The WiR: EU Blocks O2/Three Merger, Snapchat Doubles CPMs for Vertical Video Ads, Economist Launches New Video Initatives

In this week’s Week in Review: Comcast buys, Amazon launches YouTube style video, Snapchat charges for vertical video ads. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

EU Commission Blocks O2/Three Merger
Competition watchdogs at the European Commission have blocked the sale of Telefónica’s O2 UK mobile operator to CK Hutchison, the owner of mobile company Three. The Commission said it had “strong concerns that UK mobile customers would have had less choice and paid higher prices as a result of the takeover that would also have harmed innovation in the important mobile sector”. The planned deal was worth £10.3 billion, and would have left the UK with just three major mobile phone network operators.

Snapchat Charges for Vertical Video Ads
Messaging service Snapchat is set to double prices for views of its new interactive videos. The  app is charging a minimum of 4 cents a view for what it calls 3Vi ads, which are vertical video views and interactive. The interactive part means the adverts are clickable; at the moment advertisers are paying a minimum of 2 cents a view for non-interactive videos, which amounts to a $20 CPM. Now, advertisers say they are paying at least $40 CPM on the interactive ads, regardless of whether people interact with them or not.

The Economist Plans New Video Initiatives
Since 2015, The Economist has offered Economist Films to complement the weekly output of the newspaper, and at Newfronts they have released plans of video offerings that span daily short-form explainers on a mobile app to longer, documentary storytelling on virtual reality headsets like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR.

Comcast Acquires
Comcast’s Freewheel has acquired French startup advertising company, The acquisition is set to create an end-to-end solution enabling clients to manage video inventory across all screens and access demand from any demand channel, while ensuring a brand-safe, TV compliant experience. Since the beginning, Freewheel has continued its responsibility to provide industry-leading technology solutions for TV Programmers/Networks, MVPDs and select Digital PurePlays to unify their advertising businesses across screens and currencies and make automation work safely for premium video across all environments.

“YouTube-Style” Amazon Video Direct Launched
Amazon has launched a YouTube-style video service that will allow all Amazon users to upload their own video content. Creators of videos can now make their videos available to customers as part of Prime Video and earn royalties based on hours streamed, as well as the ability to track performance metrics, such as number of minutes a title was streamed, projected revenue, payment history, or number of subscribers.

Programmatic Advertising Guaranteed on Google Preferred
At the Newfronts event in New York, YouTube revealed plans to allow upfront buyers to be able to buy ”Google Preferred advertising programmatically through DoubleClick Bid Manager, allowing media buyers to manage all video campaigns in the same place. At the same night’s event, Google announced it is launching Google Breakout Videos, which allows advertisers to insert spots into the “hottest and fastest-rising” videos on YouTube. This is to allow brands to be seen sooner by viewers who are watching viral videos that wouldn’t otherwise be on marketers’ radars.

90 Per Cent of Generation Z Watch YouTube Daily
Over 90 per cent of teens (Gen Z) have access to a smartphone, and 69 per cent have access to a tablet, according to new data from EY. The study has found that 90 per cent of teens watch YouTube every day, and 77 per cent of those aged between 13 and 17 say they visit YouTube at least every few days, with Buzzfeed being the top destination for content.

Adblock Plus Has 100 Million Users
Adblocking company, Adblock Plus, has over 100 million active users, according to their co-founder Till Faida. Their user numbers in places like Germany and France, where they say adblocking is well known, have remained stable, and they have seen a surge in use from UK and U.S users.

UK Consumers Less Likely to Click Ads
UK consumers are almost a tenth less likely to click on an ad than the average American, according to the latest State of the Industry Europe Report from Adroll. The report measured the success of ads using a click-through-rate (CTR) formula, or the total number of times an ad is clicked. The CTR was determined by dividing how many times an ad was clicked on, by the impressions.

CNN ‘Great Big Story’ Generates 400 Million Monthly Views
At the Newfronts event in Manhattan, CNN have detailed how their ‘Great Big Story’ site is generating over 400 million monthly views. Great Big Story is a six-month-old digital video startup built independently of CNN, but which uses the sales and marketing background of the cable news network and its parent company, Turner.

Sino Weibo Brokers Deal With Nielsen
Chinese micro-blogging site, Sina Weibo, has agreed a deal with Nielsen to boost its measurement ability. Nielsen has claimed that this is significant, as before Chinese marketers had no means to check whether their advertising was effectively delivered.

Two Thirds of Large Businesses Hit By Cyber Attacks
In the past year, two thirds of large UK businesses have been hit by some kind of cyber attack, the UK Government has found. Nearly seven out of ten attacks on all firms involved viruses, spyware or malware, and the government are launching a National Cyber Security Centre in autumn 2016.

Mobile Accounts for Large Share of Piracy
Visits to YouTube ripper sites during 2015 saw a 25 per cent increase, according to the Global Piracy Insights Report from MUSO. The report also found that the ripper piracy from mobile devices overtook piracy from desktop devices, growing by 46 per cent last year.

Periscope Supports Drone Live Feeds
Twitter-owned app, Periscope, has opened up support for drones from its iPhone app. Periscope’s app now connects with DJI drone remotes so that users can control broadcasts by switching the feed from their smartphone’s camera to the drone.

AppNexus Explores Streaming Data
Both media buyers and sellers using AppNexus’ wares can now use audience insights to optimise ad campaigns in real-time with their new Streaming Data feature, which is now in a limited beta trial. The feature’s high degree of consumer customisation allows for access of campaign data in real time and reinforces AppNexus’ focus on “programmable advertising” as a new industry category.

Dynamic Ads Available Via Instagram
Facebook’s Dynamic Ads are now available via Facebook and Instagram. Dynamic adverts automate product advertising by showing people adverts featuring items that they’ve expressed interest in, either by viewing them or adding them to their basket, or items related to ones that they’ve shown interest in or purchased. It is now even easier for businesses using Dynamic adverts to connect with more potential customers on mobile.

Twitter Users Trust Influencers As Much as Their Friends
Around 40 per cent of Twitter users said they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube, according to data from a survey by Twitter and Annalect. The survey also found that 20 per cent of respondents said they shared something they saw from an influencer, while one-third of millennials say they follow a creator on Twitter or Vine.

Outbrain Secures Additional $45 Million of Funding
Content discovery platform, Outbrain, has secured $45m of funding, on the back of signing long term deals with MSN, CNN, Hearst and Vox Media. They haven’t said where the money will be going, but the company has seen momentum with their ‘Outbrain for Chat’, and have announced CNN as its first publisher to use the product on the Facebook Messenger service at Facebook’s annual F8 conference.

Instagram Undergoes Redesign
Photo sharing app, Instagram, has updated its logo, as well as simplifying the app design and refreshing the interface. Instagram’s redesign is rolling out to its family of apps, including Layout, Hyperlapse and Boomerang.

Netflix Creates Cellular Data Saver
In response to the varying ways people around the world use Netflix, the SVoD company has created a data-saving tool for mobile. In order to maintain good video quality but keep data use low, the new tool’s default setting will enable users to stream about 3 hours of TV shows and movies per gigabyte of data. In terms of bitrates, that currently amounts to about 600 Kilobits per second.  

Millennials Stream Over Half Their TV
Millennials spend 54 per cent of their watching time streaming TV, according to the State of Cable & Digital Media 2016 from Horowitz Research. Just 25 per cent of time watching TV is live, the report goes on to say.

Britons Spending on Online Video Overtakes DVDs
For the first time, the amount that British people spend on online video viewing will overtake the amount of money spent on DVD sales, a new report from Strategy Analytics has found. Consumers will spend £1.31 billion on streaming and downloading in 2016, compared to £956 million on DVDs (includes Blu-ray), which represents a 16.3 per cent decline to below the £1bn mark for the first time since 1994.

China Is Largest Market for Streaming Devices
Even though restrictions on some domestic content and services have impacted growth, China remains the largest market for streaming devices, according to ABI Research. The report shows that streaming sticks in China are less popular than streaming boxes or pucks because the pricing of these device types is relatively similar.

One in Six Broadband U.S Homes Have OTT Sports
Around 16 per cent of American households subscribe to an OTT sports service, new data from Parks Associates has found. The report also showed that 6 per cent of households subscribe to the most popular service, the NFL Game Pass.

U.S Broadband and ICT Sector Worth $1 Trillion
The American economy has been fuelled for the past decade by information and communications technologies and broadband growth, and it has now been concluded to be worth $1 trillion, according to the Internet Innovation Alliance.

FCC Approves Time Warner, Charter and Bright House Merger
The FCC has approved, with conditions, the Application filed by Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Advance/Newhouse Partnership to transfer control of certain licences and authorisations from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to Charter Communications.

Women and Men Offer Differing Video Interests
62 per cent of video views by women aged 18-34 are in the Beauty and Style categories, with health and fitness the next biggest with 6 per cent of views, new data from Openslate has found. For men, the biggest share was 52 per cent of views on gaming. Music was next, with 15 per cent of views.

Video Streaming Market Worth $70 Billion by 2021
The global video streaming market is set to be worth over $70bn by 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets. The global video-on-demand market will be worth some $61.4 billion by 2019, according to the new research.

Cheddar Goes Behind Paywall
Former Buzzfeed executive Jon Steinberg’s Cheddar, named a Web-based “CNBC for millennials” is going behind a paywall as it is added to Vimeo’s streaming marketplace. Mr. Steinberg is set to debut a new subscription video-on-demand service for Cheddar, powered by IAC/InterActiveCorp’s video platform Vimeo.

Spotify Focuses on Original Video Content
Swedish music streaming platform, Spotify, is making 12 original video series’, collaborating with actors and music names. With an audience of 75 million users, Spotify is counting on video to bring in new customers and convince current ones to spend more time on the service, which offers more than 30 million songs on-demand.

Channel 4 Increases Viewing Share
During 2015 Channel 4’s main channel audience share increased last year, the channel has reported in its Annual Report 2015. The report shows that Channel 4’s public service remit delivery metrics were at their highest ever level as the corporation invested record amounts in original television, film and digital content funded by record commercial and digital revenues.

UK High Court Approves MPA Site Blocking Order
The application, submitted by the Motion Picture Association, the European arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, for major UK ISPs to block access to eight sites has been approved by the UK High Court. These sites enable people to search for, locate and access copyright infringing film and television content.

Hong Kong, UAE and North America Most Connected Populations
The three most connected populations are Hong Kong, North America and the UAE, according to GfK Connected Consumer Index ranking for the past two years. In that time, Switzerland has overtaken Denmark and Sweden to move up from tenth place last year to a forecasted eighth place this year.

Virgin Experiences “Record” Growth
Virgin Media has said it has experienced “record customer growth” in the UK in the first quarter of 2016, adding 55,000 customers, shown in the company’s sQ1 report for 2016. Virgin has said that it is on track to connect half a million UK homes access to its broadband network this year as part of the company’s Project Lightning rollout.

Cetado Launches Private Video Marketplace
Digital video company, Cetado, has opened a new private video marketplace. CedatoX, which facilitates direct video ads supply and demand transactions between any two members, is set to open up a wealth of new video opportunities for publishers, advertisers and ad platforms.

UK Leads Programmatic Trading Adoption
Programmatic trading is poised to become ubiquitous for premium video across Western Europe and the U.S, according to new research from U.K. research firm, MTM, commissioned by Ooyala. The report shows that the U.S. and the U.K. are the most progressive in adopting programmatic, currently trading 25 per cent and 23 per cent of all online video programmatically, respectively. Both countries see a 42 per cent year-over-year growth in online video.

Piracy Costs Ireland €2.3 Billion
The Irish economy is €2.3bn worse off every year thanks to illicit trade, according to Grant Thornton. The report shows that an estimated 500 jobs were lost by 2015 due to digital piracy. The estimated cost to the economy shows retailers suffered losses of circa €320m in revenues while the loss to the Exchequer in VAT receipts could be as much as €71m as a result of digital piracy.

2016 Begins Solidly for Freesat
Homes connected to broadband and satellite through Freesat have gone up by 54 per cent, the company’s Q1 report for 2015 has shown. The growth s due to customers choosing to complement their linear free-to-air TV viewing with on-demand services, such as the recently launched, together with the major free catch-up players, BBC iPlayer, All4, My5 and ITV Hub.

Three Quarters of Global Households are Digital
The total number of digital TV households has hit 1,170 million, Digital TV Research has found. Global digital penetration climbed from 40.4 per cent of TV households at end-2010 to 74.6 per cent by end-2015, according to the latest edition of the Digital TV World Databook.

Euro 2016 to Be Multiscreen Event
Two-thirds of those planning to watch Euro 2016 live on TV will use an internet-connected device at the same time, according to RadiumOne and Mindmover. Reading online comments or using online chat about the match they’re watching will be the most popular activity, at 28 per cent each, followed by phone calls, 25 per cent, posting comments on social media, 24 per cent, and searching online for more information, 20 per cent.

Quality of Digital Advertising “Significantly Improved”
Online media quality in the first quarter of the year has improved overall compared to 2015, the Q1 2016 UK Media Quality Report from Integral Ad Science has found. More online ads were found to be in-view, whilst rates of ad fraud and risk to brand safety were at the lowest levels in Q1 2016 than during the four quarters of 2015.

Millennials Are 112 Per Cent More Likely To Share Ads
Millennials are 23 per cent more likely to enjoy ads they find relevant, and are more than twice as likely to share them, Unruly has reported. However, whilst Millennials are more likely to enjoy and share video ads than any other internet users, they are also the generation most likely to install ad blockers and put video ads on mute.

Advertisers Focus on Cross-Screen Formats
Nondesktop pre-roll spend, which include mobile, social, TV and traditional display ads, grew to 43 per cent, close to $50 million, of total spend running through TubeMogul’s platform in Q1. The results indicate that advertisers are spending less on desktop pre-roll and shifting more dollars into cross-screen formats.

The Super Bowl Effect On Advertising
Beer and Snacks accounted for nearly 40 per cent of all CPG advertising in Q1 2016, according to Positive Mobile. The Q1 report for 2016 shows that CPG ads more than doubled their share in Q1 2016 vs. Q4 2015, while Retail, Toys & Cosmetics / Beauty decreased their share.

Adobe Embraces Cloud-Platform Advancements
Adobe is set to unveil new data science capabilities at the Adobe Summit EMEA 2016 across Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Document Cloud, and Adobe Marketing Cloud to help brands deliver the best possible experience at the right time to customers.


This Week on VAN:

Comcast Can Now Start to Think About ‘Conquering the Global Ad Tech Market’ says COO, read more on VAN

Amazon Pushes Deeper into Video Advertising with YouTube Competitor, read more on VAN

FreeWheel Ramps Up Programmatic Capabilities with Acquisition, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Great Men Deserve Great Style, Harvey Nichols, adam&eveDDB


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