In this week’s Week in Review: Ooyala files lawsuit against Brightcove over trade secrets, EU audiovisual directive sets 30 per cent content quota for VoD and extends regulation to social media, Facebook wants to help publishers target their directly sold inventory more effectively. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Ooyala Files Lawsuit Against Brightcove Over Trade Secrets
Ooyala has filed a lawsuit against Brightcove Inc. accusing the company of deliberate and willful misappropriation of proprietary trade secrets. These include customer contact lists, sales pitches and pricing, marketing plans and corporate strategies. Ooyala is seeking an injunction in federal court in Boston to stop and is asking Brightcove and the named employees to return all proprietary materials and destroy all customer information. The six-count filing also includes allegations of deceptive business practices, tortious interference and breach of contract.
EU AudioVisual Directive Sets 30 Per Cent Content Quota for VoD and Extends Regulation to Social Media
The European Council has signed off a revised directive on video media services. The Commission proposal extends the scope of the directive to video-sharing platforms and “social media” services where video forms an “essential” function. These platforms will now have to abide by some of the same rules and regulations that apply to the EU’s broadcasters, giving countries more leeway to crack down on internet companies on issues such as hate speech and incitement to terrorism.
Online VoD providers such as Netflix will also be affected by new rules that dictate that a minimum of 30 per cent of content on such services must be European, and promote the possibility for members states to require a financial contribution from media service providers, including those established in another member state. Tech industry groups have criticised the measure, pointing out that the lack of an impact assessment on the effect of including social networks into the rules, which went beyond the initial proposal from the EC.
Facebook Moves to Work with Publishers on Directly Sold Inventory
This week Facebook announced a self-service tool aimed at helping publishers them more accurately target their directly sold impressions. ‘Audience Direct’ will use Facebook’s people-based demographic information, such as age and gender, and will be used to facilitate deals between publishers and advertisers for direct-sold video campaigns on a publisher’s own properties.
During an early test campaign using Audience Direct, Facebook claim they saw Nielsen on-target delivery at 90 percent, compared to the industry average of 59 percent for narrow targeting. On two other broadly-targeted campaigns we saw our on-target delivery over 90 percent, compared to an industry average of 81 percent. The current test is limited to a few participants, including A+E Networks, ESPN, Hearst Television, Scripps Networks Interactive, Tubi TV and their advertising partners.
The Week in Publishing
Twitter Launches DM Cards for Brands
Twitter has announced a feature for advertisers which allows businesses to promote ads designed to pull consumers into personalised experiences within Direct Messaging, including interactions with chatbots. These interactions get started via a promoted “Direct Message Card,” as the new, customisable card for businesses is called. Brands can disseminate the cards via Promoted Tweets or organic sharing. The card can be embedded with image or video creatives and include up to four call-to-action buttons.
Alibaba Revenues Grow in Q1 as Monthly Users Reach 507 Million
Alibaba has posted strong Q1 of growth with total revenues up 60 per cent to 5.6 billion USD as its customer base rose to half a billion people. Revenues from Alibaba’s core commerce business, which includes the Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, increased 47 per cent year-on-year to 4.6 billion USD. Mobile monthly active users on the company’s retail marketplaces reached 507 million in March, up 14 million people from last quarter.
Instagram Tests Direct Response Ads in Stories
Instagram is testing direct response ads inside its Stories section, allowing sign-up and app-install pitches, AdAge reports. Until now, Instagram Stories ads have only offered broad “reach” objectives for branding purposes and not more targeted marketing goals. It is now experimenting with ads encouraging app installation, sign-ups on websites and other goals that are already part of the main Instagram ad offering.
Facebook Makes Video Deals to Capture Millennial Audiences
Reuters sources claim that Facebook is making deals with “millennial-focused” internet media companies including BuzzFeed, Vox Media, ATTN and The Dodo operator Group Nine Media. The material would include short clips under 10 minutes owned by the individual providers, and longer videos over 20 minutes owned by Facebook.
Facebook has also made its biggest push into esports content in a deal with esports contest organizer ESL. The contract provides Facebook with the rights to livestream over 5,500 hours of esports events and original content on Facebook with 1,500 hours of exclusive content provided to the social network. eSports attract a global audience of over 300 million and roughly half of the audience is in the 18-25 year old demographic.
Altice Unveils New Global Strategy Under Unified Brand
Altice has announced a new unified global strategy aimed towards their transition from a holding company with a collection of different assets and brands around the world, to the establishment of one unified global group with one single brand. Atlice says the new strategy and brand direction represents the next step in the Group’s evolution to strengthen its industrial and operational platform.
Snapchat and Facebook Fuel AR Growth in US
In 2017 40.0 million people in the US will engage with some form of augmented reality at least monthly, up 30.2 per cent over last year, according to eMarketer. Much of AR’s growth will be fueled by Snapchat Lenses and Facebook Stories, while VR usage will be driven by 360-degree videos on social networks. While VR headsets provide a more immersive experience, engagement will remain low due to their often high cost.
Twitter Shareholders Vote Against Making Twitter a Co-Operative
Twitter shareholders have voted at their annual general meeting against a proposal to look into making the firm a co-operative. Small shareholder Jim McRitchie and investor Steffen Sauerteig argued that co-operatives are better at growing market share, and recommended Twitter explore their options for reincorporating the firm as a co-operative. The Twitter board recommended that shareholders oppose the commissioning of a report on reincorporating, and won the AGM vote.
15 Million UK Voters will Double Mainstream Media Consumption Pre-Election
15 million Britons are at least twice as likely to visit mainstream newspaper sites in the final two weeks before the General Election, according to Teads. Their survey found 39 per cent of respondents that regularly visit news media will visit national newspaper websites at least twice as often as normal ahead of the general election. Meanwhile, 46 per cent say they have become more wary of news reported on social media following high profile ‘fake news’ scandals, and 53 per cent will actively seek out news and views about the election from multiple websites.
Viaccess-Orca Acquires Squadeo
Content services protection and enhancement firm Viaccess-Orca has acquired Squadeo, a provider of cross-platform OTT premium video solutions for the TV industry, for an undisclosed amount.
TabMo Expands to US
TabMo has launched within the US market, making its mobile-specific buying platform Hawk available to advertisers and their agencies in North America. TabMo’s Hawk mobile programmatic platform manages both the purchasing process and the broadcasting of mobile advertising campaigns on mobile devices in real-time.
Food and Drink Ads Dominate Positive Mobile’s Q1 2017 In-Feed Mobile Video
42 per cent of mobile video ads run via Positive Mobile in Q1 2017 were from food and beverage marketers, the company reports. Positive mobile attribute the 70 per cent year on year increase to the simultaneous growth of mobile and social-dominant food content plays like Buzzfeed’s Tasty, Tastemade and Time Inc.’s recently launched Well Done.
Facebook Signs Deal to Stream Major League Baseball
Facebook has signed a deal to livestream 20 Major League Baseball games this season. The games will all be livestreamed for free via the feed from a participating team’s local broadcast rights-holder.
The Week in TV
EU Approves Content Portability Rules
The European Parliament has approved new content portability rules that will let EU citizens access their online film and TV subscriptions while visiting other EU countries. The vote confirms the agreement reached in February between the European Parliament, Council and Commission and will remove restrictions so that EU citizens can use services like Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime and Spotify while in another EU country for holidays, studies or business.
The vice-president for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, welcomed the vote and described it as “an important step in breaking down barriers” in the single market. The new rules will only apply to online fee-based services but providers of free services can also make their content portable EU-wide, provided they comply with the requirements relating to residency checks.
Amazon Adds Live TV’ to Prime in Europe
Amazon has announced it will offer live television channels via its Prime Video service, for an extra fee. Amazon’s new platform, which is being delivered through the existing Prime Video app, allows customers to select from more than 40 on-demand TV channels. These include ITV, Discovery, Eurosport, MGM and Amazon’s own curated Bollywood channel Heera. The UK service will include about 40 channels, those in Germany and Austria around 25 each.
Global Pay TV Revenues to Flatten Despite Rising Subscriptions
Subscription and pay-per-view revenues for the top 522 pay TV operators globally will remain flat at around $185 billion between 2016 and 2022, according to Digital TV Research. The report claims that the revenue figure will stay static despite these 522 operators adding some 120 million subscribers over the same time period – from a collective 839 million in 2016 to 963 million by 2022.
MásMóvil Reportedly Teaming With Huawei for TV Service
Spanish mobile operator MásMóvil is planning to launch a TV service in partnership with Huawei, according to Spanish financial daily El Español. The report cites two unnamed sources who claim that the operator plans to launch an ‘open’ TV platform that will use a hybrid Android-based set-top to make third-party services such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon available alongside the country’s digital-terrestrial TV channels.
Older Viewers Not Picking Up SVoD
People aged 55-64 are yet to embrace SVoD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, preferring linear TV channels and their respective catch-up services, according to Ampere Analysis. In the US, only two in ten people aged 55-64 in the viewed Netflix in the past month, compared to four in ten viewers overall. In the UK, just one in ten people aged 55-64 viewed Netflix in the past month, and in Germany just one in 20. With 55-64 year olds representing one fifth of the total under-65 audience, this is a large and affluent group for SVOD to miss.
Viacom Developing Low-Cost TV Package
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has announced that his company is working to develop a TV package priced between $10 to $20. The lower price is made possible by package eschewing high-fee sports and broadcast stations. It would effectively drop ESPN and broadcast staples like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, in order to make cost savings. The new package is expected to be available to subscribers within this calendar year.
Spanish Pay-TV Revenues Up 24 Per Cent in Q4
In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Spanish pay-TV industry saw revenues hit €506 million, up 24 per cent from Q4 2015, the CNMC reports. Telefónica accounted for by far the largest share with €420.66 million, followed by Vodafone with €49.08 million. The pay-TV market ended the year with a record 6.06 million subscribers, up 9.5 per cent.
Greece Regulator Suggests Limits on Commercial Channels
Greece’s broadcasting regulator the National Council for Radio & Television (NCRTV) is arguing that the nation can only support between four and six privately-owned commercial network TV channels. This regulator’s conclusion is in direct opposition to studies from the private sector which says the available spectrum can comfortably support between nine and 12 channels.
US Pay TV Reports Q1 Subscriber Loss
The largest pay TV providers in the US lost some 410,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2017, according to Leichtman Research Group. This drop compares to a gain of about 10,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2016, as customer gains for internet-delivered services, – like Sling TV and DirecTV Now, failed to offset the loss of cable and satellite customers.
Excluding internet-delivered services, traditional pay TV services lost about 760,000 subscribers in Q1 2017, compared to a loss of about 120,000 in Q1 2016, according to the research.
Starz App Available Through Samsung Smart TVs
Starz and Samsung have confirmed the launch of the Starz app on select Samsung Smart TVs.
The Week in Tech
Facebook Responds to Criticism After Guardian Mod Policy Reporting
Having had its moderation policies thrown under the spotlight, Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, has published a response to the leaks with a column defending its practices. The article adopts a conciliatory tone, recognising that the company “gets things wrong”, but also defends particular issues that Facebook has been criticised for following the reports.
Bikert justifies Facebook not publishing its moderation policies in detail by saying the company does not “want to encourage people to find workarounds.”. And regarding the fact it does not take down livestreaming videos of people attempting to self-harm, says, “experts in self-harm advised us that it can be better to leave live videos of self-harm running so that people can be alerted to help, but to take them down afterwards to prevent copycats”.
Integral Ad Science Expands Integration with The Trade Desk
ntegral Ad Science (IAS) has expanded its integration with The Trade Desk, Inc. to offer brand safety data for desktop and mobile in-app video and display inventory. Additional features allow advertisers to bid on inventory that meets specific brand safety parameters on display, video, and mobile
Google Offering AI Based Attribution Tools on Analytics
Google has launched a new functionality that uses AI to offer free cross-channel, multi-platform attribution tools on analytics. Built off Google’s 2014 acquisition of online attribution company, Adometry, Google Attribution is offered baked into analytics. According to Google the free tool will measure clicks from all sources including email and social, as long as the data is deployed via Google Analytics. For marketers with more complicated needs, Google has also launched an enterprise solution, called Attribution 360.
VideoAmp and Mediaocean Announce Optimisation Partnership
VideoAmp and Mediaocean have announced a partnership to create an integrated linear TV planning and optimisation solution for the upfront and scatter markets for agencies and brands. The partnership aims to improve the methods available to brands and their agencies to optimise committed network television buys.
The Week for Agencies
Havas Launches Platform to Track ‘Every Penny’ of Digital Ad Buys
Advertising agency group Havas has launched a platform to allow its clients see how much money they are spending with different vendors online and how those ads are performing, in real-time. The company says the Client Trading Solution portal will enable marketers to have more trust in programmatic advertising. The new platform will plug into a variety of conduits for online ad placements, including so-called demand-side platforms, ad exchanges and agency trading desks. That includes Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager, MediaMath and Havas’s own trading desk, Affiperf.
NMPi Launches DQ&A Brand in the UK
NMPi is launching the DQ&A brand into the UK and Ireland. Originally founded in the Netherlands, DQ&A has over a decade of experience in delivering digital technology and consultancy services in over 14 markets including Germany, South Africa, Australia and Spain. The new brand will be headed by former NMPi head of performance marketing, James Sleaford, who assumes the role of managing director of DQ&A UK & Ireland.
Partnerships of the Week
QYOU for WhereverTV
QYOU Media has partnered with subscription service provider WhereverTV Broadcasting Corporation. QYOU’s curated video content will be featured in the line-up for WhereverTV Latino, a new service launching in Mexico.
Viant’s Adelphic Partners with Integral Ad Science
Adelphic has announced the addition of viewability verification from Integral Ad Science (IAS). The offering is available omni-channel across all of Adelphic’s 25+ supply partners, allowing marketers to reach audiences via video, display and native on both mobile and desktop.
Hires of the Week
Twitter Hires Swidler To Lead Live Video Business
Twitter has hired Todd Swidler as its global head of Live Business. Most recently he was at ESC Games as CEO, but prior to that was the global head of Video Distribution and Partnerships at Bloomberg.
Ligatus Appoints Alex Mcllvenny as Country Manager UK
Ligatus is expanding into the UK and has appointed Alex McIIvenny as Country Manager. Alex was previously Managing Director and Sales Director at Mozoo and Head of International Media at Haymarket Publishing.
TabMo Hires to Support Launch in U.S.
In support of their U.S. launch TabMo has announced the appointments of: Leroy Holland has joined as Managing Director, U.S.; Eric Morse and Anna Gaetke to lead its sales efforts in Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively. Holland joins from Kiosked, Morse arrives from Resonate, Gaetke most recently served as director of global agency sales for Rubicon Project.
Unruly Appoints Trout as EMEA Managing Director
Unruly has appointed Jason Trout as the video ad tech company’s managing director for EMEA. Before joining Unruly Trout headed the UK office at Exponential, a global marketing video engagement platform.
This Week on VAN
Taboola Reveals Video Game Plan: to Bring Facebook-Style News Feeds to Publishers, read more on VAN
Amazon’s Channels and the Platform Plays are Still Far from Being TV-Killers, read more on VAN
Tech Sessions: How we can Re-engineer Display Units for Video to Deliver a Better User Experience, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week: Spotify, Dinner, in-house
A teenage son sings-along to Savage Garden at dinner, little knowing how significant the song and dinner-table are to his very existence.