The WiR: Viant to Acquire Adelphic, Adform and Verizon “Restructure” Teams, £8 Billion Wiped Off BT’s Value


In this week’s Week in Review: Viant to acquire Adelphic, Adform and Verizon “restructure” teams, Facebook opens incubator and rethinks ‘Live’ incentivisation. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

Time Inc.’s Viant To Acquire Adelphic
Marketing company Viant, who use first-party data and programmatic technology for ad targeting and was bought by Time Inc., has acquired programmatic ad-tech company Adelphic. Adelphic is demand-side platform that helps brands plan and manage mobile and digital campaigns, and will help Viant advertisers target groups of consumers across Time Inc.’s properties more precisely.

Adform and Verizon Restructure Teams
Adform and Verizon have been laying off staff as they restructure their teams. Adform has cut back on approximately eight per cent of its total headcount (thought to affect just under 70 people) with exits understood to have taken place across various tiers of the company, including a number of senior executives. Verizon has dismissed 155 employees who were working on the Go90 video streaming app. Verizon will focus  being rebuilt by the team that came to the company with Vessel.

BT Shares Fall By £8 Billion
BT’s stock market value fell by almost £8bn over the course of Tuesday, as the company revealed that the impact of an accounting scandal in its Italian business had been nearly four times worse than originally thought. In October 2016 BT had written down £145m on BT Italia after it had discovered “certain historical accounting errors and reassessed certain areas of management judgement”. Prosecutors in Milan have reportedly launched an investigation into allegations of alleged false accounting and embezzlement.

The Week in TV

Yahoo and Verizon Deal Pushed Back
Yahoo’s Q4 results have shown improvement in some sectors from the past few years, with mobile and desktop revenue up for Q4 and full year 2016 in most elements of mobile. However, due to issues surrounding 2016’s data breach scandal, its sale to Verizon has now been pushed back to potentially 2017 Q2.

Sprint Acquires 33 Per Cent of TIDAL
Telecommunications company Sprint has purchased a 33 per cent stake in TIDAL. Sprint, co-owned by celebrity artists, hopes to provide its retail customers with exclusive content that isn’t available to other Tidal subscribers.

Nearly a Third of US Consumers Watch Pirated Video
32 per cent of American consumers watch pirated video, according to a report from Irdeto. Of this group, 24 per cent are most interested in TV shows, with sports and SVOD content further down the list.

One In Five Americans Won’t Watch Pay-TV In 2017
One in five US adults will not watch traditional pay TV programming in 2017, according to eMarketer’s new estimates. The total number of households subscribing to cable, satellite, or telco TV packages will drop 0.7 per cent.

Mediaset Leads Streaming in Spain
Mediaset, owner of Tele 5 and Cuatro among other channels, is the Spanish TV group with the largest Internet video consumption, according to Comscore. In 2016, around 489 million minutes of Internet video were consumed through Mediaset websites.

Online Video and TV Lines Continue to Blur
The growth of online video is eating into the time spent with traditional television, the Reuters Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions Report 2017 has suggested. The report also predicts that Facebook Live won’t retain its current level of interest, as “Live video is an inherently inefficient way of conveying information at a time when attention is increasingly at a premium.”

The Week in Publishing

Huge Network of Twitter Bots Uncovered
A massive collection of fake accounts are lying dormant on Twitter, according to research obtained by the BBC. Analysis of the data revealed some strange results that, when probed further, seemed to reveal lots of linked accounts, suggesting one person or group is running the botnet.

Many Brands’ Snapchat Accounts Currently Dormant
Although Snapchat adoption among brands increased throughout 2016, many of these branded accounts lay dormant once they were opened, a report from L2 has found. The report found that the percentage of brands that have a Snapchat account increased across all verticals between January and September 2016, but many have now been abandoned as brands struggle to find content for the app. Only 67 per cent of accounts were active in October 2016.

However, the world’s largest advertising firm, WPP, has said that its clients spent $90m on the platform during 2016; despite initially forecasting a budget of $30m. Snapchat’s revenue in 2016 was forecast to be $350 million, but it is now likely that the social media company’s figure will be higher.

UK Tech Not “Immune” to Brexit
British employers in digitally intensive industries are particularly reliant on overseas talent, with 45 per cent of recent vacancies filled by foreign-born workers, techUK has found. Amid worries that Britain’s technology sector risks being forgotten amid the rush to preserve traditional industries, techUK has shown that in software and computer services, nearly a quarter of UK workers were born overseas, and the share from European Union countries has grown fastest due to more restrictive immigration rules for foreigners from elsewhere.

Vine Relaunches as “Vine Camera”
Twitter-owned Vine has shut down and relaunched as “Vine Camera”. Users of the short-form format can keep taking six-second videos but it is now through the Twitter platform. The app now lets users save Vine loops to their phones and post them directly on Twitter.

Social Platforms Saw 2016 Visibility Gains
Content from social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook saw some of the biggest gains in US search visibility in 2016, according to the Searchmetrics Winners and Losers Report.  Searchmetrics calculates this score by monitoring the organic search results of millions of keywords.

VR Data Centre Created
Users of Kaon Interactive have created a B2B VR data centre to explore and interact with products and configure the space and equipment as it applies to their needs. The platform is used to amplify their customer engagement.

3.9 Billion People Have Never Been Online
More than half the world’s population have never been online, according to the ITU research report, “Connecting the Unconnected”. The report shows that the demographic is “disproportionately female, rural and poor.”

Publishers Made 14 Per Cent of Revenue From Distributed Content
Third party platforms are only returning 14 per cent of revenue for publishers, The Distributed Content Revenue Benchmark Report has found. The report found that the majority of publishers’ distributed revenue came from YouTube, followed by Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

The Week in Ad Tech

Dailymotion Set to Launch Personal Video App
Vivendi-owned video company Dailymotion looks set to launch a new app in April as part of a strategy to create a video destination designed around people’s tastes. The app will be designed to push videos to users based on their personal requirements.

Facebook Dominates Social Media, Opens Incubator and Rethinks ‘Live’ Incentivisation
Nearly 177 million adults engaged with a social media platform in Q3 of 2016, according to the Nielsen Social Media Report, with Facebook showing dominance. Generation X (ages 35-49) spends the most time on social media, which is almost seven hours per week, which is about 39 minutes more than Millennials. The report also shows that thirty per cent of consumers use their smartphone several times a day whilst watching TV.

Around 15 startups are also to be involved with Facebook on new projects at their new incubator based in an abandoned listed train station in Paris. The startup has been launched by social network’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Cisco Intends to Acquire AppDynamics
Cisco intends to acquire AppDynamics for approximately $3.7 billion in cash and assumed equity awards. AppDynamics will continue to be a led by CEO David Wadhwani as a new software business unit in Cisco’s IoT and Applications business.

YuMe Launches Vertical Mobile Video Format
Video advertising company, YuMe, has created an immersive mobile vertical video ad format for brands and advertisers. The customisable vertical video ad format enables video ads to fit more naturally within the mobile experience as full-screen video that is viewed in portrait mode.

Mobile Data Startups Receive Funding
In separate funding rounds, AppsFlyer has received a $56m investment, and Zeotap has got a $12.7m injection. The funding shows that investors are still keen for companies that can help solve difficulties with cross-screen advertising.

Viaccess-Orca Acquires BigHill
Finland-based mobile video BigHill has been acquired by Viaccess-Orca. Adding a mobile TV app solution to its rich product and solutions portfolio will allow Viaccess-Orca to offer content providers an end-to-end solution for a rich and immersive content experience on any device.

Four Out of Five Smartphone Users Check Phones As They Wake Up
Consumers are reaching for their smartphones within fifteen minutes of waking up, smsglobal have found. The report suggests that the consumer reliance on texting, with an estimated 561bn text messages sent worldwide, is contributing to that trend.

Personal Details Being Sold For as Little as Four Pence
Potential nuisance callers and would-be scammers may be able to buy sensitive personal and financial information for as little as  four pence a record, an undercover study from Which? has shown. Undercover researchers uncovered numerous examples of irresponsible behaviour and were able to discuss buying personal information for more than half a million people aged 50 and over.

The Week for Agencies

Marketers Believe Adblockers Will Improve The Industry
Over three-quarters of marketing professionals believe that adblocking will be positive for the industry, according to a YouGov survey of The Chartered Institute of Marketing members. Those questioned said adblocking will force marketers to be more creative when it comes to engaging with customers.

Marketers To Increase Innovation and Cross-Channel Initiatives
Technology innovation is considered a key priority for 2017, according to a recent report from Yes Lifecycle Marketing. The report has found that 40 per cent of brands will implement cross-channel attribution initiatives in 2017.

“Online Video” Ranked as Top B2B Keyword
The keywords “online video” and “e-mail marketing” excite the greatest increase in interest for B2B marketers, a report from InsightBASE Relevance Engine suggests. Two popular topics from 2016 – “account based marketing” (ABM) and “social marketing” – failed to even make the top 10 list.

Number of Pre-Super Bowl Ads on YouTube Rises 200 Per Cent
The number of pre-Super Bowl ads on YouTube has grown 200 per cent since 2008,
said Google. This has led to a growing importance of online video to a Super Bowl buy, which in turn puts pressure on the ad industry to figure out a way to measure everything holistically.

Partnerships of the Week

Improve Digital Partners With TP Vision Philips
Improve Digital and TP Vision Philips have formed a partnership. Philips branded TV sets will offer video programmatic advertising campaigns on its smart TVs in the European market, powered by Improve Digital’s 360 Polaris platform.

Playwire Media Serves As Exclusive Ad Rep For Gameinformer.com
Gameinformer.com has selected Playwire Media to exclusively represent all its advertising inventory. 

Tapad and WideOrbit Use Device Graph for Programmatic TV
A partnership between Tapad and WideOrbit has seen the development of the industry’s first programmatic TV-buying platform powered by a device graph. 

Hires of the Week

Joan Creative Expands Agency Team

Two Co-Executive Creative Directors have been appointed at Joan Creative. Dan Treichel and Dave Canning have joined from 180 Amsterdam. 

Extreme Reach Appoints Oracle’s B2B Expert
Bill Bagshaw has been appointed Chief Revenue Officer at Extreme Reach. He joins them from Oracle and the ad server’s former head of client services and sales, Patrick Hanavan, will become Chief Client Officer.

Integral Ad Science Hires MD EMEA
Nick Morley has been appointed to the newly created role of managing director EMEA at Integral Ad Science. He joins them from IAS.

New Creative Team For FCB
FCB West has hired three senior creative and account management team members for 2017, including Mike Long, previously of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Droga5, as Group Creative Director.

Ogilvy & Mather Fills New Chief Strategy Role
Former head of consulting and data analytics at Ogilvy & Mather, Jason Hill, has been promoted to a new senior role as Chief Strategy Officer in Singapore. The role will see him leading Singapore’s strategy group across planning, customer engagement, channel, data analytics and social strategy.

Vox Media Appoint First CMO
Lindsay Nelson has been named as Vox Media’s first Chief Marketing Officer. Nelson will oversee a restructured marketing division that consists of branded content division Vox Creative, premium digital marketplace Concert, revenue streams such as ad revenue share deals with platforms like Facebook, ad partnerships, as well as its external marketing efforts.

Spotx Expands Nordic Team
Video inventory management platform, SpotX, has opened a new office in Sweden. The expansion has led to the appointment of Stephen Byrne as Senior Business Development Director and Daniel Wohlfart as Director of Operations and Account Management. Byrne brings experience of the broadcast and advertising technology industries, while Wohlfart comes from Ooyala.

Xaxis Appoints EMEA President
John Wittesaele has been appointed the EMEA President of Xaxis. Wittesaele joins them from GroupM.

Integral Ad Science Moves New MD To SE Asia
Integral Ad Science is to step up its investment in Southeast Asia, moving Niall Hogan, former UK MD and head of strategic development EMEA, to become managing director of Southeast Asia.

This Week on VAN

Sky launches Channel 5 on AdSmart, Will Offer Sky Q to Broadband-Only Households in 2018, read more on VAN

Former Guardian Revenue Director Tim Gentry to Join Videology, read more on VAN

Time Inc.’s Viant Acquires Adelphic, a Mobile-First DSP, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Mailchimp, Mailshrimp, Droga5

A weird and wacky mickey take of the Mailchimp brand. Of course it’s about a singing shrimp sandwich resigning itself to its fate. What else would the research point to? A brilliant example of what happens when the creative department get it right.


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