In this week’s Week in Review: Vivendi makes offer to acquire Groupe Bolloré’s stake in Havas, Snap shares dive after disappointing first results, UK advertisers divided over ending YouTube ad boycott, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up
Vivendi Makes Offer to Acquire Groupe Bolloré’s Stake in Havas
Vivendi SA has made an offer to buy a €2.36 billion stake in advertising group Havas SA from the media conglomerate’s own chairman, Vincent Bolloré. Vivendi’s offer values Havas at €9.25 a share, a premium of 8.8 per cent over its closing price on Wednesday. The offer is to buy all of the 60 per cent stake owned by Vincent Bolloré in Havas. Mr. Bolloré also controls Vivendi with a stake of more than 20 per cent. Should the offer lead to a deal, it will see greater ties between Vivendi’s units including Universal Music Group and StudioCanal, and Havas’s creative and media business.
Snap Shares Dive After Disappointing First Results
Shares in Snap have plunged after its first results as a publicly listed company show it undershot forecasts on user growth and revenues, reporting a net loss of $2.21 billion. The Snapchat owner reported revenue growth of 286 per cent, and 36 per cent year-on-year growth in daily active users. However, analysts had expected faster growth in both areas. Meanwhile, average revenue per user reached 90 cents, representing a 14 per cent decline from the previous quarter. Stocks plummeted by as much as 25 per cent in after-hours trading, with prices falling below $17.5 per share.
In the UK, Snapchat lost almost 1.9 million visitors and now reaches 4.3 million people, according to Verto Analytics.
UK Advertisers Divided Over Ending YouTube Ad Boycott
While some brands such as McDonald’s and RBS have resumed spending on YouTube, the majority, including M&S, Tesco and Pepsi have not as they wait for ‘guarantees’ from Google, Marketing Week reports. Google has made a number of moves to try to allay marketers’ worries, but the eMarketer found that the majority of brands consulted “still need more before they resume advertising”. Though they are “encouraged”, by Google’s attempts to make the way it serves ads on YouTube more transparent and to provide better guarantees.
The Week in Publishing
MailOnline Expands Brand Video Player to Mobile
MailOnline is expanding its sponsored video player with a viewability guarantee and cheaper rate. Branded videos are now guaranteed to get at least 1.5 million views of over ten seconds each for six-pence per view, which adds up to £90,000 including video production. This is two-thirds of the nine-pence per view that was quoted when the sponsored video player launched in February.
News Corp Global Revenue up Five Per Cent
News Corp, the parent company of The Times and The Sun, has beat Wall Street’s expectations for adjusted earnings and revenue. The group reported global revenue of $2 billion, up five per cent year on year from $1.9 billion, in the first three months of the year. The company put the increase down to growth in its news and information division, and acquisitions of the Wireless Group and Australian Regional Media. It said this was “partially offset by lower print advertising revenues”.
Time Inc Cuts Dividend and Shakes Up Board as Losses Widen
Time Inc slashed its dividend and announced a board shake-up as the US magazine publisher prepares to ramp up cost cuts and sell some titles, The Financial Times reports. The owner of Time, People and Sports Illustrated is in the midst of a strategic re-organisation aimed at shifting its business from print to digital, following its decision last month not to sell itself. But a steeper than expected net loss and revenue decline in the first quarter underscored the difficulty it faces as an independent company.
Snapchat Opens Up Ad-Platform for Brands of All Sizes
Snapchat has launched Ad Manager, a tool that makes it easier for brands of all sizes to advertise on the platform. Snapchat’s new ads manager will let any advertiser buy, manage, and view reporting for their campaigns.
YouTube and Warner Extend Streaming Music Deal
YouTube and Warner have extended their licensing deals to ensure Warner and its artists get paid for legal streams. The terms of the deal haven’t been revealed, but reports suggest the label is being particularly cautious this time around, and is making deals that are shorter lasting than usual. This reflects the industry perception that YouTube is not adopting a particularly rigorous approach to fighting piracy.
Verizon Wins Bidding War for Straight Path Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. will buy Straight Path Communications Inc. for about $3.1 billion, after beating rival AT&T Inc. in an unusually intense bidding war for the wireless-spectrum holder. Straight Path holds licenses to use high-frequency radio waves that some engineers think could form the backbone of next-generation networks.
BT to Cut 4,000 Jobs in Overhaul
BT has announced it is to shed 4,000 jobs worldwide over the next two years and is stripping the chief executive of his annual bonus. The telecoms giant said the job cuts would fall on back-office and managerial sectors. The announcements came as BT disclosed that its annual pre-tax profits fell 19 per cent to £2.35 billion in the year to March.
Facebook Publishes Fake News Ads in UK Papers
Facebook has published adverts in the UK Press as part of its broadened its campaign to raise awareness about fake news. The ads carry a list of ten things to look out for when deciding if a story is genuine, and were placed in papers including The Times, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph. They include checking the article date and website address, as well as making sure it isn’t intended as satire. Facebook is under fresh political pressure to tackle fake news in the run up to the UK general election.
Consumer Video Spend to Reach $314 Billion
Global spending on consumer video media services will total $314 billion in 2017, a 4.2 per cent increase from 2016, according to Gartner. Pay-TV services is the largest spending segment and is on pace to represent 90 per cent of the total market, totaling $282 billion in 2017. Emerging Asia/Pacific and Middle East and North Africa are forecast to record the highest growth in end-user spending on consumer video media services.
Facebook Closes Oculus VR Movie Studio
Facebook is shutting down its VR studio in California which created films and video content for its Oculus virtual reality headset. The Oculus Story Studio will no longer create its own material but will now help others make VR-ready content. The social media giant said the closure of the studio did not mean it was abandoning movies and films made for VR.
Instagram Launches Mobile Web Sharing to Pursue Global Growth
In pursuit of international growth where networks are slow and data is expensive, Instagram has given its mobile website an upgrade to add core features of the main app, including photo sharing and a lightweight version of the Explore tab. The features missing on mobile web are video uploads, filters, Stories, and Direct Messaging.
Fox News Accuser to Meet Ofcom
One of the women who accused former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment is meeting with Ofcom, a move that may hinder 21st Century Fox’s proposed takeover of media giant Sky, The Guardian reports.
RadiumOne Launches Brand Safety Division
RadiumOne is aiming to take advantage of growing concerns around brand safety by launching a division dedicated to tackling fraud and increasing transparency. The new RadiumOne Safety Division will focus on educating clients, supplier relationships, improving best practice around white- and black- inventory lists and exploring new innovation opportunities in tackling online brand safety, ad fraud and transparency.
Opera Invests $100 Million in Africa Digital
Opera has announced its plan to invest $100 million over the next two years to facilitate the growth of African digital economy. The company will use the investment to speed up internet adoption in Africa and strengthen the internet ecosystem with local partners.
Instagram Users to Rise 26 Per Cent in Germany in 2017
Instagram will see a double-digit user gain in Germany in 2017, led by adoption by younger users, according to eMarketer. Meanwhile Facebook’s gains will slow to a trickle as user penetration for the country’s leading social network plateaus. eMarketer predicts Instagram’s user base in the country will swell by 26.2 per cent to 11.2 million users.
Discovery Grows Global Revenues and Profit
Discovery has reported growth in revenues and profit across its international business, but noted Brexit concerns meant ad revenues were down in its largest market, the UK. Overall in Europe, however, Discovery’s international arm performed well. The company said that currency effects aside, distribution revenues were up double-digits.
Gen Z Okay with OTT Ads
Gen Z overwhelmingly equates “watching TV” with an online source, and may be the first to fully embrace digital video advertising by seeing ads as indistinguishable from actual TV shows, according to Tremor Video’s research into Gen Z’s ad receptivity on CTV and OTT devices.
Esports Video Market Booming
The market for esports video continues its rapid growth worldwide, according to IHS Markit. Total hours viewed in the genre exceeded six billion globally in 2016, up 19 per cent from 2015. Online viewing is driving the esports video market, accounting for more than 85 per cent of time spent watching esports. China is by far the largest market for esports video, accounting for 57 per cent of all viewing last year.
Amazon’s Alexa Aids Eurovision Song Contest Discovery
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced a new Eurovision Song Contest-related skill for Amazon’s Alexa voice service. The Eurovision feature allows users in the UK, Germany, Austria and the US to discover who has won every Eurovision Song Contest since the event began in 1956. Alexa will then ask users if they want to hear the winner and can play all winning entries over the first 50 years of the contest.
The Week in TV
ITV Revenue Drops Three Per Cent as Ad Revenue Continues Decline
ITV has revealed Q1 figures showing a decline in both revenues and advertising income. Total revenue was down three per cent from £755 million last year to £731 in 2017. The results also showed its ad revenue was £393 million in 2017, down from £433 million in the first quarter in 2016. Online, pay and interactive revenues were up 12 per cent however, driven by a 22 per cent growth in online advertising.
Facebook TV Coming this Summer
Facebook is reportedly preparing to release a line-up of television-style shows in June this year. Although no show names or stars have been mentioned, the list of shows will number around two dozen, according to Business Insider. Citing sources familiar with the discussions, the article says that Facebook will focus on releasing two kinds of shows: longer, more traditional TV-style scripted shows with bigger budgets, and shorter shows that will be updated daily.
Sinclair Closes-In on Tribune Media Empire
Reuters sources claim that Sinclair Broadcast Group is close to a deal to buy TV giant Tribune Media, apparently trumping 20th Century Fox’s efforts to put together a deal alongside Blackstone. Negotiations are reportedly still underway but there’s now a clear front runner, particularly as Reuters sources maintain that Fox didn’t even submit a bid.
Liberty Global Adds 250K Next-Gen TV Subscribers
Liberty Global’s Q1 results show it added 253,000 next-generation TV subscribers in the first three months of 2017, and said the UK and Germany contributed to its best first quarter video performance in the last ten years. Liberty said that its next-generation TV subscriber base reached 6.9 million in the first quarter, split across its Horizon TV, Horizon-Lite, TiVo, Eos (v6) and Yelo TV platforms.
Mediaset Back in Black
Mediaset has climbed back into the black in the first quarter following its €294.5 million loss last year, which the company blames on “turbulence” caused by French media giant Vivendi reneging on their deal. Mediaset reported operating costs were €537.7 million down from €549.8 million last year, a positive EBIT of €76.6 million, and net profit of €15.9 million, compared with a net loss of €18.2 million for the same period last year.
Econet’s New TV service spending $1.2 Billion
Johannesburg-based Econet Media will invest around $1.19 billion over the next five years on acquiring exclusive TV content for its Kwese TV pay-TV platform, according to Techzim.
Global Pay-TV Revenues to Peak in 2017
Global pay-TV revenues will peak in 2017 at $202 billion, according to Digital TV Research. However, no rapid decline will take place after 2017 as revenues will still be as high as $200 billion in 2022. The report concludes that revenues will decline in 33 countries between 2016 and 2022, falling by a huge $12 billion across North America. However, Asia Pacific will increase to $40 billion in 2022, and revenues will rocket by 57 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa, and by 17 per cent in Middle East & North Africa.
Online Virtual MVP Not Denting Pay-TV
According to Hub Research, since the launch of virtual multichannel video programming distributors, such as Sling TV and Playstation Vue, there’s been no appreciable drop in the number of viewers who subscribe to pay-TV. This in spite of the fact that they were developed as a less-expensive alternative to traditional MVPD subscriptions. Hub’s analysis finds that virtual services do not satisfy the most important consumer needs from a TV service, generally only being seen a ‘strong’ in one or two of consumer “key attribute” for TV services.
Meo Launches Live TV ‘in VR Environment’
Altice-owned Portuguese telecom operator Portugal Telecom/Meo has launched an app to offer live TV channels in a virtual reality environment through Samsung Gear VR headsets powered by Oculus. The MEo Go VR application enables users to follow series and soap operas as well as live experiences such as jumping from a helicopter or snowboarding, and a visit to the Cristo Redentor statue in Rio de Janeiro.
Eleven Sports Expands into Italy and Belgium
Eleven Sports has confirmed its entry into the Italian market with the acquisition of a majority stake in the national over-the-top (OTT) platform Sportube. The platform, which is available online and on mobile, will be re-branded as Eleven Sports in the summer of 2017. Belgian service provider Proximus has also announced it is to add Eleven Sports’ OTT TV channel, Eleven Sports 3, to its digital TV sports package.
The Week in Ad Tech
Media iQ Launches AI Platform for Planners
Ad tech company Media iQ has launched AiQx, a platform it claims is the first programmatic-first, AI-powered platform designed for media planners. The platform’s interface is disarmingly simple. It starts with a simple search bar into which planners can type a brand name to see the most pertinent information needed around activation and buying. The tool will also call up data on the company’s closest competitors.
Revcontent Implements Protected Media’s Anti-Fraud Solution for Increased Brand Protection
Protected Media announced today that Revcontent has implemented Protected Media’s anti-fraud solution to detect and block bots to protect brands. According to Quantcast, Revcontent reaches 97 per cent of US households, putting their reach just behind Google and Facebook. Revcontent will use Protected Media’s solution to better identify malware and block bots without mistakenly weeding out legitimate traffic.
Viant Completes Integration of Adelphic Ad Cloud
Viant has announced it has completed its integration with the recently acquired mobile-first DSP Adelphic. This means customers can now more accurately target campaigns programmatically on mobile devices, on a self-service basis.
Integral Ad Science Expands its Brand Safety Offering to 40 Languages
Verification and analytics company Integral Ad Science has expanded its brand safety solution from nine languages to 40, which it claims covers about 99 per cent of internet users.
Programmatic Direct at OpenX Grows Over 500 Per Cent
OpenX has announced that its programmatic direct revenue grew over 500 per cent year-over-year and saw the addition of over 200 new publishers in the same time frame. Over the last year, programmatic direct CPMs increased nearly 20 per cent and daily spend more than quadrupled.
The Week for Agencies
Zenith Unveils New Global Client-Growth Strategy
Zenith has unveiled a new approach to their communications offering, supported by a relaunch of the network’s brand identity, proposition and platforms. Called ROI+, the new approach has three key elements: ‘upstream’ strategies that deliver through business transformation; a focus on the full consumer journey; and the maximisation of ‘downstream’ efficiencies through automation. Zenith’s new approach is brought to life by a full rebranding of the agency.
Worldwide Social Video Ad Spending Leveling Off
According to analysis from Kenshoo, advertiser investments in social video ads have hit a temporary lull. According to a forecast examining social video’s share of ad spending among advertisers worldwide Kenshoo noted there was a decline during the first quarter of this year on its platform. However, because of the ongoing push by many social ad platforms to encourage more video spending, the slowdown does not seem likely to be cause for concern.
Partnerships of the Week
Rubicon Selected by BT to Expand Digital Presence
Rubicon Project has been selected by the digital advertising team at BT to boost the broadcaster and internet provider’s digital ad proposition. BT’s online advertising wing will use Rubicon Project’s exchange to connect advertisers to its users across BT.com, BT Sport.com and the BT Sport and BT Wi-Fi apps.
Verizon to Power Gravity Point’s VR Hub
Verizon Digital Media Services has been selected by Gravity Point TV to power the VR viewing hub, Gravity Point VR. Already a user of Verizon’s Uplynk Video Streaming service, Gravity Point TV will now also utilise the Edgecast CDN to ensure that Gravity Point VR content creators, publishers and providers can distribute content at scale.
Hires of the Week
Vivendi CEO Puyfontaine Takes Deputy Role as Recchi Confirmed TIM Chairman
Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine will not, after all, serve as chairman of Telecom Italia (TIM), and is to serve instead as deputy to current chairman Guiseppe Recchi. The first meeting of the new Telecom Italia board also confirmed Flavio Cattaneo as the company’s CEO. Vivendi’s control over TIM is being considered by the European competition watchdog following Vivendi’s notification that it expected to assume ‘de facto’ control of the company. The EC is now set to pronounce on the matter at the end of this month.
Warner Music Poaches Channel 4’s Allison and Bovill
Warner Music Group has appointed John Allison and Chris Bovill from Channel 4 to head its content studio, The Firepit.
Rondon joins Videa as VP of Product
Videa has announced that Oscar Rondon has joined as Vice President of Product. Prior to Videa, Rondon was the senior director of TV strategy at TubeMogul.
This Week on VAN
AI Will be Used for Investigation and Creation as Much as Automation says Publicis Analytics Chief, read more on VAN
Walled Gardens Don’t Deserve Their Bad Reputation says IPONWEB’s Golbere, read more on VAN
TV Rise returns in 2017, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week: Grandpa, Toyota, Badillo Saatchi & Saatchi
An old man in a nursing home struggles to get out of bed, but all is not as it seems in this uplifting tale of people cherishing the limited time they have.