The WiR: The Duopoly Swallows 99% of Digital Growth, Vodafone UK Liable to Pay Millions as it Plans to Abandon Pay-TV Ambitions, Channel 4 Launches ‘World’s first’ VOD Ads with Personalised Audio, Inquiry into Fox Takeover of Sky Extended Until After UK Election


In this week’s Week in Review: Vodafone UK will be liable to pay millions as they plan to abondon their pay-TV ambitions, Channel 4 launches the ‘world’s first’ VOD ads with personalised audio, inquiry into Fox takeover of Sky extended until after UK election. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

New Speakers and Attendees Confirmed for TV Rise

We’re proud to announce we have some interesting new additions to the list for TV Rise, our executive event on the future of TV advertising, which will be taking place in San Sebastian from June 6th to 8th:

  • Dave Morgan, CEO, SimulMedia
  • Brian Golbere, GM, IPONWEB
  • Kevin McGurne, CSO, Vevo
  • Hossein Houssaini, Global Head of Programmatic Solutions, Havas
  • Bichoï Bastha, Chief Ad Tech Officer, Dailymotion
  • Adam Helfgott, CEO, MadHive
  • Dominic Shelley, VP of Digital Innovation, MadHive
  • Daniel Bischoff, CMO, IP Network (RTL)
  • John Paul, Managing Director, Advertising and Data, Liberty Global

Top Stories

Vodafone UK Liable to Pay Millions as it Plans to Abandon Pay-TV Ambitions
Vodafone’s UK arm is aiming to escape contracts it had brokered in preparation for a planned pay-TV service that it is now preparing to ditch, reports The Telegraph. The operator has already paid millions to channel providers on what are typically three-year contracts and now faces penalty payments to break the agreements early. Without pay-TV channel deals with major broadcasters such as ITV, Channel 4, Sky, UKTV and Viacom, Vodafone would face lengthy renegotiations if it changed tack again.

Analysts Say Duopoly is Gobbling Up Digital Growth

Two analysts have highlighted that Facebook and Google account are swallowing up almost all the growth in digital advertising, with approximately 99 percent all of the digital advertising growth in the US attributable to the two companies in 2016. Looking at the IAB’s most recent report, Pivotal Research’s Brian Wieser also noted that Facebook and Google accounted for 77 percent of the industry’s total in 2016, up from 72% in 2015. Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, also tweeted similar findings:


Channel 4 Launches ‘World’s first’ VOD Ads with Personalised Audio
Channel 4 has launched a new ad format for VoD services that enables advertisers to incorporate the individual name of All 4 viewers into the audio of their adverts. Using first party data from Channel 4’s 15 million strong registered viewer database, launch partners Foster’s, 20th Century Fox and Ronseal will be the first brands to run the new audio personalised digital campaigns.

The Week in Publishing

UK Ad Spend: Total Market Growth Slows to 3.7 Per Cent, TV Forecast to Shrink in 2017
The Advertising Association/Warc Q4 2016 Expenditure Report shows UK TV ad spend grew just 0.2 per cent last year, and is forecast to shrink 0.5 per cent in 2017. Growth was significantly down on 2015 when the TV market grew 7.3 per cent, according to the previous AA/Warc report. What growth there was in UK TV advertising spend in 2016 was bolstered by a 12.6 per cent growth in video-on-demand revenue.

Rubicon Project’s Deal with Pangaea Alliance Aborted Due to Guardian Lawsuit
Rubicon Project has confirmed that its ongoing lawsuit with The Guardian has led to the termination of the ad tech vendor’s relationship with The Pangaea Alliance, Campaign report. The Pangaea Alliance is a private marketplace for publisher inventory that unites The Guardian, CNN International, the Financial Times, Thomson Reuters and The Economist. “The Pangaea Alliance is sponsored by The Guardian and our relationship with Pangea was administered under the terms of our agreement with the Guardian,” a Rubicon Project spokesman said in a statement.

ASA Acted Against Record Number of Ads in 2016
In 2016 a record 4,824 ads were changed or withdrawn as a result of action from the Advertising Standards Authority and Committee of Advertising Practice, according to their annual report. The AA, Diageo’s Captain Morgan, and Heinz Baked Beans were amongst the high-profile brands that had ads banned. 

Apple Leak Suggests AR Glasses Are in Development
An injury at the Apple campus is the best indication so far that Apple is working on AR glasses, according to the The Next Web. The injury report shows nothing concrete, but confirms that Apple is testing headsets designed to overlay a 3D image onto your eye.

Twitter Aiming to Stream Video 24/7
Twitter plans to stream live video nonstop across its platform, making it easier for people to tune into what people are talking about, Buzzfeed reports. The move aims to better monetise the Twitter platform as it will offer many more chances to sell valuable 15- and 30-second unskippable video ads. Twitter’s 24/7 plans currently seem to focus only on US-based content, as it has offered no detail of plans to accommodate users from other countries where the service counts large audiences.

Connected TV Ads Garner Higher Overall Ad Attention, Ad Recall and Purchase Intent
CTV ads garner higher overall ad attention, ad recall and purchase intent by viewers when compared with desktop and mobile campaigns, YuMe report. Key takeaways from the study include: Eye tracking showed 89 per cent of a CTV pre-roll ad is viewed, compared to 81 per cent on mobile and 78 per cent on desktop; Pre-roll ad recall for CTV was 73 per cent, compared to 69 per cent on mobile and 65 per cent on desktop.

YouTube Offering Fake News Workshops to UK Teens
YouTube has launched an Internet Citizens program that aims to educate UK teens on how to spot fake news. The programme provides day-long workshops that encourage teens to check facts, escape “social bubbles,” deal with hate speech responsibly and use reporting tools. YouTube plans to deliver the workshops via youth clubs in UK cities over the coming months.

Google Chief Economist Says GDP Not Fit for Purpose in Digital Age
The rise of the smartphone and apps such as Instagram and Snapchat mean traditional measures of growth are no longer fit for purpose, according to Google’s chief economist. Hal Varian said the global nature of modern supply chains meant statisticians were miscounting growth in GDP and productivity, and urged politicians to look at additional ways of measuring growth and welfare.

20 Brands Sign-Up for JICWEBS Certification
20 companies have signed up for JICWEBS/DTSG UK digital ad trading good practices certification since The Times exposé in February, joining the 35 companies that have to date achieved the certification for brand safety. The action follows the ISBA’s call-to-action to tackle online fraud.

Content Piracy Down Four Per Cent in Spain
Though digital piracy has experienced a slight decrease in Spain in terms of absolute figures, the percentage of citizens accessing pirated content has remained the same or even increased for some sectors, according to results released by Spain’s La Coalición de Creadores e Industrias de Contenidos. In 2016, there were 4.128 billion illegal accesses to content, 4.2 per cent less that in 2015, with a value of €23.294 billion (-3.2 per cent), but the loss profit suffered by cultural and content industries increased 6.8 per cent, to 1.783 billion.

The Week in TV

Inquiry into Fox Takeover of Sky Extended Until After UK Election
UK culture secretary, Karen Bradley, has extended the investigation deadline for 21st Century Fox’s planned £11.7 billion takeover of Sky until after the UK general election. Bradley’s statement confirms that she has written to UK broadcast regulator Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), extending the period within which they must report until late June. Previously the deadline was set for May 16, before Prime Minister Theresa May last week called for a snap general election, which will be held on June eighth.

Addressable TV “to Become a Billion Euro Market”
Addressable TV is forecast to become a billion Euro market, with growth driven by new-to- TV advertisers, according to research from Videology. However, the study finds there are still barriers to overcome. The most significant of which is the need for collaboration around data and inventory, especially in terms of commercial agreements between TV platforms and broadcasters, and consumer protection.

Sky Suffers Slowdown in UK Pay-TV Business
Sky has suffered a marked slowdown in its core UK pay-TV business, despite a significant price rise and the launch of its mobile network, The Telegraph reports. The pay-TV provider reported a rise in revenues for its domestic operation of only 2.6 per cent in Q3, to £2.14 billion. Advertising revenues were down three per cent. Sky also added only 40,000 subscribers in the UK in the three months to the end of March, compared with 70,000 in the same period last year. Analysts said the figures suggested Sky customers were downgrading to lower cost offers.

Orange to Virtualise TV Box
Orange has announced that it will “virtualise” its set-top box, removing the TV decoder from its dual-box Livebox device completely within the next five years. The process entails moving the Livebox software intelligence and computing capacity to remote servers in the Orange network. The box itself will essentially becomes the distribution point, which orange claim will enable an increase in services and scalability because updates or addition to service will be done directly on Orange servers.

Virgin Media Adds French, Polish and Russian Networks
UK pay TV operator Virgin Media has announced an expansion to its offer by securing distribution of channels from France, Poland and Russia. The channels will be offered through the Virgin Worldbox app, allowing ex-pats to watch programming from their home territories.

Mediaset Posts Record Loss for 2016
Italian media group Mediaset has reported a loss amounting to €294.5 million for 2016, largely due to their dispute with Vivendi over Mediaset Premium. The company reported a profit of €3.8 million in 2015. Net revenues for 2016 were up at €3.66 billion and advertising revenues were €2.05 billion in Italy and €962.9 million in Spain. Revenues at pay-TV unit Mediaset Premium were sustained in the first six months, with growth of 16.7 per cent, however the Vivendi affair in the second half led to a slowdown.

OTT to Overtake Traditional TV Within Five Years
Within the next five years, viewing hours of live linear content streamed over the web will surpass those of traditional broadcast TV, according to research from Level 3, Streaming Media and Unisphere. The study found that 70 per cent of media industry respondents believe OTT will overtake TV within five years. Roughly half of those polled said they think OTT revenues will grow by between 30 and 50 per cent year-on-year in 2017, while nearly two thirds said that OTT-related services will account for more than a quarter of their overall business over the next three years.

YouTube Launches Kids App on Smart TVs
YouTube has launched its YouTube Kids app on LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs in the 26 countries YouTube Kids is currently available. With the exception of Android TV sets – support for these will be “available soon”.

Non-TV Devices Preferred for TV Content Viewing
More people now prefer to watch TV shows on internet connected devices than on traditional TV sets, according to Accenture. The company found that the percentage of consumers who prefer watching TV shows on television sets decreased by 55 per cent over the past year, from 52 per cent to 23 per cent.

The Week in Tech

Twitter Total Revenue Drops, Ad Revenue Decline Worsens, Share Prices Soar
Twitter’s has reported its first fall in year-on-year quarterly revenue since it floated on the stock market in 2013, as total revenue dropped by eight per cent year over year to $548.3 million, Q1 2017 results show. The network’s ad revenue shrank for the second straight quarter, dropping by eleven per cent year over year to $473.8 million. The company recorded a net loss of $61.6 million.

However, social network, which has never turned a profit, cheered investors by announcing a significant rise in the number of monthly users, to 328 million. Furthermore, earnings beat Wall Street expectations of $512m revenue for the quarter, which has seen share prices soar. Twitter announced net income of $82 million, or eleven cents per share, compared to an expected one cent a share.

comScore Introduces Free Viewability Measurement
comScore has announced that it will offer free viewability measurement to clients across global markets. comScore Viewability is a baseline offering that allows digital media buyers and sellers to measure viewability rates across display, video, and mobile inventory. comScore Viewability becomes available globally this summer as a free, self-service offering with baseline reporting metrics, delivered through a fully redesigned user interface.

Sourcepoint Recognised by ePrivacyseal EU Sourcepoint has been recognised by ePrivacy GmbH for its development efforts and awarded the ePrivacyseal EU. Following a technical and legal assessment the seal has been awarded to Sourcepoint to acknowledge its compliance with EU privacy regulations. Sourcepoint’s Dialogue solution provides digital publishers with a content compensation toolkit to support a more transparent value exchange with consumers.

SpotX Launches New Web Address
In celebration of its tenth birthday, SpotX has launched a new web address. The company has announced that SpotX.tv stands for ‘Total Video’, and represents their commitment to the convergence of all video screens to form an integrated ecosystem where media owners manage and monetize their inventory holistically.

AppNexus Publish Guide to Header Bidding for Video
AppNexus has published a video guide looking at header bidding for video. The tech company says that the video addresses the misconceptions around header bidding for video, and shows publishers what header bidding can do for their video inventory.

Marissa Mayer to Make $186 Million in Yahoo Verizon Deal
When Verizon’s $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo closes this June, Marissa Mayer will have about $186 million worth of stock, stock options and restricted stock units that will all be fully vested before the deal closes, according to the New York Times. Those figures are based on the Times’ analysis of a new Yahoo proxy statement filed with the Securities Exchange Commission, ahead of the special shareholders meeting on June eighth. The value of Mayer’s stock is based on Yahoo’s closing stock price of $48.15 on Monday, and could change.

I-COM Announces Award Winners

In the Data Creativity Awards:
Attribution Category Winner
Marketing Evolution and Warner Bros (USA)
Project Name: ROI Brain
Ecosystem Partners: Krux Digital DMP
Programmatic Category Winner
MediaCom & GroupM and SAS
Project Name: SAS Airlines Global Programmatic Transformation Project (Denmark)
Ecosystem Partners: AppNexus Programmable Bidder, Google Analytics 360, Google DoubleClick Campaign Manager, Google DoubleClick Studio, Integral Ad Science, Xaxis Turbine
Data Science Hackathon, Overall Winner Scientists – Intel
Publicis Media Germany
Marketing Technology of The Year
IBM Watson
Agency of The Year
Analytic Partners
Agency Network of The Year
Publicis Media

The Week for Agencies

WPP Exceeds Targets with Q1 Revenues Up 3.6 Per Cent
WPP has reported revenue growth of 3.6 per cent on a constant currency basis in the first three months of 2017, though like-for-like growth was the lowest in two years. In sterling, WPP’s revenues shot up 16.9 per cent to £3.6 billion, though this was partly due to the collapse in the UK currency following the Brexit referendum. WPP said that performance in the quarter was ahead of budget, thanks to a better than expected performance in all sectors, apart from data investment management. It has forecast like-for-like revenue growth in 2017 of around 2 per cent.

Havas UK Revenue Growth Slows in Q1
When adjusted for the impact of exchange rates and acquisitions, Havas UK reported organic revenue growth of 0.5 per cent in its results for the first three months of 2017. The company attributes UK growth to healthcare specialists Havas Medicom, healthcare arm Havas Lynx, All Response Media and PR shop Maitland. Organic revenue growth of 0.5 per cent represents a slowdown from 2016 when Havas’ reported 1.3 per cent UK growth year on year. Globally Havas reported organic revenue growth of 0.1 per cent year on year in the first three months of 2017.

Brainlabs is Fastest Growing UK Company in Financial Times “FT1000” Ranking
Performance marketing agency Brainlabs is the fourth fastest-growing company in Europe, according to the Financial Times’ “FT1000”. The list shows the continent’s companies that have achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2012 and 2015. UK companies make up nine of the top 20, and 25 of the top 100. From 2012 to 2015, top UK company Brainlabs grew its income by 8,218 percent, to €13.6 million. Topping the ranking is Berlin-based recipe kit delivery business, Hello Fresh, which grew revenues 13,159 per cent to €304,952 million.

Branded Content Forgotten by 80 Per Cent of consumers in Three Days
According to Prezi, 80 per cent of consumers forget the majority of information from branded content after only three days, and over half can’t recall a single detail. Prezi claims that the key to engaging a millennial audience is to have a conversation with them, whether online or in person, as 70 per cent of 16-24 year olds agree that it would convince them to buy from a particular brand if they felt like they interacted and engaged in conversation with them.

Partnerships of the Week

Ooyala Taps Into Adobe Experience Cloud 
Ooyala has announced a new partnership with Adobe that combines Ooyala’s Integrated Video Platform (IVP) solutions with the Adobe Experience Cloud. Through the partnership media and entertainment companies will be able to build digital TV and OTT solutions, and measure viewer engagement and returns from their video.

Turner Taps TiVo as EMEA Metadata Partner
Turner has selected TiVo as its metadata distribution partner for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Under the terms of the deal, Turner will use TiVo’s new Studio, Broadcast and Network Metadata Packages to manage electronic programme guide data and distribution for its 44 EMEA channels.

Vivendi Partners Streamroot for OTT TV
Vivendi has partnered OTT TV company Streamroot to provide technology to deliver its streaming video services. Streamroot is providing its Streamroot DNA platform to help improve quality of experience and cut operating cost across group companies, the company said.

Hires of the Week

Dana Anderson to Join Medialink as CMO
MediaLink has appointed former Mondelez International top marketer Dana Anderson as the advisory business’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Blue 449’s Jon Horrocks to Lead Trading for Publicis in UK
Jon Horrocks, chief investment officer and managing partner at Blue 449, has been appointed managing director, trading of Publicis Media Exchange (PMX), with responsibility for the UK’s trading division across the group. The groups has made a series of appointments, following the departure of buying chief Chris Locke.

This Week on VAN

AppNexus Launches Multimedia “Superauction” Technology and a New In-Banner Format,  read more on VAN

Technology and Programmatic aren’t the Problem in Digital Media, read more on VAN

Google Makes TV Inventory Available via DBM in the US, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Worlds Apart, Heineken, Publicis London

Heineken’s “Worlds Apart” aims to prove that even divided groups can find common ground and see beyond the label, over a pint, obviously.


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