WiR: Verizon Sets Sights on Yahoo, Instagram Introduces Views for Video and Huawei and Expway Partner to Standardise Video Quality

In this week’s Week in Review: Instagram to introduce views for video, Verizon confirms interest in Yahoo and Huawei and Expway partner to standardise video quality. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Verizon Eyes Yahoo
Verizon chairman and CEO, Lowell McAdam, has confirmed that Verizon is interested in buying Yahoo, following Yahoo’s dire earnings report last week and admission that it was rethinking its future. Speaking to Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money”, McAdam confirmed the company is considering a bid for Yahoo to be potentially placed within the AOL umbrella under CEO Tim Armstrong’s leadership. McAdam has previously revealed a new company strategy, based around three tiers: having great connectivity, owning platforms to drive traffic to its network and owning content that supports its ecosystem.

Views are Better than Likes at Instagram as App Courts Video Sales
Views rather than likes will be used to judge a video’s popularity on Instagram, in a move designed to encourage more advertising spend on its video ads. A view counter will replace likes underneath videos in the coming weeks. Likes will still be accessible, though only when the user taps the view count. It’s the latest move in a series to bring Instagram closer to sister-network Facebook, though the photo sharing service claims it is in response to advertiser and user demand. Instagram recently introduced 30 and 60-second social ads as well as its Boomerang tool for watching looped videos. In that period, it claims the time people spent watching video jumped by more than 40 per cent.

Huawei and Expway Partner For Video Quality Standardisation 
Huawei and Expway have joined forces to form a joint working group that will promote standardisation of end user video experience, with specific focus on improving the quality of mobile video. The standard the partnership is using is based on total user experience, which includes a comprehensive quantitative assessment of video quality, interactive experience and viewing experience.

Facebook to Caption Video Ads
Facebook is rolling out captioning on video ads, meaning that the video’s script will automatically display as subtitles while the ads play. Facebook’s research has found that 80 per cent of people react negatively when adverts play loudly and 41 per cent of brands’ videos ads don’t get the message across effectively without sound, so Facebook are hoping by captioning ads, they will negate these two issues.

Twitter Launches ‘First View’
Marketers on Twitter can now secure the top video ad slots in users timelines, using it as a storytelling platform, with the site’s new ‘First View’ product. First View helps marketers achieve a higher audience reach with access to Twitter’s advertising space for a 24-hour period. The feature has rolled out in the US market first for testing but will expand globally thereafter.

Google Ditches Flash
Google has become part of the long line of organisations that are banning Flash from their websites, with the announcement that, as of 2017, Google will be banishing Adobe Flash. In a bid to encourage HTML5, from 30 June, Google’s AdWords and DoubleClick networks will no longer accept new “display ads” such as banners built in Flash.

YouTube Red Debuts First Original Programmes
YouTube’s premium subscription service, YouTube Red, has released its first round of original programmes. The $10-a-month service launched last October in the US and already gives users ad-free and offline viewing of videos, plus the ability to play videos in the background while using other apps on their phone or tablet. The first ‘YouTube Red Originals’ will feature four of YouTube’s most influential content creators; Rooster Teeth, Astronauts Wanted, PewDiePie and Awesomeness TV. The programmes can be previewed and purchased individually in the UK through YouTube’s own on-demand store.

Apple Sells First Virtual Reality Headset
Technology giant Apple has started selling its first VR headset online, joining Disney and Samsung by investing in VR. The new View-Master is a version of Google Cardboard’s VR platform, and is accompanied by a mobile app.

Mediabong Launches The Syncroll
Video advertising platform Mediabong, has announced it has released The Syncroll, claiming it offers 100 per cent guaranteed attention throughout the video. Syncroll analyses real-time viewer behaviours and measures their interest within the ad displayed, then adapts to their reaction.

Nielsen Examines Superbowl Engagement Predictions
Before the Superbowl, Facebook released findings from a study, conducted with Nielsen, that showed the correlation between activity on Facebook before, during and after NFL games. Nielsen found that Shares and Posts were “strong estimators” of tune-in, and an increase of one post fifteen minutes before the game began correlated to approximately 250 additional viewers in the first minute of game action; in this same time period, an additional share correlated to 1,000 viewers.


Adstream Acquires Deluxe AdServices
Adstream has its eye on the U.S video market, as it announces the acquisition of AdServices, a division of U.S company Deluxe. London-based Adstream specialises in video delivery and digital asset management, and this acquisition is designed to give them a stronger presence in North America.

Video Will Be 75 Per Cent of Global Traffic
75 per cent of global mobile data traffic will be led by video by 2020, a new report from Cisco has found. By 2020, there will be 5.5 billion mobile users, who will represent 70 per cent of the population. The growth will be led by the adoption of mobile devices, increased mobile coverage, and demand for mobile content.

Ads In View Still Have Impact Regardless of Percentage in View
Ads that are in view for a long period of time regardless of percent in view still have impact, new research from IPG Media Lab, partnered with Integral Ad Science and Cadreon, has found. The report also found that viewability is strongly related to ad effectiveness. As viewability increases, so does consumer attention and ad recall. The report also stated that viewability is important, but not enough to be a KPI.


Online Ad Viewability Falls Across Europe
Across the first quarter of 2015, online ad viewability took a noticeable drop, according to Meetrics.  In the UK, viewability levels for display ads fell from 52 per cent to 50 per cent; an ad is considered viewable if it meets the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50 per cent of it is in view for at least one second.


77 Per Cent of Americans Believe Their Pay-TV Providers Are Profit-Led
Americans believe their pay-TV providers are “greedy”, “heartless” and “unpleasant”, according to new research from a survey from Harris Poll on behalf of TVfreedom. The survey found that 77 per cent of Americans aged 18 and above believe their pay-TV provider cares more about profit than about quality customer service.

Sling TV First OTT Service to Offer Cinemax
Sling TV launched a little more than a year ago and has become known for its exciting network partnerships, which have culminated in this week’s announcement that it will begin to offer Cinemax as a $10-a-month option.

Genesis Media Launches ‘Adaptive Formats’

Genesis Media has announced it has launched ‘Adaptive Formats’, which delivers video ad units that are optimised to an individual web page’s editorial and to the user’s behaviour. The intention is to enable content publishers to best monetise each individual piece of content and providing full value to advertisers.

Short-Form Videos Drives Engagement on Branding Campaigns
Six to eight seconds is the optimum length for branding campaign videos, delivering on average 36 per cent higher engagement levels than long form, and providing the best return on driving traffic, according to Opera Mediaworks. The study found that, overall, video is the more effective ad format for mobile, with long-form video most effective for product-focused campaigns with a call to action.

Retail, Tech and Consumer Packaged Goods Lead Mobile Ad Categories
Retail and technology dominated the leading mobile video ad categories from Q4 2015, a report from Positive Mobile has shown. Cosmetics/beauty only made up five per cent of the category breakdown, with arts&entertainment taking 7 per cent of the market. The data is based on outstream mobile video ad campaigns, which unlike pre/mid/post-roll, don’t run during video content.

Twitter Releases Flat Q4
Twitter has reported a largely unchanged monthly active user (MAU) base in its Q4 results, with 320 million reportedly using the site. Twitter reported that they experienced a revenue increase of 48 per cent year-on-year, and their ad revenue rose 53 per cent during the same period. Mobile advertising contributed 86 per cent of the total amount, $641m, from active advertisers. The social network has announced it will focus on growing its user base, plus improve retention rates

Comcast Loses Fewest Subscribers
Media company Comcast has revealed it has lost the fewest subscribers yet, in the latest Q4 results for the company. Comcast added 89,000 customers for video service Xfinity in the fourth quarter, the most of any quarter since 2006, and year-on-year, video revenue was up 4.4 per cent to $5.4 billion.

Majority of 10-12 Year Olds are on Social Media
78 per cent of 10-12 year olds say they have a social media account, according to a survey conducted by ComRes and commissioned by the BBC. Despite many social media sites like Facebook and Snapchat having age restrictions, in over 1,000 10-18 year-olds asked, the report showed that over a third were users of Whatsapp and more than a quarter of them say they use Snapchat.

Watching Video Accounts For Two Per Cent of Smartphone Time
Phone calls and texts are the most used features on smartphones, with both at 22 per cent of time spent on each, with video representing just 2 per cent of smartphone use, a report from GfK MRI has found. E-mails and media accounted for 10 per cent of time spent each, and overall GfK’s category of “Entertainment,” which includes web surfing, music, games, video, shopping and reading, accounted for 22 per cent of time spent.

Consumer Virtual Reality Content to Reach $8.3 Billion
Whilst Virtual Reality (VR) is still in early stages of innovation, there are planned releases of VR first generation headsets set to hit the market during 2016, and this will push VR content to reach $8.3bn by 2020, according to Futuresource research. The VR content people most want to experience, the report says, is movies and games. They feature highest in the list, with 39 per cent of consumers sampled interested in experiencing movies in VR, while 38 per cent were interested in gaming in VR.

Over 80 Per Cent of Homes Have DVR or Netflix
30 per cent of U.S households use at least two services out of DVR, Netflix, or on-demand from a cable or Teleco provider, according to a survey by the Leichtman Research Group. The survey also found that 57 per cent of households get a subscription video on-Demand service from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu and that, overall, 48 per cent of adults stream any of these services on a monthly basis.

UK Government And BT Partner on Superfast
The UK Government has inked a deal with BT to provide all new homes with fibre based broadband which will be offered to all new developments either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative. It is estimated that more than half of all new build properties can be connected to fibre broadband free of charge to developers.

Over Half of U.S Population to Watch Streaming TV
2016 will be the first time more than half the U.S population will watch TV shows online at least once a month, according to a new report from eMarketer. in 2016, 164.5 million Americans will watch digital TV, which is over half the population of the U.S.

35 Per Cent of Millennials Predicted to Watch Superbowl on Smart TV
One in two millennials had planned to watch the Superbowl on something other than a traditional TV, Adobe Digital Index (ADI) predicted. The survey found that the devices used included smart TVs, gaming consoles, or mobile devices, and millennials are four times more likely to watch on a gaming console than those 35 and above, and twice as likely on a laptop. One in four are very likely to download an app to watch a live sporting event.

Meredith Digital Chooses Ooyala
Ooyala is set to provide Meredith Digital with real-time video engagement and performance analytics with Ooyala IQ. By choosing Ooyala IQ, Meredith becomes the first Ooyala customer to utilize its unbundled analytics solution with Ooyala as well as third-party video players.

UK COBA Commits To Child Protection
Members of the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA), the UK industry body for digital, cable and satellite and on-demand services, have signed up to the Statement of Practice for Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, committing to make child protection a priority. The Statement pledges to provide on-demand viewers with a range of protections and to make on-demand programmes available in a way that supports the child protection tools provided by platforms.

Recommendation-Based Programme Guides to Boost TV Viewing
US multichannel video programming distributors are moving to make recommendation-based programme guides the centrepiece of their updated TV interfaces, according to data from The Diffusion Group. The report states that this shift will ultimately drive 75 per cent of all TV viewing.

Video Quality and Fresh Quantity Important for UAE
Viewers in the UAE rank content freshness and video quality as important in their viewing, the Vuclip Global Video Insights Report for the year 2015 has reported. 49 per cent asked said they lay emphasis on a buffer-free experience, and 47 per cent of viewers reported high definition video quality as being a key consideration.

Com Hem Adds 4,000 Digital TV Viewers
Swedish cable operator, Com Hem, has reported it has added 4,000 digital TV viewers in their Q4 results. The company also reported an additional 11,000 broadband users and an overall customer base to 911,000 unique subscribers.

One SIM Card Per Person Globally
By the end of 2015, global mobile penetration had reached 100 per cent, meaning that on average there is one SIM card per person on the planet, according to the latest research from Ovum. The report shows that regional disparities still exist: in Africa and developing Asian markets penetration is still low, at 82 per cent and 79 per cent respectively.

HBO Now Has 8,000 Subscribers
After eight months of operation, the Time Warner streaming service, HBO Now, has recorded 8,000 paying subscribers, the company’s Q4 results have revealed.

TV-Centric Living Rooms in Decline
Only 50 per cent of adults say their TV is the focal point of the living room, reports an IAB study which looks into the degree to which the rise of Internet-connected devices has impacted the traditional TV watching living room dynamic. The study also reports that during TV programmes, over one third check emails, 31 per cent Instant Message or text and 25 per cent shop online.

Mobile Connectivity and Convergence to Have Biggest Impact on Video
The rise of global OTT services, mobile connectivity and convergence is set to have the biggest impact on the digital video business over the next two years, the Digital TV Europe Industry Survey 2016 report has found. The report states that only 12 per cent believe the pay TV business is set for continued strong growth and will experience little negative impact from these factors.

Cisco Delivers Strong Second Quarter
Cisco has reported strong results for its second quarter, with revenue up two per cent, and product revenue also up two per cent. During the second quarter of fiscal 2016, Cisco completed the acquisitions of Portcullis, ParStream, Lancope and 1 Mainstream in the security, data analytics and video markets.

This Week on VAN:

Time Inc Goes Programmatic by Acquiring the Assets of Viant, read more on VAN

Opera Acquired by Chinese Consortium (Which Includes Grindr’s New Owners) for $1.2 Billion, read more on VAN

Near Space Vehicles to Help Solve Video’s Bandwidth Burden, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Paypal, New Money, CP+B

Paypal released their first Superbowl advert last week, positioning them as the ‘new money in town’. Taking aim at big banks, the online money service’s claim to be the future of finance has since been parodied by Bitcoin. You can see both of the commercials below.

From Bitcoin:

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