In this week’s Week in Review: The FCC votes to bring an end to legally enforced net neutrality in the US, Disney completes a deal to take over a number of Fox’s properties, and a study finds that domain spoofing costs publishers $1.27 billion every year. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
FCC Repeals Net Neutrality Rules
The US Federal Communications Commission yesterday voted to repeal net-neutrality laws put in place under Obama, lifting regulations placed on internet service providers which restricted their ability to give faster access to specific services. The five member board voted 3-2 in favour of repealing the Obama-era laws, which has classified the internet as a utility and made it subject to stringent regulations. Chairman Ajit Pai says the internet wasn’t broken before net neutrality was enforced, and the repeal will return a “light touch” of regulation that’s less restrictive on business. Critics meanwhile believe telecoms providers will have too much power, able to throttle access to services, especially in parts of the country where there is little or no competition between ISPs. Ad industry analysts worry that ISPs could limit the ad delivery speed of certain advertisers and force ad spend toward preferred publishers through faster access, unbalancing the current digital advertising ecosystem.
Disney Buys Fox Properties
Disney completed a deal this week to buy select assets from Fox in a deal worth $52.4 billion. After rival bidder Comcast pulled out earlier in the week, Disney was left as the only suitor for Fox, and announced the purchase on Thursday. The deal sees Disney acquire Fox’s movie and TV production arm and a selection of its pay-TV channels including FX and National Geographic. Disney also receives Fox’s 39 percent stake in Sky and its shares in Hulu, meaning Dinsey now holds a majority stake in Hulu. Fox owner Rupert Murdoch plans to continue running Fox as a slimmed down broadcaster focussing on its news and sports offerings. There had been speculation that Murdoch could have taken the CEO position post-takeover, but Disney has confirmed that current CEO Bob Iger will remain in his role.“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” said Murdoch.
Domain Spoofing Costs Publishers $1.27 Billion Every Year
Domain spoofing is denying digital publishers around $3.5 million every day, equivalent to $1.27 billion every year, according to a new study released this week. Sixteen online publishers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Turner, and Mail Online, partnered with Amobee, Google and Quantcast to monitor levels of domain spoofing for their publications. The publishers found that on average, 10 display exchanges and 24 video exchanges were falsely claiming to sell their inventory. Huge volumes of fake inventory has been sold; video callouts were overstated by 57 times the available inventory, representing about 700 million counterfeit callouts per day, and display callouts were overstated by 4 times the available inventory, representing billions of counterfeit callouts per day. The study emphasised the dangers to brands of ad fraud, and urged further adoption of IAB’s ads.txt initiative.
The Week in Tech
Rubicon Project Switches to First Price for Header Bidding
Rubicon Project will start determining winners of header bidding transactions on a first-price basis from January 22nd next year, it announced this week. CTO Tom Kershaw explained in a blog post that buyers will be able to either submit their first-price bid directly into the seller’s header, or alternatively use Rubicon’s Estimated Market Rate tool. Kershaw said the move is designed to make header bidding more transparent, and to improve buyers’ access to supply.
Seventeen New Members Join Advertising ID Consortium
The Advertising ID Consortium announced that 17 new members, including OpenX, Videology and Sizmek, have signed up, joining founding members AppNexus, Index Exchange and LiveRamp. The consortium aims to solve industry problems around data loss and fragmentation by providing an open standardised pool for cookies and device IDs, and people-based identifiers. The Trade Desk has also agreed to support the Consortium by making its ID solution compatible with the Consortium’s Open Ad ID.
SpotX Reports 18 Times Increase in Global OTT Video Ad Spend in 2017
SpotX released stats this week showing 18 times growth in global over-the-top (OTT) video advertising spend across its platform. SpotX’s data revealed that the portion of overall ad budgets spent with OTT inventory owners increased from 8 percent in October 2016 to over 26 percent of total spend for October 2017, which is expected to grow to 30 percent of video ad spend by the end of 2017.
“We’ve seen DSP partners increasing their focus on OTT in response to a shift in consumption habits,” said Kelly McMahon, VP of Global Demand Operations at SpotX. “By making addressable OTT inventory available to buyers through their platforms, they’re placing themselves ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and enabling advertisers to reach audiences across multiple screens at scale.”
FreeWheel Finds 31 Percent Video Ad View Growth in Europe
Video ad views in Europe saw 31 percent year-on-year growth in Q3 this year, with a 35 percent rise in video starts, according to FreeWheel’s Q3 2017 Video Monetisation Report. FreeWheel says this growth was fuelled by the continued rise of over-the-top (OTT) devices and set-top box (STB) video on-demand (VOD) inventory.
Digitally inserted ads on STB VOD increased by 190 percent year-on-year in Europe, while OTT saw a 44 percent rise, and now accounts for a quarter of ads viewed. FreeWheel says this highlights a continued shift towards the consuming of content in a premium, high viewability, living room environment. This is mirrored in the US, where OTT and STB VOD viewing accounted for 49 percent of all ad views, while desktop’s share continued to decline.
Video Ads Most Effective for Driving App Installs says AdColony
Video is the most effective and popular ad format for driving app installs, according to research by mobile ad platform AdColony released today. Tre
nds in app install campaigns show advertisers moving away from older media like print and radio, and into more effective mobile formats, of which video is the most popular. While video is the top choice for now, app owners seem enthusiastic about playable ads (mobile ads for games that let players experience part of the game within the ad itself) , though are still only cautiously allocating budgets to this format for now. Read more on VAN
Ad Tech Collects 72 Million Data Points on the Average American Child by Age 13
Ad tech companies hold 72 million data points on an average 13 year old from the US, according to research by child focussed ad tech company SuperAwesome. This shocking level of data collection is not the result of companies specifically targeting children, says SuperAwesome, but rather due to adult-oriented ad tech picking up data on children unintentionally. As kids are spending more and more time online, they’re having their data harvested to an ever greater extent as a result. Read more on VAN
The Week in TV
T-Mobile to Launch TV Service Next Year
T-Mobile has bought TV tech company Layer3 TV and plans to launch its own TV service next year, it announced this week. The launch, which is described by the company as part of its mobile video strategy, will be a subscription service with ads, and is pitched as a alternative to a “broken” cable model. Details of what the new service will look like are scant, but T-Mobile has said it will be partnering with creators to source its content, and that the offering will leverage T-Mobiles existing retail presence and customer care services.
EU Parliament Approves Watered Down Content Portability Plans
MEPs this week voted in favour of the European Parliament’s watered down proposals for content portability, thereby rejecting the European Commission’s recommendations. The Commission has pushed for more comprehensive content portability, which would allow broadcasters to show a wide range of their content across borders within the EU, once they’ve secured rights within their own countries. Rights holder predictably have opposed to move, since it would prevent them from selling rights on a country-by-country basis, and the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee amended the Commission’s plan, restricting it to apply only to news and current affairs content.
Bert Habets to Lead RTL Group as Sole CEO
RTL Group announced this week that Guillaume de Posch will be stepping down as co-CEO at his own request, though he will remain on the Board of Directors. This leaves Bert Habets as sole CEO of the company, with current CFO Elmar Heggen taking on a deputy CEO role as well.
“With Bert Habets, RTL Group will be led by a digitally savvy media entrepreneur with an exceptional inhouse career development at RTL Group” said RTL Group’s Board of Directors’ chairman Thomas Rabe. “He will ensure long-term continuity in the Group’s leadership, and accelerate the execution of its ‘Total Video’ strategy. This strategy includes a strong focus on fostering creativity and building more direct-to-consumer businesses in the video-on-demand domain. I look forward to continuing our close collaboration, and wish him – as well as Elmar Heggen – every success in their positions.”
TF1 in Talks to Buy Axel Springer’s Aufeminin Stake
TF1 is in talks with Axel Springer to buy it’s 78 percent stake in digital media group Aufemenin. Aufemeinin’s brand are female-oriented, and cover topics including fashion, beauty and lifestyle for both French and international audiences. Aufeminin’s market cap is currently €295 million.
SVOD Services to Surge to $120 Billion in Revenue by 2022
Revenues for over-the-top (OTT) platforms will nearly double over the next five years, according to research released today by Juniper Research, increasing from $64 billion this year to $120 billion in 2022. Juniper says this growth will be largely driven by subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services, predicting that over a quarter of global households will be subscribed to at least one SVOD service by 2022. SVOD services will find success thanks to three strategies according to Juniper: building their content catalogues, shifting to live content, and acquiring sports rights, though there are potential pitfalls associated with these strategies. Read more on VAN
The Week in Publishing
Facebook Updates Video Distribution and Monetisation
Facebook announced several changes this week to how video content will be distributed and monetised on its platform. The algorithm determining which videos make it onto users’ newsfeeds has been changed, giving preference to videos and series that people specifically return to Facebook to watch. The ‘Discover’ tab in Facebook Watch will work in a similar way. Facebook has also updates its video ad policies. From now on, ad breaks will only be tested in videos which are at least three minutes long, compared to the previous 90 second requirement, and Facebook confirmed it will begin testing pre-roll ads next year.
YouTube Reportedly Planning Music Streaming Subscription Service
YouTube is planning to launch a paid-subscription based music streaming service to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, according to reports this week. Bloomberg claims sources familiar with the matter say the service, YouTube Remix, could launch as early as March next year, with Warner Music Group already signed on and YouTube in talks with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Merlin.
The Week for Agencies
Accenture to Acquire Irish Creative Agency Rothco
Accenture Interactive has agreed to buy Irish creative agency Rothco for an undisclosed fee, the latest in a series of marketing acquisitions by the consulting giant. Rothco, which was founded in 1995 and has a staff count of over 150, plans, designs and produces communications campaigns for European brands, and says it also uses tech to enhance its creative processes. Accenture says it plans to scale Rothco’s creative and brand marketing capabilities internationally.
“Clients are looking to create human-centered brand experiences by connecting every interaction they have with their customers. Bringing Rothco into Accenture Interactive will extend our ability to accomplish this and create the greatest experiences on the planet,” said Anatoly Roytman, Accenture Interactive’s Europe, Africa and Latin America lead.
INNOCEAN Buys David&Goliath
Korean Agency INNOCEAN has bought creative agency David&Goliath for an undisclosed fee, it announced this week. The two have a shared history in automotive marketing; David&Goliath has managed creative for Kia Motors, part of the Hyundai Motor Group whose marketing INNOCEAN handles. “Aligning INNOCEAN with David&Goliath further bolsters our ability to deliver the most innovative and breakthrough work that moves brands and businesses, while realigning the Kia business to the corporate structure,” said an INNOCEAN spokesperson.
Partnerships of the Week
Guardian News & Media Partners with Improve Digital for Programmatic Advertising
Guardian News & Media has agreed a deal with Improve Digital to use its SSP to help further monetise the Guardian’s digital portfolio. The deal will make Guardian News & Media’s digital content available for monetisation for all programmatic display demand sources via 360 Polaris, Improve Digital’s SSP platform. The available inventory includes open RTB and Deal_ID’s for display, and rich media formats across multiple global markets.
Condé Nast Integrates Purchase Data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions
Condé Nast today has licensed product-level purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) to enhance audience-based buying capabilities for its advertising partners. Condé Nast says the deal will allow advertisers to access standard and custom purchase-based audience segments and optimize campaign tactics such as creative execution or ad placement type based on real-time brand sales trends while a campaign is ongoing.
Hires of the Week
Liberty Global Central Europe Appoints Severina Pascu as COO
Liberty Global Central Europe, which operates under brand name UPC, has appointed Severina Pascu as its new COO. Pascu, who has been with Liberty Global for ten years, will maintain her current role as managing director for Central Eastern Europe.
Isobar China Chooses New CEO and CCO
Isobar China announced a leadership reshuffle this week, promoting Alvin Huang to CEO and Chris Chen to a newly created chief creative officer position.
The Week on Van
Five Challenges the Programmatic Revolution will Face over the Next Five Years, read more on VAN
Is it Inevitable that the TV Industry Will Lose Major Sports Rights to the Digital Giants? read more on VAN
Video Ads Most Effective for Driving App Installs says AdColony, read more on VAN
SVOD Services to Surge to $120 Billion in Revenue by 2022, read more on VAN
Ad Tech Collects 72 Million Data Points on the Average American Child by Age 13, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
Roman, Thinly Veiled Metaphors, Circus Maximus
If you’re going to poke fun at your competitors’ ads, you have to make sure your jokes land, which men’s health service Roman achieves with this ad for erectile dysfunction medication. The spot skewers the strange visual metaphors often used for E.D med ads, and by being explicit and blunt about the issue, helps make the conversation less awkward.