The WiR: Orange and Bouygues Deal to Go Ahead, Rovi and Tivo Merger Looks Likely, Snapchat Buys Bitstrips and Enables Video Calls

In this week’s Week in Review: Snapchat buys Bitstrips and enables video calls, Orange and Bouygues deal being cleared by French government and Rovi and Tivo in ‘advanced negotiations’ over merger. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

French Government “Ready To Approve” Orange and Bouygues Deal
The Orange and Bouygues telco groups are on the cusp of agreeing a merger deal that the French Government is now ready to approve, according the French news service, BFM TV. Bouygues is France’s third largest telco, and the the move would reduce the number of telcos operating in France from four to three. BFM TV reports that the French Government has adjusted its position to allow Bouygues take a 12 per cent stake, having previously held our for a maximum of 9 per cent with a clause in the agreement preventing Bouygues from increasing its stake further.

Rovi and TiVo Explore Merger
DVR TiVo, and Rovi are said to be in “advanced negotiations” over a merger deal, the NYT has reported. After the deal TiVo’s shareholders would probably own about 30 percent of the combined company.

Snapchat Buys Bitstrips, Enables Video Calls
Snapchat is buying Bitstrips, the company behind the Bitmoji app that lets you create an avatar of yourself to share on social media and over text, for $100 million. The app also released Chat 2.0 which allows users to make audio and video calls. Snapchat’s Chat 2.0 also lets people communicating with each other instantly switch back and forth between video and audio calls, notes, stickers and text messages. Finally, the app also updated its Privacy Policy to allow for customised ads.

Google Building Livestreaming App “YouTube Connect”
In a bid to take on Periscope and Facebook Live, Google are building their own livestreaming app called YouTube Connect, according to reports. With the app, users can log into their YouTube account and immediately begin streaming from their mobile phone.

Messaging Apps Surpass Social Networks
The amount of monthly active users on messaging apps have surpassed social network use, according to BI Intelligence. The report shows that users connect with brands, browse merchandise, and watch content through messaging apps, as well as engage with friends and family.

Messaging apps

Instagram Explores Longer Video Lengths
Facebook-owned company, Instagram, is extending the time limit of user-posted videos from 15 to 60 seconds. The move comes after video consumption on the platform has shot up 40 per cent over the past six months. Instagram has also said that they are bringing back the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from a camera roll on iOS.

Facebook Video Metrics Include Daily Breakdown
Following on from last month’s redesigned video metrics in Facebook’s Page Insights dashboard, the social media platform has now updated the metrics so that Page owners can access day-by-day breakdowns for minutes viewed, views and ten-second views. Facebook have said that daily breakdowns of videos was the most requested feature on the updated metrics on the Page metrics. It’s hoped these insights will allow publishers to tell how much a particular video is consumed, along with when and why. Facebook is also looking at ways to explore their Live Video channel with “a number of small partners”.

Hulu and Samsung Partner Over VR
Streaming service, Hulu, has partnered with Samsung in order to launch its virtual reality app available on the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR. The app uses 360-degree video content and will feature original content.

Three Per Cent of Influencer Marketing Campaigns Used YouTube
Influencer Marketing has 3 times the ROI of traditional marketing with 62 per cent lower cost, according to a new report from RhythmOne. The report showed that 3 per cent of all Influencer Marketing campaigns used YouTube, and on average YouTube delivered a social action rate of 8.00 per cent (engagements/video views).

YouTube is a “Must Have” For Young Consumers
67 per cent of consumers aged 13-24 have listed YouTube as a “must” in the Defy Media Youth Video Diet Report. Teens and young adults still tune in to TV, but they watch considerably more video on YouTube, Netflix and other Internet sources, with the report also showing that most young consumers say they can live without cable or satellite. Consumers aged 13-24 watch 12.1 hours of video per week on YouTube, social media and other free online sources, and another 8.8 hours weekly on Netflix and other subscription-video services.

Must Have YouTube

Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings To Expand
Ratings provider, Nielsen, is expanding its Digital Ad Ratings into eight new markets globally. This will include the addition of mobile measurement to existing Digital Ad Ratings offerings in a further eight markets. Nielsen has also been reported to be looking at usage metrics for connected-TV devices, including Roku and Apple TV set-tops.

High Value App Users Drive Most Revenue
High-value users drive 85 per cent of app revenue, yet represent just 17 per cent of the user base, according to RadiumOne’s ‘State of Mobile Acquisition’ report. The data was derived from in-app events and ad engagement across third-party apps for more than 100 million devices.

Adaptive Medias and AdSupply Merge To Combat Ad-Blocking
Adaptive Medias is planning to merge with programmatic advertising marketplace, AdSupply to better defending marketers and publishers against ad blockers. According to the letter of intent from Adaptive Medias, AdSupply shareholders would own 53 per cent of the company, and Adaptive Medias’ shareholders would own the remaining 47 per cent.

TubeMogul Awarded Official Facebook Marketer Badge
Brand advertising platform, TubeMogul, has been named as one of the first video platforms to be awarded the Facebook Marketing Partner badge. Advertisers can now purchase video ads within Facebook News Feed and Instagram and place those ads on desktop and mobile. The capability is available to all TubeMogul clients globally.

IAB Launches Programmatic Fee and Transparency Calculator
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched a programmatic fee calculator designed to be flexible to accommodate most media plan channels and cost models. The Fee Transparency Calculator provides advertisers and publishers with a granular, partner-specific evaluation of their programmatic technology, service and inventory costs as a percentage of their effective CPM.

Google Re-Designs AdWords For Multi-Screens
As part of a year-long project to better help marketers reach consumers in a mutli-screen world better, Google has redesigned their AdWords product. Google has made the changes based on the fact that predictable web sessions have been replaced by numerous short bursts of digital activity throughout the day, primarily on mobile, and in these short bursts consumers expect ads to be helpful and relevant.

AOL Launches Two New Video Ad Formats For Publishers
In order to create video ad formats that are more viewable for advertisers and more user-friendly for consumers, AOL has produced two new video ad formats. The formats are meant to help build out the company’s “end-to-end” platform, ONE by AOL: Publishers.

Usage of TV Everywhere Hits 40 Per Cent of Pay-TV Viewers
Authenticated video viewing, or TV Everywhere, reached 40 per cent of U.S. pay-TV consumers in 2015, a new report from Parks Associates has found. The report, which shows the figure is up 22 per cent from 2013, shows the percentage of respondents watching authenticated video at least once a month is 23 per cent, which widens the online video audience for pay-TV providers.

Genius Digital Provides Insights for Astro
Malaysian media broadcaster, Astro, has been utilising Genius Digital to provide real-time audience behaviour data. Astro is using the data to enable the operator to deliver more compelling and profitable TV services, and Astro’s deployment of Genius Digital’s services sees the data service operating in their fourth continent.

UK Broadband Speeds Improve
Virgin Media’s 100Mbit/s and 200Mbit/s services provided the fastest average actual download speeds of all the ISP packages according to the latest UK Home Broadband Performance from Ofcom. The report found that the quality of video streams that could be streamed reliably varied by technology and package type. Thirteen per cent of ADSL2+ packages streamed Netflix videos reliably in UHD, while this figure was over 90 per cent for cable and FTTC services.

Apple Creates Original Content for TV
The first TV project that Apple has created for Apple TV is a programme about apps. Apple is working with entertainer and two veteran TV executives, Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, on a new show that will spotlight the app economy.

U.S Millennials Show Huge Appetite for SVoD
TV’s future long-term consumers, including Millennials, may be just delaying their purchase of full-price pay TV services in favour of broadband-only services, according to Nielsen’s Q4 2015 Total Audience Report. The report showed that 78 per cent of “On Their Own” millennials have subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Hulu. More than 40 per cent of U.S. millennials use a TV-connected device other than a DVR when they turn on their TV set.

4.7 Per Cent UK Households Don’t Have a TV
Nearly five per cent of the UK population make do without a TV, according to the quarterly review of population trends and changes in how people can watch television from BARB. The shows that SVoD is continuing to grow, with 24 per cent of UK households having subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Video or Sky’s Now TV in Q4 2015, compared to 14 per cent in Q1 2014.

Netflix’s Catalogue Has Shrunk By a Third
Due to the increase in competition in the OTT streaming space, Netflix’s content catalogue has decreased by more than 2,500 titles in less than three years. The loss of 2,159 movies amounts to a 33.2 per cent drop, while the 412 fewer television shows now available represent a 25.6 per cent loss.

Netflix catalogue

Pay-TV Subscribers Grow By Five Per Cent In Portugal
By the the end of 2015, the penetration rate of the subscription TV service in Portugal was reported at 86.6 subscribers per 100 private households, according to Portugal’s Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM). The report also said that in 2015, Portugal had 3.14 million accesses to fixed broadband, 10 per cent more than in 2014.

OTT Markets Led By North America Despite European Growth
Over half of UK broadband households and in France watch TV programming and movies online, compared to 70 per cent in the U.S, according to the latest figures from Parks Associates. The number of paid subscriptions in Europe is significantly lower, with 30 per cent of broadband households in the UK and 17 per cent in France subscribe to OTT video, compared to 64 per cent of U.S. broadband households.

Twenty-Two Per Cent of Australians Subscribe To More Than One Pay-TV Service
Foxtel has been rated best at delivering new content in Australia, a new survey from Canstar Blue has found. Netflix came out on top, though, receiving top marks for its easy sign-up process, value for money and overall streaming satisfaction. The survey was taken from a group of 2,000 Australians of whom about one in five, or 22 per cent, of households subscribe to more than one paid TV service, with adults in their 30s the most likely to do so.

Periscope Users Consume 110 Years of Video a Day
Around 200 million broadcasts have been created on the Twitter-owned Periscope app, according to a blog written by Periscope to celebrate a year since its launch. In the blog, Periscope claims that more than 110 years of live video are watched every day on its iOS and Android apps.

Netflix Introduce Data Saving Feature for Mobile
In order to save mobile customers’ data, Netflix will let users either stream more video under a smaller data plan, or increase their video quality if they have a higher data plan. Netflix have said that their default bitrate for viewing over mobile networks has been capped globally at 600 kilobits per second.

Tru Optik and Experian Partner For OTT Measurement
OTT and connected TV data management platform, Tru Optik, is working with Experian to offer a service providing real-time census-level viewer data for over-the-top (OTT) TV programs and ad exposure across all screens. Tru Optik clients will be able to measure and segment content and ad exposure based on lifestyle, demographic and purchase behaviour powered by Experian’s ConsumerView marketing database.

Tektronix Reveals Prism Platform
Prism, Tektronix’s new hybrid SDI/IP media analysis platform, enables a smooth transition from SDI-based to IP-based infrastructure. Prism diagnoses and correlates both SDI and IP signal types and help quickly identify the root cause of the error, whether it is in the IP layer or in the content layer.

Beamr Acquires Vanguard
Vanguard Video has been acquired by media optimisation company, Beamr. Beamr has also raised $15M in a funding round led by Disruptive Growth, with the participation of Marker and Innovation Endeavors.

Spain Increasingly Adopts VoD
47 per cent of Spanish TV viewers use VoD in line with the trend in the rest of Europe where 50 per cent are VoD users, a new report from Nielsen has found. Among those asked globally, out of 65 per cent of respondents who watch any type of VOD programming, which can include long- and short-form content, more than four-in-10 say they watch at least once a day.

BT Tops Pay-TV Complaints
BT has topped the list of pay-TV complaints in the last quarter of 2015, according to Ofcom. BT generated the highest volume of pay-TV complaints per 100,000 subscribers in the period, with TalkTalk generating relative complaint volumes above the industry average, whilst Sky received the lowest volume of complaints per 100,000 subscribers.

Sky Launches Kids App
Sky has launched an app purely for kids that aims to provide a fun and safe way pre-schoolers to nine year olds to enjoy the widest range of the most popular kids TV programmes. Sky will commission its own exclusive original kids content.  

TV Viewing Up 7 Per Cent
The amount of time spent watching was up 7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to comScore’s 2015 Cross-Platform Future in Focus report. The report showed that 1,004 hours were spent watching live TV, up from 936 hours a year ago, and time spent watching programs on DVRs up to 15 days after they originally aired rose to 356 hours from 332 hours.

Integral Ad Science Validated as Digital Advertising Assurance Provider
Integral Ad Science has been validated as a Digital Advertising Assurance Provider (DAAP) for its anti-piracy capabilities by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). TAG’s anti-piracy program helps prevent ad placement on websites that facilitate the distribution of pirated content and/or the illegal dissemination of counterfeit goods. This news comes as Integral Ad Science launches pre-bid targeting segments for mobile in-app brand safety via AppNexus first.

This Week’s New Hires:

Andrea Ching Joins OpenSlate As CMO
Social video analytics company, OpenSlate, has appointed Turner’s Andrea Ching as CMO. Ching had been senior VP of integrated marketing at Turner. She’s trying to grow OpenSlate’s business with TV advertisers moving into digital.

Brightcove Appoints Mark Blair as VP EMEA
Video cloud service, Brightcove, has appointed Mark Blair as Vice President of EMEA, where he will lead the company’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa sales and marketing operations. Blair was Vice President of Asia-Pacific (APAC), where he drove business growth with high-visibility wins in OTT services.

SeaChange Makes New Board Appointment
Video delivery platform SeaChange have appointed William Markey to its Board of Directors as Director. Markey brings a strong background in software, emerging technologies and a background SeaChange’s core markets.

Sky To Name New UK and Ireland CEO
The Sky UK and Ireland unit is about to have its new CEO named, and reports suggest that it will be Stephen van Rooyen. The news was revealed at The Guardian Changing Media Summit, where a fellow panelist on stage said that van Rooyen had just received a promotion. Van Rooyen is currently Sky’s chief marketing and digital officer.

InnoWave UK Appoints New MD
IT service company, InnoWave UK, has appointed Adam Eld as their new Managing Director. Adam Eld will be focusing on accomplishing the company’s ambitious finance and growth plans and to establish InnoWave as a leading company in technological innovation in the UK.

This Week on VAN:

Sense & Viewability, read more on VAN

Q&A: Viewster’s Steve Broadhead on Finding Your Niche, Mobile and Content Licensing, read more on VAN

Solving Ad Fraud: Algorithms & the Human Eye Test, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Hello, New Zealand Transport Agency

This awkward anti-texting ad has us chuckling this week.

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