WiR: Facebook Sought Medical Data from Hospitals, Altice Launches Advanced TV Unit, Display Enjoys Stellar Year

In this week’s Week in Review, Facebook reportedly tried to ask hospitals for anonymised data about their patients, Altice USA launched a new advanced TV unit, and the AOP reports a bump in display revenue for publishers, and a decline for video. To get a weekly digest of the latest industry news and opinion delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.

Facebook Sent Doctors to Talk to Hospitals about Data

Facebook reportedly sent a doctor on a “secret mission” to ask several major US hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project, according to CNBC. Facebook was intending to match it up with user data it had collected, and help the hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment.

The proposal never went past the planning phases and has been put on pause after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal raised public concerns over how Facebook and others collect and use detailed information about Facebook us

According to CNBC:

  • Facebook was in talks with top hospitals and other medical groups as recently as last month about a proposal to share data about the social networks of their most vulnerable patients.
  • The idea was to build profiles of people that included their medical conditions, information that health systems have, as well as social and economic factors gleaned from Facebook.
  • Facebook said the project is on hiatus so it can focus on “other important work, including doing a better job of protecting people’s data.”

Altice USA Launches ‘A4’, an Advanced TV Unit

Altice USA, one of the largest broadband communications and video services providers in the United States, announced the launch of ‘a4’ the company’s advanced advertising and data business, which will deliver audience-based, multiscreen advertising solutions to local, regional and national advertisers and MVPD partners.

“The launch of a4 is an important milestone to mark our investment in advanced advertising and analytics solutions and formalizes our work over the last year to establish this platform,” says Charles Stewart, co-president and chief financial officer for Altice USA. “We’ll continue to support a4 so that it remains a category leader for our advertising clients as well as our MVPD and programming partners.”

Display Advertising Continues to be Largest Driver of digital publisher revenue 

Findings from the latest Digital Publishers Revenue Index (DPRI), a quarterly report on UK publishing from the Association for Online Publishing (AOP) and Deloitte, reveals publishers experienced a 5.6 percent growth in total digital revenue in 2017 compared to 2016, rising to £365.5m. The increase was fuelled by a 27 percent annual revenue increase from display advertising.

Video, however, was down. An AOP spokesperson told VAN that the reason video decreased in Q4 2017 is because from Q2 2016 to early 2017 there was a huge uplift in video, so video was exceptionally strong at that point in time whilst supply was thin on the ground. However, in 2017 it failed to keep pace with the previous year was so high, in addition to the fact that header bidding has helped display CPMs rise considerably.

UK Digital Publisher Revenue (based on revenues for AOP publisher members)

AOP & Deloitte DPRI report

MAT to December 2017 vs. MAT to December 2016

(% change)

Q4 2017 vs. Q4 2016

(% change)

Total DPRI revenue +5.6% +9.5%
Display Advertising +27% +35%
Online Video -5% -21%
Sponsorship -12% -16%
Subscriptions +8% +8%
Recruitment -11% -10%
Other Classified +18% +30%

This Week in Tech

Google Rolls Out Exchange Bidding

Google officially rolled out its alternative to header bidding, which it calls “exchange bidding”. Exchange Bidding offers publishers more options to monetise their display ad inventory by allowing multiple exchanges to compete equally in a unified auction. The company also announced  the latest updates to the Google offering including a provision that offers customers a more holistic view of each ad tech partner’s performance.

Fullscreen Acquires Reelio

Fullscreen has acquired influencer marketing platform Reelio which they say they hope will make the influencer marketing process “automated, scalable, and streamlined from start to finish”. Reelio’s platform uses “data-driven automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to connect brands and influencers”, helping companies to find online content creators in order to target millennial and Gen Z audiences. “The integration of Reelio’s platform into our network brings us one step closer to building a complete solution for the future of brand marketing, which we believe will be social-first and content-driven,” said Pete Stein, general manager at Fullscreen.

TabMo’s Introduces ‘Branding To Store’ in Partnership with Adsquare 

TabMo has today launched its ‘Branding To Store’ mobile advertising solution that combines”the automated creation of a drive-to-store ad format with the ability to measure the real-time uplift in footfall traffic resulting from the campaign”. The feature has been built to meet the needs of TabMo’s retail brand clients and the agencies representing some of these brands.  It is available on TabMo’s self-service creative mobile demand side platform (DSP), Hawk, in partnership with mobile data exchange adsquare.

Amagi Debuts Machine Learning Powered Content Preparation Suite, “TORNADO”

Amagi, a global leader in cloud-based technology for media processing, today announced the launch of TORNADO, a machine learning-based content preparation service that enables TV networks and content owners to “scale their operations, accelerate broadcast workflows, generate new revenues and reduce operational costs”. Amagi say that compared to traditional manual content preparation, Amagi TORNADO is nearly six times more efficient, allowing broadcasters free up capital and streamline workflows.

This Week in TV

US TV Giants Join Forces

Charter Communications, Comcast Corporation and Cox Communications, owners of NCC Media, have announced they are creating a new division within NCC to sell a unified advertising offering across NCC’s participants’ national footprint. The pooled product will launch later this year. Read Full Story on VAN. 

BARB Announces Next Stage of Project Dovetail

The next stage of Project Dovetail is expected to be delivered in September 2018. This development builds on the “successful beta reporting that has been in place since 2015”. The beta phase has delivered data on the number of tablet, PC and smartphone devices being used to watch programmes, both on demand and live streaming. From this September, BARB’s customers will have access to the number of people that are watching content across four screens: TV sets, tablets, PCs and smartphones.

BARB’s method for delivering this relies on combining data from two sources.

Firstly, they collect data from software meters that are installed on tablets and PCs in our nationally representative panel of UK homes. A panel approach is critical as it delivers a single source of observations on how people watch on different devices.

Secondly, they collect census-level streaming data from viewing apps that have been enabled by their owners to deliver duration-based information to Kantar Media, our chosen contractor. This audited measure of online viewing has been delivered in line with best-in-class, joint industry principles.

Number of OTT-Only Homes Now Half the Number of Pay TV & OTT Homes

Twice as many US households subscribe to both pay TV and OTT TV services as those who subscribe only to OTT service such as Netflix, according to research commissioned by Paywizard, a subscriber management company. Based on a survey of 1,000 US consumers, 21 percent of households only subscribe to OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu as their sole pay-TV package – indicating cord-cutting and new younger users are starting out with OTT subscriptions. However, 41 percent take both OTT and traditional pay TV services.

Connekt Say TV Could Be Catalyst for Voice Shopping,

A new study by Connekt (a T-commerce company) suggests TV could be the missing link to spur voice purchases using voice-controlled devices such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. Although voice shopping through these devices has been negligible to date, the study finds consumers are strongly interested in using them to buy items that appear on the screen as they’re watching TV.

Connekt say the TV May Be Key to Smart Speaker Retail

Purchases made through devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo are projected to soar from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022, driven by a surge in the number of homes with a voice assistant, according to a new study carried out by OC&C Strategy Consultants. In Connekt’s study, 25% report owning a voice device – primarily Echo and Google Home – and, of those, 8% have purchased an item directly through it. However, the majority said they’re open to buying items they see in TV using their voice assistant – 73% would buy a product featured in a TV program and 74% would buy one featured in a commercial.

To date, voice assistants have mainly been used for things like music and price checking, but TV could be the conduit to change all of that,” said Tripp Boyle, senior vice president for Connekt. “Our research suggests consumers are highly receptive to the idea of linking their voice devices to their TVs, and purchasing products they see on their screens with just a couple of sentences. The potential here is massive for brands and advertisers.”

eSports Interest Explodes in France

Some 3.8 million French online users have watched or attended a live eSports event, according to a study by audience research group Médiamétrie. Sports games are the top-rated games favoured by eSports enthusiasts, with 43 percent placing these at the top of their list of preferences. First-person shooter games came second, favoured by 34%, followed by online battle arena games, favoured by 27%. Multiplayer card, real-time strategy, combat and role-playing games are also popular.

Partnerships of the Week

Le Monde partners with Ligatus exclusively to provide brand safe premium native advertising

 The Le Monde group has signed a global partnership with leading native advertising solutions provider, Ligatus in a bid to provide a more transparent sponsored content service to its users across a variety of platforms. Following on-going consolidation of its advertising requirements, the Le Monde group will utilise Ligatus’ native ad formats across its premium media brands including; Le Monde, L’Obs, Huff Post (in France only), Télérama, Courrier International, and La Vie.

Roku Partners with Sanyo

Sanyo are the tenth manufacturer to start using the Roku operating system to power its smart TVs. Funai Corporation, the North American sales and marketing company for the Sanyo, Kodak and Magnavox brands, said they expects to ship its first Sanyo Roku TVs in Canada this quarter. “The Roku operating system makes our smart TVs an attractive option for consumers, with simple navigation and search, an easy-to-use remote, thousands of streaming channels and regular software updates so we can offer a great TV experience to our customers,” said Peter Swinkels, general manager of product planning at Funai Electric.

Hires of the Week

Frans Vermeulen Leaves Comcast for TruOptik

Over-the-top data management platform Tru Optik said it hired Frans Vermeulen as chief operating officer. Vermeulen, who had been VP of advanced strategy and operations at Comcast after joining after Comcast’s acquisition of FreeWheel, will be responsible for Tru Optik’s revenue, commercial enterprise and global expansion. He will also be recruiting personnel to help the company grow.

Mindshare Hires Da Costa and Yulia
Mindshare has appointed Daniel Da Costa to the role of strategy director and Yulia Livine to the role of ecommerce director. Da Costa, who reports to chief strategy officer Matt Andrews, was previously marketing director at Airlabs and will be responsible for boosting the agency’s aim of delivering new innovations for clients. Livine has joined from Paul’s Boutique, where she was head of marketing and ecommerce, and in the newly-created role reports to Mindshare’s chief business officer David Walsh.

SpotX Expands Team in France

SpotX, the leading video advertising and monetisation platform for media owners, is growing its team in France with the appointment of Julien Monbillard as Solutions Engineer and Antoine Guichard as Account Manager, Demand.  Both will be based in SpotX’s Paris office.

Chapman Moves to Havas Group Media 
Havas Group Media has poached MediaCom’s Dan Chapman to be its managing director, product and solutions, to oversee its data, technology and consulting business units. Chapman, who takes up the newly-created role later this month, will be responsible for continuing the development of the group’s data-led product suite as well as leading Havas’ engineering teams in partnership with Google and the group’s key technology partners. At MediaCom he has been head of digital since 2014, having joined in 2012 as regional digital director of MENA.

GroupM Poaches Charlotte Frijns from Publicis 

GroupM has hired Charlotte Frijns, the former chief financial officer at Publicis Media, to become the WPP media agency group’s UK chief financial officer. Reporting to Group M UK chief executive Tom George, Frijns will head up the finance division leading on the strategy and day-to- day management of the operation when she joins next month. She replaces Drew Englebright, who has left to take a career break.
Mortimer Moves Over to Client Strategy at Sky

Andrew Mortimer, the director of media at Sky, who has led its £300m UK media review, is moving from marketing to ad sales to be director of client strategy at Sky Media.

Ad of the Week:  BBC Three, Perfect Day, BBC Creative London


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