Week in Review: Verizon Acquires AOL, Google Says YouTube Ads More Viewable, Spotify Considering Video Streaming

In this week’s Week in Review: acquisitions, expansions and bumper profits. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Verizon Pays $4.4bn for AOL
Verizon Communications has confirmed it has signed an agreement to purchase AOL. Verizon said the acquisition further drives its LTE wireless video and OTT strategy. The agreement will also support and connect to Verizon’s IoT (Internet of Things) platforms. The combination of Verizon and AOL aims to create a scaled, mobile-first platform offering directly targeted at the global advertising industry. This comes as the YouGov BrandIndex report AOL has the second lowest brand health out of 12 top social media companies.

Spotify to Add Video Streaming
Spotify is reportedly working on a video-streaming service that will complement its music platform. The privately-owned Swedish group is set to unveil the service at a launch event in New York on May 20th.
The Spotify video service will not rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but support the company’s core music service.

TubeMogul Share Price Up 12% After Beating Q1 Revenue
TubeMogul reported its first-quarter financial performance, which, coupled with guidance for the second quarter, sent its shares soaring in after-hours trading. The company’s revenue of $30.32 million was better than the $29.41 million expected and projected second-quarter revenue has risen from $38 million to $40 million.

Google Claims YouTube Ads More Viewable Than Standard Video Ads
Just over half (54 per cent) of all video ads across the web are viewable compared to YouTube’s 91 per cent average viewability rate, according to a Google report. The report also claims that 42 per cent of video ads served across the internet, excluding YouTube, in the UK will never be seen by consumers.

Online Video Ad Revenue Doubles in Three Years
Global advertising revenue from online video doubled to $11.2 billion between 2011 and 2014, and will jump to $13.8 billion in 2015, according to findings from IHS and Vidiro. TV is taking a hit from online and on-demand video and, paired with data and measurement standards, programmatic advertising is improving effectiveness and efficiency of the transactional process, as well as measurement, attribution and optimisation.

UK Creatives Welcome Cabinet Appointments
The UK’s Creative Coalition Campaign (CCC) has welcomed the appointments of John Whittingdale as Culture Secretary and Sajid Javid as Business Secretary and calls on them to stand up for the interests of the creative industries in the UK and Europe.

Licence Fee Evasion Downgraded, Conservatives Accused of Threatening BBC
UK PM David Cameron plans to decriminalise watching TV without paying the licence fee, reports the Telegraph. The Conservatives have previously aborted attempts to make the offence punishable only by a fine, amid concerns it would cost the BBC £200 million a year. This comes as The Drum reports that Tom Baldwin, one of Ed Miliband’s senior advisers, claimed that BBC executives and reporters were threatened with changes to the BBC’s licence fee if their coverage was not altered to more favourably frame the Conservatives’ campaign.

Mediabong Lands $5 Million Funding for US Expansion
Mediabong, a French video advertising start-up, has accepted $5m in Series B funding in order to expand to the United States. The investment will enhance Mediabong’s growth into the US market and accelerate the launch of its new-patented technology, the SyncRoll.

Vadio Raises $7.5 Million, Taps Ex-Sony Exec as Chairman and COO
Vadio, a startup that provides technology to distribute music videos to Internet audio-based services, has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding and named Yair Landau, former Sony Pictures Digital president, as chairman and COO.

Ninety Per Cent of People Considering OTT
Millennials are leading the way in video consumption changes. Findings from Limelight Networks reveals that, under the right circumstances, 90 per cent of consumers are open to “cutting the cord” and cancelling their cable and pay-TV subscriptions in favour of over-the-top (OTT) video services such as HBO Now and Hulu.

Linear TV Still Matters to Millennials
A new study from REVOLT, Sean Combs cable music network that lunched in 2013 found that 62 per cent of millennials prefer to actually watch TV on TV. Additionally, one in three millennials even Snapchat content they’re watching on their traditional TVs.

Opera Mediaworks Launches the Short Form Video Fund in EMEA
Opera Mediaworks has announced the launch of the Short Form Video Fund, a program devoted to answering the digital advertising industry’s need for a mobile-first approach to video creative. The Fund, supported by an alliance of top global brands and agencies, provides $1 million financial backing for short form videos created as per best practice.

US Mobile Ad Campaigns Up 81 Per Cent
Advertisers are increasingly planning their video strategies holistically, benefitting mobile, according to an  analysis of Videology’s platform. In the first quarter 2015, the total number of campaigns delivered on mobile increased 81 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Exponential Launches Video Formats to Provide Single Brand Experience across Multiple Screens
Exponential Interactive has launched proprietary, scalable video ad formats, called VDX. The company claims the formats solve the fundamental problem of brand consistency, targeting and scale due to proliferation of connected devices.

1.6bn Video Viewers in 2015
Parks Associates estimate there will be 1.6 billion video viewers worldwide in 2015, increasing to 1.9 billion in 2019.

4K TV Market t0 Grow with Consumer Awareness
The popularity of 4K TVs is growing. According to a report from Technavio, the global ultra HD TV market will grow at a CAGR of 45 per cent from 2015-2019. It comes as Ofcom states it may take action on sets being labelled ‘4K ready’.

Teletrax Integrates Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings
Teletrax has launched its new TV Audience Sync product, with capabilities to reach specific audience segments powered by Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings.

Satellite TV Revenues to Overtake Cable
Satellite TV revenues will overtake total cable TV revenues in 2015, according to the Digital TV World Revenue Forecasts.

Slingbox M1 Launches in UK and Europe​
Slingbox has announced the availability of the Slingbox M1 in the UK and Europe. The device allow consumers to watch home TV content on internet connected smartphones, tablets, computers or other TVs virtually anywhere in the world.

Integral Ad Science Signs Partnership with Médiamétrie to Develop France’s First Video GRP
Integral Ad Science and Médiamétrie are partnering to develop France’s first ever video Gross Rating Point (GRP) to align TV and online video advertising campaign metrics.

Defy Media, NBCUniversal Team Up For Hispanic Content Across Digital, TV, Mobile
On YouTube, Defy Media’s channels like Clevver TeVe and El Smosh adapt its most popular channels into Spanish-language formats. A deal with NBCUniversal will bring that content to digital, TV, and mobile.

Viewster Upgrades Mobile App
Viewster has released a new and improved mobile app for iOS and Android.

Mediaset and Atresmedia Break Profits Record
The recovery of the TV advertising market is driving the two private largest TV groups, Mediaset and Atresmedia, to record breaking profits.

Plusnet Adds Youview Service
UK ISP Plusnet has revealed details for its connected TV service and is now offering a YouView-based platform to its customers.

RTL Q1 Rises
Broadcaster RTL Group reported a 1.6 per cent rise in first-quarter core profit, helped by growing advertising revenue in Germany,

This Week on VAN:

European Video CPMs are Going Up as Bid Density Outstrips Supply, read more on VAN

Maker Studios’ Move to Sell Other YouTube Inventory Was a Pivotal Moment for MCNs, read more on VAN

Verizon to Acquire AOL for $4.4 Billion, read more on VAN

Simulmedia, the TV Targeting Company Putting $1 Million of Its Money Where Its Mouth Is, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Channel 4, Persona Synthetics, 4Creative

And Finally…..

Starbuck’s GIFs for Frappuccino are worth a mention. Cats and coffee? The internet may break again:

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