In this week’s Week in Review: Huawei launches its mobile OTT service in Europe, Nielsen reveals plans for potential sale, and Sizmek launches a new advanced TV offering. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Huawei Launches OTT Service in Europe
Chinese tech giant Huawei announced this week it is launching an over-the-top (OTT) video service in Spain and Italy, with plans to roll out the service more widely in Europe in the future. The service, ‘Huawei Video’, will be available to owners of Huawei mobile handsets, with users able to either pay for a monthly subscription or pay to rent individual pieces of content. Content will be provided by partners including RTVE, Atresmedia and Zoomin.TV.
The company suggested it has plans to spread Huawei Video’s reach beyond just those who own Huawei devices, saying it will be rolled out on more devices in the future. With some already predicting that consumers will soon start cutting down on the number of subscription services they pay for as costs add up, it will be interesting to see how Chinese companies like Huawei and Tencent (which is also rumoured to be planning to expand its video service internationally) fare.
Nielsen Plans to Sell
US measurement company Nielsen revealed this week it is exploring a range of strategic options including a sale of the entire company, a spin off of specific parts of the business or a move to take the company private. Nielsen has been under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management to sell, given its recent struggles – the company is the S&P 500’s third worst performer of 2018, and chief executive Mitch Barns revealed he will step down at the end of the year following disappointing financial results last month.
Sizmek Announces New Advanced TV Solution
Buy-side ad tech company Sizmek announced the launch of a new advanced TV initiative at DMEXCO this week, which it say will unify buying and measurement across screens and platforms. Sizmek’s demand-side platform (DSP) already offers access to inventory across linear, addressable and connected TV inventory, but the company says the new solution will use AI-driven insights to plan. campaigns across digital and broadcast TV. Inventory will be provided by partnering suppliers which include Telaria, SpotX and FreeWheel.
The Week in Tech
Oath Unifies Ad Tech Under New Brand ‘Oath Ad Platforms’
Oath announced on Monday that it’s uniting its ad tech brands under one new brand, ‘Oath Ad Platforms’, a move which the company hopes will make it easier for advertisers and publishers to understand its ad offering. The company is combining BrightRoll, One by AOL and Yahoo Gemini, and splitting the resulting suite of products into ‘Oath Ad Platforms for Marketers’ and ‘Oath Ad Platforms for Publishers’. Read the full story on VAN.
InMobi Launches Global In-App Programmatic Exchange in EMEA
InMobi this week launched the InMobi Exchange for programmatic buyers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). InMobi says its exchange reaches approximately 1.6 billion users across 22,000 apps, and blends both the InMobi Network and InMobi Exchange demands into a single auction. Advertisers and agencies can use the platform to buy both private marketplace and open exchange inventory, and can bid on placements including video, native and display.
AdBlock Owner Eyeo to Launch Programmatic Platform
Eyeo, the company which owns AdBlock, this week launched a programmatic trading platform called the Acceptable Ads Exchange which is designed to reach specifically those who engage in ‘ad filtering’. Eyeo launched the Acceptable Ads set of standards, and several ad blockers including AdBlock allow users to only filter out ads which don’t meet these criteria.
Grabyo Reveals New Cloud-Based Editing Platform
Grabyo this week announced it will will introduce its enhanced video editing platform, Grabyo Editor at IBC 2018. Grabyo said its editor will comprise a set of browser-based editing tools for creating and distributing short video clips, highlights and social video from live streams, VOD and mobile sources.
Sublime Skinz Rebrands to Sublime
Sublime Skinz this week announced a repositioning in which it rebranded to ‘Sublime’ alongside launching a new tagline and website. “We are thrilled to unveil the company’s fresh look and positioning,” said Sublime CEO Marc Rouanet. “One of Sublime’s main aspirations has always been to drive innovation and creativity, and our dynamic new branding represents this. This rebrand also marks a new stage in Sublime’s own story and identity, as we focus more on the overall advertising experience and draw on our expertise to invent new, scalable market standards that are creative-led.”
The Week in TV
Mediaset Plans Sale of Pay TV Service to Sky
Mediaset CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi this week said his company is making moves to sell its pay TV unit, Mediaset Premium, to Sky. Mediaset has the option to sell the pay TV service as part of a deal it struck with Sky earlier this year, as the company looks to focus on its channels instead. Berlusconi also hinted that the company is working on a pan-European deal, potentially some new alliance, though no detail was given of what the deal might involve.
BBC News to Launch Weekly Show for Facebook Watch
The BBC announced this week it is launching a news show specifically for Facebook’s fledgling video platform, Facebook Watch, which will be Watch’s first funded non-US made news shows. The BBC show, called ‘Cut Through the Noise’, will be a weekly programme, and will sit within the newly launched news-specific section of Watch.
Les Moonves Resigns from CBS
Les Moonves stepped down as chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation this week, following fresh allegations of sexual misconduct. Moonves and CBS has previously been negotiating an exit package after accusations surfaced earlier this year, but a wave of fresh claims of sexual misconduct last weekend hastened his departure. Moonves continues to deny all the allegations.
Sky Deutschland Launches Low Price TV Stick
Sky Deutschland this week announced a new free TV stick, developed in cooperation with Roku, costing €29.99, roughly half the price of competing TV sticks Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast. At the moment Sky has a number of apps on-board, including its own streaming service Sky Ticket, video on-demand services from ARD and ZDF, and also YouTube and Vimeo.
The Week in Publishing
Vice Launches ‘Vice Video Everywhere’
On day one of DMEXCO, Vice launched a new ad product called ‘Vice Video Everywhere’ which it says will help advertisers reach young audiences at scale, in brand safe environments. Vice Video Everywhere will enable advertisers to buy in-stream video inventory on Vice content across a range of platforms including YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook and Apple News, as well as Vice’s owned and operated platforms and other publishers which syndicate Vice content.
Reach Joins The Ozone Project
Reach, previously Trinity Mirror, announced this week it is joining UK publisher alliance The Ozone Project as the fourth member alongside Guardian News & Media, News UK and The Telegraph. The Ozone Project, announced earlier this year, will see participating members sell their display ad inventory via a joint ad sales and data platform. The founders hope this will help their products compete more effectively with the likes of Facebook and Google.
YouTube Launches Vertical Video Ad Format
YouTube revealed at DMEXCO this week that it will begin running vertical video ads on mobile devices. The format has undergone a trial period and was found to produce a 33 percent lift in brand awareness and 12 percent lift in purchase consideration, according to chief product officer Neal Mohan. The platform also plans to enable brands to target ads based on YouTube users’ personalised home screens.
Meredith Lays Off 200 Employees Amid Structural Changes
US publishing company Meredith Corp has laid off 200 of its employees amid wider structural changes following its recent purchase of Time Inc. The company is merging two of its titles – Cooking Light and EatingWell – and cutting the frequency of Coastal Living.
The Week for Agencies
Sorrell Lays Out Vision for S4 Capital
Sir Martin Sorrell’s new venture S4 Capital this week released its prospectus in which it gave new insight into its strategy as it prepares to be listed to the London Stock Exchange. The company said it will compete both with ad agencies and with consultancies which are increasingly encroaching on agency territory, suggesting that Sorrell is taking the agency threat more seriously. While CEO of WPP, he had played down the impact of competition from consultancies, but the S4 Capital prospectus said that consultancies are “moving more directly to compete with combined operators such as MediaMonks”. The prospectus also revealed that Sorrell will relieve a much smaller pay packet than he did at WPP, earning £100,000 per year with a bonus of up to another £100,000. He will also own 18.16 percent of the group’s shares, but will have controlling power via a special class of shares.
Deloitte Buys Magnetic Media’s AI Platform
Deloitte on Monday announced the acquisition of Magnetic Media Online’s artificial intelligence platform business. The company said the purchase will help make Deloitte Digital’s Experience Services platform both smarter and faster, and that it signals the continued focus on delivering clients better data management capabilities, AI and machine learning-driven insights, and the ability to turn insights into action through Deloitte Digital’s creative capabilities and software alliances.
Havas Group Invests in ‘Multicultural Agency’ Republica
Havas Group on Thursday revealed it has invested in Republica, an independent multicultural Florida-based agency in the U.S. Republicasays it specialises in reaching audiences across culture, language, and technology, providing strategy, creative, research, media planning and buying, analytics, consumer science, digital, public relations, social, and experiential for brands globally. The agency currently works with brands including Walmart, Toyota, Google, Nielsen, NBCUniversal Telemundo, and Universal Parks & Resorts.
Partnerships of the Week
Discovery Agrees Digital Distribution Deals with Hulu and Sling
Discovery signed deals this week with online video platforms Hulu and Sling TV which will see its channels carried on their web TV services. Hulu will carry Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Motor Trend and Animal Planet as part of its web TV subscription service, while the details around which channels will be available on Sling TV have not been released. Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav said these web TV ‘skinny bundles’ better meet the demands of consumers than more traditional bulky pay-TV services.
Channel 4 and Sky Announced Content Sharing Deal
Channel 4 and Sky this week announced a new content sharing deal, which will see live coverage of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix, highlights of other Formula 1 races, and season one of Sky original production Tin Star broadcast on Channel 4. In return, a variety of Channel 4 and Walter Presents dramas will be released on Sky’s digital on-demand platforms.
Vewd and HiSilicon Launch Turnkey Platform for Streaming Devices
Vewd in partnership with HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd this week announced Vewd Go, a turnkey streaming media player reference design built for operators to boost subscribers. Vewd says the new service gives operators new ways to reach cord-nevers, cord-cutters, multi-room subscribers, and subscribers-on-the-go.
Hires of the Week
Oath Picks K. Guru Gowrappan as New CEO
Following Tim Armstrong’s departure, Oath has chosen K. Guru Gowrappan to take over as CEO. Gowrappan has served as Oath’s president and chief operating officer since April this year. Armstrong, who was previously CEO of AOL and oversaw it’s transition under Verizon’s ownership, said in a letter to staff “It took more than two and a half years to turn AOL around; Oath is just over a year old and the first year was spent integrating the post-Yahoo auction assets and working through the data breach related issues. It is going to take time for Oath to reach its full potential.”
Mel Edwards Picked as Wunderman Global CEO
WPP announced this week it has selected Mel Edwards as the new global CEO for Wunderman, replacing Mark Read who recently became CEO of WPP itself. Edwards had previously been working as EMEA CEO for Wunderman.
Cadi Jones Joins Beeswax as Commercial Director EMEA
Programmatic buying platform Beeswax on Monday announced it has hired Cadi Jones a its new Commercial Director for the EMEA region. Jones joins from outdoor specialist Clear Channel International, and will be tasked with expanding Beeswax’s international presence in her new role, according to a company statement.
This Week on VAN
Oath Unifies Ad Tech Under New Brand ‘Oath Ad Platforms’, read more on VAN
Advertisers and Agencies Struggle with ‘One Size Fits All’ Viewability Standards, read more on VAN
Introducing The Video & TV Advertising Guide 2019, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
Ikea Canada, Lamp 2, Rethink
Ikea updates its 2002 classic ‘Lamp’ in this new spot, in which the protagonist lamp has a happier story that in the original, but the spot still ends with the same blunt twist.