Week in Review: Dunnhumby Acquires Sociomantic, BrightRoll Publish Viewability Study, Large Screens Driving Mobile Advertising

Highlights this week come courtesy of Dunnhumby, Sociomantic, Yahoo, Spil Games, Rubicon Project, BrightRoll, Kelloggs, ITV, Twitter, Yahoo, NDN, Strategy Analytics, Microsoft and Ooyala. To have a weekly summary of the industry’s news delivered to your inbox, simply subscribe here.

Dunnhumby Acquires Sociomantic 

Dunnhumby Ltd, a subsidiary of Tesco, today announced the acquisition of Berlin-based Sociomantic Labs GmbH, an advertising technology firm. Terms of the deal were not officially disclosed but it is thought Dunnhumby paid over $100 million.

Dunnhumby will combine its data on the shopping preferences of 400 million consumers with Sociomantic’s technology and real-time data from more than 700 million online consumers. “Our strategic priority is to engage consumers and earn their loyalty wherever they shop, in-store and online, with personalized communications that are valuable and meaningful,” said Simon Hay, CEO of Dunnhumby Ltd.

The deal may also have implications for Clubcard TV, Tesco’s ad-supported online video service. Launched last year, the service fuses Dunnhumby’s data with premium video advertising.

BrightRoll and Kelloggs Study Finds ‘Significant Differences’ between Viewability Measurement Companies in Terms of Accuracy and Capabilities 

BrightRoll and Kelloggs carried out a joint study to test the accuracy of the viewability products on the market. The study found that there are ‘significant differences’ between the various services available and the consistency associated with display viewability measurement does not hold true in video viewability measurement.

BrightRoll Viewability Study


Yahoo in Talks with NDN about Possible Acquisition

Yahoo is in preliminary talks to acquire News Distribution Network (NDN), an online video syndication service, for approximately $300 million. If the deal would give Yahoo a major boost in its bid to compete with the other US tech giants.

Larger Screens are Driving Mobile Video Usage

Larger screen phones, better video quality and 4G networks are the three most important factors for driving greater consumption of video content on mobile phones, according to research from Strategy Analytics. The study – conducted across the US, China, France, Germany, Spain and the UK – revealed that 42 percent of mobile phone owners report larger screens would make them watch more video on their mobiles. Better quality video (35%) and having a 4G network (29%) are the next biggest drivers.

Currently, almost three-quarters (72%) of consumers watch video on their mobile phone, however, only 44% do so at least once a week. Less than 1 in 7 (15%) watch mobile video on a daily basis. The Chinese are the heaviest users, 59% watch mobile video every week, compared to 40% of Americans. Mobile video penetration may be approaching its peak; only 8% of mobile owners that didn’t currently watch video on their phone indicated a desire or intent to do so in the future.

Mobile video usage frequency

Among current and intending mobile video users, 64% rated YouTube as their preferred supplier of mobile video, followed by Google (49%), their mobile phone manufacturer (27%), Apple (26%), Amazon and their operator (both 22%).

David Kerr, Senior Vice President, Global Wireless & Digital Consumer Practice concludes: “Although existing internet brands, such as YouTube, are the most preferred suppliers of video content, a significant share also ranked their phone brand and mobile operator favourably too. Consequently, providers of video content must continue to see handset vendors and operators as key partners in the effort to drive mobile video consumption.”

Rubicon Project Shares Surge on First Day 

The Rubicon Project rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday as the started trading as “RUBI” following its IPO. CEO Frank Addante. The price jumped up 33% on the first day and was at $20.04 at its first-day close (it is at $18.90 at the time of writing). 

Spil Games Launches Revamped Video Solution

Spil Games, the Dutch online gaming publisher has revamped its video strategy to take advantage of “cliff-hanger” moments within games to run video ads. Instead of positioning these ads at set intervals within the games, Spil Games’ system ensures that ads catch players at their most engaged moments. Spil Games say this trigger is based on an algorithm that takes into account the amount of time players have been active and the level of their success within the game. The company says this ensures players are in ‘a happy and excited state’ and are therefore less likely to switch off from either the ad or the game Brands that have participated in a pilot programme for ads served at “cliff-hanger” moments have seen view-through rates of 90%.

ITV Signs Up for Twitter Amplify

ITV today announced it has entered into a partnership with Twitter to implement Twitter Amplify across its content. The broadcaster is currently talking to brands to discuss how the sponsored content service can extend and enhance TV ad campaigns.

Microsoft and Ooyala form Strategic Partnership

Ooyala announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft to help develop, promote and accelerate the deployment of next-generation IP video services utilizing Microsoft Azure Media Services (Media Services) in conjunction with Ooyala’s SaaS-based video distribution, analytics and monetization technology. Ooyala also formed a global sales and marketing alliance with Microsoft, which is designed to drive standardization of new personalized TV services for broadcasters and operators.

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