The WiR: Sky and Virgin Media ‘In Talks’ Over AdSmart Deal, Yahoo Beats Expectations in Q1 2017 Ahead of Verizon Deal, Ooyala Appoints Huberman as CEO


In this week’s Week in Review: Sky and Virgin Media ‘in talks’ over AdSmart deal, Yahoo beats expectations in Q1 2017 ahead of Verizon deal, Ooyala appoints Huberman as CEO. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

Sky and Virgin Media ‘In Talks’ Over AdSmart Deal
Sky and Virgin Media are reportedly in advanced discussions over a deal to bring Virgin Media to AdSmart, Sky’s targeted ad network. According to the Daily Telegraph, industry sources said the pay-TV and broadband rivals were in advanced discussions to add Virgin’s 3.7 million homes to the AdSmart network. AdSmart tailors what is shown in TV ad breaks according to a household’s profile and location. Around 1,000 advertisers have run campaigns via the technology, with many regional advertisers attracted to TV for the first time because of the ability to target households by location.

Yahoo Beats Expectations in Q1 2017 Ahead of Verizon Deal
Yahoo has outperformed analysts’ expectations in what is likely to be its last quarterly results as an independent company ahead of the sale of its core business to Verizon. The US firm said revenue increased 22 per cent to $1.33 billion in the first quarter of 2017 from $1.09 billion the previous year. Net revenue was $833.8 million, three per cent lower than 2016 but ahead of expectations. Net income attributable to Yahoo was $99.4 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of 10 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016.

Ooyala Appoints Huberman as CEO
Ooyala has announced the appointment of Jonathan Huberman as Chief Executive Officer, effective April 18th. Huberman was previously the CEO of Syncplicity, where he successfully led the company through its acquisition by Axway in February 2017. Before Syncplicity, Huberman was the CEO of Tiburon, a leading public safety software provider, where he drove the industry’s push into SaaS and significantly improved the company’s customer satisfaction ratings and financial performance. Huberman will focus on the future growth of Ooyala and strengthening its market leadership.  

The Week in Publishing

YouTube Opens Up Mobile Live-streams to More Users
YouTube has made it’s livestreaming video service available to YouTubers with a smaller subscription base, dropping the minimum requirement from ten thousand to 1,000 subscribers.  YouTube has reportedly initiated e-mails to channels owners with 1000 or more subscribers to inform them about the latest feature added to the list of function on their channel dashboard.

Snapchat Adds AR Emoji to Your Videos, Reports Increase in User Base
Snapchat has launched World Lens, an augmented reality camera view that will let users drop digital 3D objects into real world scenes. The new filters let you do one of three things: throw flower-seeds that bloom where they land, drop in 3D text, or add 3D objects like rainbows and clouds. Snap has not disclosed its plans for including advertising into the World Lens platform.

A survey of internet users between 18 and 45 also shows that Snapchat usage is growing faster than Instagram and the biggest increases in usage were in users older than 25, Jefferies reports. Of those age 25-34, 41 per cent reported using the app more, while for those age 34-44 that number was 44 per cent. Snap’s first quarterly earnings call, on May 10th, is expected to report up-ticks due to the to the company’s results in both DAU (daily active users) and ARPU (average revenue per user) metrics.

Finally, the social network leads others on reported daily use, according to SCG. Of 333 US high school and college students 78 per cent of respondents said they use Snapchat on a daily basis, higher than Instagram at 76 per cent, or Facebook 66 per cent every day. Frequency of Snapchat usage was also high, with roughly seven in ten saying they use it more than six times per day, and over half saying they use it more than eleven times a day.

Facebook Leads With AR at F8
The central theme emerging from Facebook’s F8 developer conference is their focus on developing augmented reality. In the keynote speech founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is building an open platform where anyone can build augmented-reality features for the cameras that live inside Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp. The key steps involved rolling out cameras across all of its apps, and the platform, which launched in closed beta during the F8 conference. “We’re making the camera the first mainstream augmented reality platform,” Zuckerberg said.

Vimeo Updates VHX OTT platform
Vimeo has updated its OTT platform VHX, offering ad-supported video for partner channels and introducing new video SDKs. The platform additions include the ability to integrate ad-supported videos with Google DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP); player SDKs for web, iOS, and Android to build custom OTT apps; in-app subscriptions APIs for iOS, Android and Roku; full support for Google Widevine, Microsoft PlayReady, Apple Fairplay and other studio-approved DRM systems; bulk video ingestion; and a metadata API.

YouTube to Use EIDR IDs in Transaction Reports
Google has announced that YouTube Transactional reports have been updated to include the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR) ID when that number is provided in an Avail. The EIDR is a universal identification system for tracking the progress and performance of movie and television assets. Disney, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. are all supporting the move that marks the completion of the EIDR “round trip” from publishing to transaction report.

Pre-Roll Ads Least Intrusive and Most Memorable Video Format
Pre-roll ads are the most memorable and engaging, and are also the least intrusive of all video ad formats, according to IPG and YuMe research. The results reportedly show that while users find all ad formats intrusive, pre-roll ads were the least interruptive, with only 17 percent of participants said they felt disrupted by pre-roll, compared with outstream ads and mid-roll ads. Ad recall was also the strongest for pre-roll ads. On mobile, 65 percent of participants were able to remember the brands they had seen in pre-rolls ads, compared to 39 percent of viewers of mid-roll ads and 28 percent of viewers of outstream ads.

Users were asked how much they agreed with the statement: “The ad type..”

Facebook Purges Tens of Thousands of Fake Accounts to Tackle Spam Ring
Facebook has confirmed that it purged tens of thousands of fake accounts as part of an ongoing bid to dismantle a sophisticated global spam operation. Accounts appearing to be operated by people in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and “a number of other countries” that liked and commented on publishers’ pages were found to be “part of the same coordinated operation” the Facebook security team wrote.

UK Government Urged to Include Creative Industry in Strategy to Drive Growth
The government should create “creative enterprise zones” as part of measures to boost economic growth in the UK, according to the Creative Industries Federation. The group’s blueprint’ for UK economic growth stresses the crucial role the creative industries play in unlocking innovation and growth across other sectors. It asks the government to include the creative arts sector within its industrial strategy to a greater amount, and also recommends building a national centre for the creative sector.

Mobile Now the ‘Go-To’ Platform for Video Viewing
Mobile is now the ‘go-to’ destination for most video viewers, DigitalTV Europe report. According to ComScore research, mobile now accounts for the majority of video minutes spent watching content on YouTube across all age and gender demographics in the UK.

78 Per Cent of Singaporeans Pick YouTube for Video Viewing
Almost four out of five of Singapore’s internet users choose YouTube to watch videos over other platforms, according to research from Google Singapore and Kantar TNS. Mobile is the preferred video medium for Singaporeans, with more than 60 per cent of YouTube view-time coming from mobile devices. Singaporeans are also using YouTube in their hunt for bargains, with three out of five finding the online video platform useful in searching for products.

Global Video Game Market to Pass $100 Billion by 2021
By 2021 total global video games sales will surpass $100 billion dollars, according to DFC Intelligence. The growth in the global video game market is driven by greater than expected performance in mobile games. In 2016 mobile game software sales was the fastest growing segment, and by 2021 mobile games are expected to account for $48 billion (€44.9bn) in revenue.

The Week in TV

UKTV Announces Record Profits, Revenue and Viewership
British commercial broadcaster UKTV has reported a strong 2016, with record performance in key indicators such as profit, revenue and share of commercial linear and non-linear audiences. For the financial year ended 31 December 2016, the company reports revenue of £344.8 million, up eight per cent year-on-year. This was the driver for EBITDA of £91.3 million, an annual rise of 11.3 per cent. UKTV said that it had seen continued progress in 2016 across all areas of the business, including growth in its linear and on-demand propositions.

Sky Profits Dented by Rise in Premier League Costs, Announces HBO Co-production Deal
Sky’s unaudited results in the nine months to 31 March 2017 show an eleven per cent fall in operating profits, including a 20 per cent drop in the UK. Rising costs from screening Premier League football and a “weaker UK advertising market” are reported to be the cause. During the period Sky’s ad revenue increased four per cent to £613 million, down from a seven per cent rise over the same period last year. The media group has also announced a multi-year £195 million co-production deal with US television network HBO. Within two years, the companies expect to be producing two drama series per year together, starting in 2018.

Vivendi Will Challenge Italian Ruling on Telecom Italia and Mediaset Stakes
Following the AGCOM order that Vincent Bolloré’s French media group Vivendi cut its stake in either Mediaset or Telecom Italia, Vivendi has said it will take “any appropriate legal action” including a possible complaint to the European Commission. Vivendi is currently the biggest single shareholder in Italy’s main telecoms firm Telecom Italia, with a 24 per cent stake, and recently built up a 28.8 per cent stake in Italy’s biggest private broadcaster Mediaset. AGCOM has ruled that Vivendi must divest a yet-to-be-specified part of its stake either in Mediaset or in Telecom Italia to conform to the country’s media concentration rules.

TV to Account for ‘30 per cent of High-End Ads in Key Markets
The US, China and Japan will drive a recovery in luxury advertising, with TV taking about 30 per cent of the total spend, DigitalTV Europe report. The three key markets will account for almost 80 per cent of the increase in luxury goods ad spend between now and 2018, according to media buyer and ad market forecaster ZenithOptimedia.

57 Per Cent of French Households Have Connected TV
The proportion of French households with a TV connected to the internet rose to 56.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 54.8 per cent a year earlier, according to the French broadcast authority CSA. The most popular connection method for French online viewers is via a set-top box provided by their ISP, at 79.2 per cent. The survey also found that 26.4 per cent of connected TVs are through smart TVs, while 14.7 per cent are linked to a connected games console.

French VoD Purchase on the Increase as Rentals Decline
In 2016 7 per cent of French internet users had purchased a video on demand, compared with just 3 per cent in 2015. According to Médiamétrie, the practice, called EST (Electronic Sell-Through), corresponds to the desire to keep a video over a long period. Cartoons are among the main drivers of this practice, responding to children’s preference to re-watch their favourite content.

Less Than Three Per Cent of MENA Channels are in HD
Although 80 per cent of viewers in the MENA region are equipped to receive High-Definition TV, of the 1,500 channels broadcasting less than three percent are doing so in HD, says Noorsat. Noorsat claims that many broadcasters are deterred by the cost of investing in more capacity in MENA.

UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport Launches Consultation into Channel 4 Regional Impact
The UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has began its consultation into the Channel 4’s regional impact. According to the DCMS, the consultation seeks to investigate how the public service broadcaster can most effectively contribute to regional economic growth, stimulate regional creative industries, and better serve regional audiences to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society. Following the consultation, the government will make a decision to maximise its “delivery of public value for the country as a whole.”

The Week in Ad Tech

NeuLion Adds Data Analytics Capabilities to OTT
NeuLion has launched a data analytics service as part of its offering. NeuLion ACE Analytics is now available to customers who have licensed the NeuLion Digital Platform. According to the company ACE Analytics can help service providers identify their most effective and profitable marketing channels and campaigns, and their most valuable customers.

MediaMath Launches “Curated Market” to Assure Advertisers on Audience Reach and Brand Safe Content
MediaMath has announced the launch of its Curated Market, a product it claims will unite advertisers’ need to gain access to their best customers and prospects at scale with the requirement that those audiences are reached in quality media.

Ericsson Launches Virtualised Video Processing
Ericsson is due to launch a fully virtualised video processing solution at NAB in Las Vegas next week. The firm will debut the Ericsson MediaFirst Management Controller and Ericsson MediaFirst Encoding Live 8.1, to offer a virtualised processing solution for new services in areas like Ultra HD and virtual and augmented reality.

The Week for Agencies

Omnicom’s Eight Per Cent UK Growth to Helps it Surpass Revenue Predictions
Omnicom’s Q1 2017 results show UK revenue has jumped more than eight per cent. Combined with the UK performance, organic growth of 8.2 per cent in the Euro Markets, 5.4 per cent in Latin America and 37.9 per cent in MENA has helped it surpass revenue predictions in spite of only 1.1 per cent growth in its home market of North America. Advertising was the highest growing part of Omnicom’s business over the quarter, up 6.4 per cent.

One Third of Marketers Would Hire Additional Staff in Q1 2017
When asked in January about their expectations for employment over the first three months of 2017 31.3 per cent of those surveyed signalled positive expectations for employment, according to IPA Bellwether’s 2017 Q1 report. The uplift reflects companies increasing confidence around their own financial prospects, which has been driven in part by ongoing underlying strength in sales and demand. However, growth in jobs is likely to be constrained in the coming months due to ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit and the snap General Election.

Marketing Budgets Rise Despite Gloomy Outlook
Marketers have revised their budgets up in the first quarter of the year, largely thanks to growing digital adspend, according to IPA Bellwether’s 2017 Q1 report. Internet marketing budget growth reached the highest level recorded in just under four years, with a net balance of 16.9 per cent, with search and SEO rising by its greatest degree in over two years to 15.1 per cent. Mobile-based advertising also increased significantly, with a net balance of 10.3 per cent (up from 3.9 per cent in Q4 2016).

Consumer Confidence Among Brexit Supporters in Decline
Consumer confidence among Brexit supporters fell from 109 in January to 106 in early April, according to a Nielsen survey taken immediately after Article 50 was triggered. Overall, the proportion of consumers who believe that now is a good time to buy items they want or need has dropped four per cent to 49 per cent, after reaching a ten-year high in the second half of last year. Consumers also expect price rises in every single category of goods.

AOL Sign Partnership with Twitter to Distribute Original Video Content
AOL UK and Twitter have inked a deal that will allow advertisers to sponsor or run pre-roll ads across AOL’s original video content on its owned properties in the UK, and then retarget those audiences on Twitter. Vice versa, advertisers can choose categories of video content to run ads next to content on Twitter, and the social platform will insert their ads into relevant AOL original video content.

ADYOULIKE and StrikeAd Announce Programmatic Native Advertising Partnership
Sizmek has announced a partnership with in-feed native ad platform, ADYOULIKE, to enable advertisers and agencies to deliver personalised native advertising campaigns across the StrikeAd by Sizmek platform.

Simulmedia and Oracle Data Partnership Enables Purchase-Based Targeting on National TV
Simulmedia has announced an agreement with Oracle Data Cloud to help advertisers reach audiences based on their in-store purchases. Advertisers will reportedly be able to use more than three trillion Dollars in household-level purchase data from the Oracle Data Cloud to reach national TV audiences.

Hires of the Week

Vimeo Appoints Josh Normand SVP of Sales
Vimeo has appointed Josh Normand as SVP of sales. Normand will oversee sales efforts to further expand VHX and other upcoming products and offerings. He previously served as the VP of sales for North America and EMEA at Brightcove.

David Levy Joins Simulmedia Board of Directors
Simulmedia has announced that David Levy, President of Turner, has joined the Simulmedia Board of Directors replacing Rachel Lam, former head of Time Warner Investments, who has retired.

The Week on VAN

Protected Media Unveil Ad Fraud Operation Called “The Traffic Alchemist”, read more on VAN

Oracle Acquires Moat to Add to Its Burgeoning Data Cloud, read more on VAN

Pre-Roll is the Most Engaging Video Ad Format say YuMe and IPG, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: The Morning After, Stimorol, Ogilvy Paris

Cute candy with an innocent message? Not Stimorol. A lesson in how to tell a story in 20 seconds.


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