Week in Review: YouTube Launches Trueview for Shopping, Spotify Launches Video, Twitter Plays Up Video Engagement

In this week’s Week in Review: Spotify enters the video content arena, Twitter plays up video engagement and MNOs to block ads. For a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Spotify Transitions to Video Platform, But Playing ‘Wait and See’ With Advertising 
Spotify plans to work with producers and artists to offer original content. It will also host non-exclusive content from, amongst others, BBC, Condé Nast Entertainment and Vice Media. Rightster will provide short-form video content. The announcement comes amid reports that Google and Apple are developing competing music streaming offerings. Those wishing to buy Spotify inventory will have to wait and watch, as the company say they are still looking into how this will translate to advertising.

YouTube Launches Shoppable ‘Trueview for Shopping’ Ads

TrueView for shopping allows advertisers to showcase product details and images – along with the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site – all within a video ad. It’s available for TrueView in-stream video ads on YouTube and works across mobile phones, desktops, and tablets.

YouTube have integrated the Google Merchant Center into video ads, meaning that advertisers will have to connect their campaign with a Merchant Center feed to dynamically add products to their in-stream videos. The ads can be customised for each user depending on context, geography and demographic information.

YouTube Shoppable Ads

In other YouTube news the company’s Kids App has also come under fire again for for failing to filter videos that are unsuitable for young children, mainly native advertising.

Twitter Video Reports High Engagement 
Twitter has released a report, conducted by Research Now showing 90 percent of videos viewed on Twitter are being watched on a tablet or smartphone worldwide and that 70 percent of users watch videos found in their feed. Based on Twitter’s internal data, native video is capable of driving more two and a half times as many replies and nearly three times as many retweets than third-party videos shared on the platform.

Mobile Network Operators to Block Ads
Several mobile network operators say they plan to block ads on their networks, as they battle for a cut of revenue with content providers such as Google, AOL and Yahoo. One European MNO told the FT that it has installed blocking software in its data centres and planned to turn it on before the end of 2015.

AdBlock Plus Android Web Browser Enters Beta
AdBlock Plus has launched a dedicated mobile browser which removes native ads by default. The app entered beta on the Android platform this week.

V Majors Unite For Video Advertising Voice
The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) will replace the longstanding Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB) to become the first association to combine the biggest broadcast networks, cable networks, and distributors to advance the power of video advertising.

Mobile and Video Ad Spend Up, Social Falling
The last twelve months show significant growth in the programmatic marketplace, with mobile and video seeing the biggest increases, according to the new Advertising Intelligence Report from Turn. Competition is increasing as EMEA and APAC markets continue to mature towards stable levels of high competition.

VOD Subscription Growth Driven by Over 35s 
Thirty per cent of UK consumers use an SVOD service each month, an increase of four per cent in 6 months, reports Decipher’s Mediabug Wave 6. However this growth has come from older age groups, with 35-44s, 45-54s and 55+ age ranges all increasing their usage, whilst 16-24s dropped 12 per cent over the same period.

Alibaba Partnering With Agencies to Leverage Consumer Data for Brands
Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant, is reported to be on a big push to put its ecommerce data to work for brands advertising across its platforms. The Chinese tech giant has made purchases in ad-tech and mobile and is partnering with agencies through Alimama, the company’s online marketing arm. Partners include WPP’s OgilvyOne China, Omnicom Group’s Nim Digital, Dentsu Inc.’s &C, and Hylink.

Viacom Helps Advertisers Customise Campaigns
Viacom International Media Networks is forming a new Commercial Innovation group. The group will help advertisers create customised, content-led campaigns that take better advantage of new digital and social media touch points being generated by its brands.

AOL Expands Programmatic Targeting and Attribution For Mobile Apps
ONE by AOL customers will now be able to to programmatically target audiences within mobile apps and measure ad impact, from TV to mobile. The company has also been chosen by agency NetBooster to power online programmatic video advertising for its clients in the EMEA region.

Apple to Make ‘Dramatic’ TV Push, Says Investor 
Apple shareholder, Carl Icahn, said he expects the firm to make a “more dramatic push” into the TV market next year, in an open letter, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple is rumoured to be launching an Ultra High Definition television set, a ‘skinny bundle’ of pay TV channels and an updated Apple TV microconsole. Elsewhere, commentators are predicting moves into virtual reality.

iSpot.tv Raises $21.9 Million to Tie TV Ads to Digital Actions
iSpot.tv has raised a $21.9 million series B round. The new funds will be used for product development and increased staff.

Todd Tran Joins TEADS
Todd Tran has joined TEADS as Global SVP of Programmatic and Mobile. He will lead on Teads’ Supply Side Platform, exchange and mobile offerings.

Nielsen Links Audience Size to Twitter Activity
A new Nielsen study says audience levels account for over half of the variation in tweets about TV shows. The study identified eight factors that play a major role in the amount of Twitter activity a show is likely to produce, including audience size, genre, and whether it aired on broadcast or cable.

Video Ad Views Up 43 Per Cent Year-Over-Year
FreeWheel’s Q1 2015 report shows strong growth and evolution in the digital TV market led by “the new living room.” The study, which is based on data from FreeWheel’s broadcaster and premium publisher clients, found that video ad views have grown 43 percent year-on-year and video views rose by 40 per cent.

While the data doesn’t reflect the total video market, it’s interesting to see just how much live streaming and long-form content contribute to the ad views for FreeWheel’s US customers when compared with those in Europe:

Ad Views, USA vs Europe

However, FreeWheel predict that digital-only publishers, who currently lag behind on live and long-form (accounting for just 3 percent of ad views),will start to catch up as they start to prioritise the development of original programming and simulcasts. Interestingly, the devices used to consume media in the US and Europe are roughly similar:

US v Europe

Netflix Eyes China Partnerships
OTT entertainment streaming service Netflix is in talks with Jack Ma-backed Wasu Media and other potential partners to enter China’s booming online video market, according to Bloomberg.

Weak Q1 For US Pay-TV Additions
The thirteen largest pay-TV providers in the US added fewer than 10,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2015, marking the weakest first quarter for pay-TV net adds for a decade according to a report from Leichtman Research Group.

Asia Pacific Drives Global Digital TV Growth
Based on forecasts for 138 countries, the number of digital TV homes will increase by more than 1 billion between 2010 and 2020 to 1.65 billion – or up by 180 per cent, according to a report from Digital TV Research. The total will climb by 134 million homes in 2015 alone.

Sky Media Appoints First PR Agency Following Viacom Deal
Sky Media has appointed its first PR agency, MWW, in a bid to raise awareness of its services within the advertising community. It will also be creating a new digital asset centre, to allow easier access to clips from its shows.

Ooyala Partners With NICE PEOPLE AT WORK 
Ooyala has partnered with NICE PEOPLE AT WORK (NPAW), integrating Ooyala’s video player with YOUBORA Analytics Quality-of-Service (QoS) platform.

NBCU Gets Comcast STB Data
NBCUniversal is to get access to viewer data from parent Comcast’s set-top boxes. Until now Comcast hadn’t shared the STB data because of consumer privacy concerns.

Honda Embraces Long Form, Reports Increase in Brand Affinity
Honda and Yahoo have announced excellent results from a partnership which saw Honda as the presenting sponsor of the sixth season of Community on Yahoo Screen.

This Week, On VAN:
Leading French Broadcasters Jump into Programmatic, read more on VAN

Q&A: Say Media’s Lawrence Horne on Creating a Publishing Platform for the Open Web, read more on VAN

Brazilian Video Consumption is Accelerating at ‘Breakneck Speed’, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Cafe Pele, Contagious Billboard, Lew’Lara/TBWA Brazil

A yawning billboard that catches on… then reminds you it’s time for coffee.

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