build out its audience extension capabilities. It will now allow advertisers to take its consumers’ online activity and use that data to understand and reach relevant audiences elsewhere online. MailOnline will collect and segment its own website and app data as part of the deal to ensure that its information is both accurate and compliant with privacy regulations.

Riedel Communications Joins AIMS
AIMS has announced that Riedel Communications is the latest media technology company to join the alliance. Riedel Communications is a specialist in real-time networks for audio video and communications applications.

This Week’s New Hires:

New Strategy Director for Digital UK
Digital UK has appointed Simon Hunt as Strategy and Business Development Director, Hunt will be responsible for strategic and business-related activities at the company. He previously held positions at Virgin Media, Talk Talk and Sling TV in the US.

Oona King to Become YouTube’s Global Director of Diversity
Labour peer Oona King is to become YouTube’s global director of diversity. Google would not confirm the move, but it is understood she has agreed to take up the post and is on a leave of absence from the Lords.

This Week on VAN:

Taboola’s CEO: ConvertMedia Acquisition will Enable Taboola to Become One of the Top Five Global Players in Video, read more on VAN

The Tech Sessions: Things to Consider When Evaluating a Video SSP, read more on VAN

Finally, Verizon’s Acquisition of Yahoo is Officially Announced, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Rexona, Who is Barry Ogden? J. Walter Thompson Sydney

Just who is Barry Ogden and why is he so famous? Rexona Australia reveals all in this funny series of videos.

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