The WiR: Pinterest Launches Video Ads, Amazon to Integrate eCommerce into Entertainment, Cisco to Cut 5,500 Jobs

In this week’s Week in Review: Pinterest launches video ads, Amazon integrates Prime with its sales platforms and Ooyala launches AppStudio. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Pinterest Launches Video Ads
Pinterest has launched a video advertising product, Promoted Video Pins for advertisers in the UK and US. The move is reportedly in response to a huge surge in the amount of video content Pinterest users now save. Pinterest says that its video ad product will be powerful because it will be paired with featured pins from businesses to help drive purchases.

“Over 100 million people around the world come to Pinterest every month to discover ideas to try [and] one of the best tools for helping bring those ideas to life is video,” the company said in a blogpost. “That’s why video has been so popular on Pinterest – we’ve seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of videos saved in the last year alone.”

Amazon Integrates One Click Buying into Entertainment
Amazon is creating a new series of television programmes designed to connect its online shopping business with its entertainment platform. The online retailer will team up with Japanese entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo to create a television series about local Japanese cuisines, which will feature items in it that users can buy while watching, according to Nikkei. The planned four episodes will be around 40 minutes long each and will play with Amazon’s “1-Click” icon that viewers can tap using a remote to buy products on screen during the show. In the same week, the company announced to Tech Crunch that it would begin streaming some of its original series on YouTube and Facebook.

Cisco Systems To Cut 5,500 Jobs After Two Per Cent Revenue Drop
Cisco Systems is to sack nearly 7 per cent of it’s global workforce as part of a transition from its hardware roots into a software-centric business. The job cuts came as the company, which employees about 73,000 people worldwide, warned of a “challenging macro environment” despite reporting a 21 per cent increase in net quarterly profits to $2.81bn. Revenue fell to $12.64bn from $12.84bn in the quarter to 30 July.

Google Launches Video Calling App, Duo
Google has launched its answer to Apple’s FaceTime video calling app, Duo. The simple app for placing video calls between smartphones, comes ahead of the promised release this summer of Allo, a separate mobile messaging app they hope will help them to catch up with users’ rapidly changing smartphone habits. The company wants to make Duo the main video calling app on Android smartphones, it’s USP being ‘Knock Knock’, a feature which allows the user to see the person on the other end before deciding whether to accept a call.

EU to Crack Down on Online Services Over Privacy
WhatsApp, Skype and other online messaging services face an EU crackdown aimed at safeguarding users’ privacy, highlighting the differences in internet regulation between Europe and the US. The European commission will publish a draft law on data privacy that aims to ensure instant message and internet-voice-call services face similar security and privacy rules to those governing SMS text messages, mobile calls and landline calls. The Financial Times claims a paper will be released by the EU in September.

Snapchat to Acquire Mobile Search App Vurb?
Snapchat could help you organise a night out with friends or get a digest of the day’s news thanks to its acquisition of mobile search startup Vurb. TechCrunch reported the potential deal over the weekend and now The Information reports Snapchat is in the closing stages of talks to pay $110 million for Vurb (75 per cent stock, 25 per cent cash).

Instagram Rolls Out Business Profiles With ‘Contact’ Buttons and New ‘Events’ Tab
Instagram has launched ‘Business Profiles’, a new set of business tools designed to help advertisers stand out from ordinary users and equip them with greater measurement capabilities. The new offering is now being rolled out in Europe and will enable customers to use a ‘contact’ button to connect with brands on the image-sharing app. In the same week, the company has released a new channel within its Explore tab called Events that will feature videos and photos from concerts, sporting events and other significant occasions around the world, personalised for each user.

Instagram explore

Sky To Expand To Spain?
The Sunday Telegraph has reported that pay-TV giant Sky is looking to expand further into Europe, with Spain as a primary target. Sky already owns pay-TV operations in the UK, Italy and Germany.

Vivendi Reportedly Edging Towards Compromise Deal With Mediaset
Vivendi may make a new proposal to Mediaset following the acrimonious collapse of its previously agreed strategic partnership with the Italian broadcaster and could use Italy’s Mediobanca as an intermediary, according to Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

Twitch Buys Curse
Amazon’s video game streaming service Twitch has bought gaming news and social media company Curse, giving Twitch access to 30-million visitors to Curse’s websites, video and social media channels and desktop app. Terms were not disclosed.

Rio Streaming Traffic Smashes Record, Amid Periscope Crackdown
CDN specialist Akamai has revealed that streaming traffic for the Rio Olympic games has obliterated data from previous games. In a statement the company said: “Akamai delivered more video data in the first eight days of Rio than it did for all 34 days of London and Sochi combined.” However, in the same week, TorrentFreak has reported that the International Olympics Committee are clamping down on Periscope users at the games.

Social Media Missing the Podium At Rio Olympics
Despite a major shift to live-streaming, Facebook and its social media rivals appear to be underperforming at the Rio Olympics, according to research from Fluent. Only 33 per cent of viewers are following the games on social media, with Twitter performing particularly poorly, with only 31 per cent of social media users reported following this year’s Olympics via the platform.

Global VR Revenues $162bn by 2020
Worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion (€143.7bn) in 2020, according to forecasts from the International Data Corporation (IDC). This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 181.3 per cent over the 2015-2020 forecast period.

British Media Surprised by Price of Oculus Rift
The hotly-anticipated Oculus Rift, will arrive on September 20th in the UK, at a cost of £549. The Times and ‘experts’ were reportedly surprised by the price.

‘SoMo’ Social-Mobile Video Consumption Set to Explode
Growing time spent on social networking sites on mobile devices will lead to massive expansion of social-mobile video distribution in the next decade, according to The Diffusion Group (TDG)The use of social-mobile networks for video consumption stands at 13 hours a week in the US, accounting for 10 per cent of smartphone use and 14 per cent of total smartphone video time. The company predicts that social-mobile video use – or SoMo – will rise from 684 million daily viewing minutes in 2016 to 7.4 billion by 2025.

YouTube Space Opens to Next Generation of UK Vloggers
A new London based studio hub, YouTube Space, will give a new generation of British vlogging stars the chance to produce high-quality films for free. The studio is free, provided you have 10,000 subscribers and also houses the first YouTube merchandise store, to help star names cash in on their online audience.

Twitter Reportedly in Talks with Apple TV
Twitter is reportedly in talks with Apple to have its app feature on Apple TV. The proposed deal, speculated by the New York Times, is not confirmed by either company.

Virgin Atlantic adds Live TV
Travellers using Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners this summer can watch a limited number of live TV channels through Panasonic Aviation. Three channels are currently on offer, a ‘Sport24’, BBC News and CNN International.

Univision Bails Out Bankrupt Gawker
Online news site Gawker Media has been sold to media firm Univision for $135 million in a bankruptcy auction. The sale comes after Gawker filed for bankruptcy protection in June to avoid paying damages to former wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Children’s Media Consumption Rises in Australia
Kids’ media consumption in Australia has increased over the past year, with their total spending power rising to A$1.8 billion (€1.2bn) annually, Cartoon Network’s annual research study into children and parents New Generations 2016 has found. The report revealed that TV ads are still the most effective for reaching children, with watching TV remaining the top media consumption activity for kids.

Worst Q2 Subs Losses for US Pay TV
The eleven largest pay-TV providers in the US – representing about 95 per cent of the market – lost about 665,000 net video subscribers in Q2 2016, compared to a loss of about 545,000 subscribers in Q2 2015 according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

Ooyala Launches AppStudio
Ooyala has introduced Ooyala AppStudio, a solution for video providers wanting to build and deploy OTT app- and web-based video entertainment. Focused on maximising ROI for broadcasters, publishers and media companies, AppStudio reportedly enables customers to quickly and simply launch, manage and monetise new OTT offerings.

Ten Year Outlook Upbeat for US Cable
For the US cable industry, the 10-year outlook is bright, according to analyst firm SNL Kagan, with recent findings indicating that the industry’s broadband advantage and bundling stance will enhance revenues from 2016 to 2026.

Connected TV Viewing Among 18-49 Year-Olds Has Quadrupled in Past Two Years
A new report has revealed that 8.5 per cent of all TV usage in July 2016 by 18-49 year-olds was through connected TVs (e.g. Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast). That was up from 4.9 per cent in July 2015 and just 1.9 per cent in July 2014, according to data from Pivotal Research.

Partnerships of the Week: Partners with Wochit, the global platform for social change, has formed a partnership with cloud-based video creation platform Wochit that will help the organisation to accelerate production and distribution of socially-optimised video.

Hires of the Week:

Vincent Rinaldi Joins iProspect
Vincent Rinaldi has been appointed director of programmatic at iProspect. He joins them from Google, where he held the position of senior programmatic account manager for DoubleClick Finance.

This Week on VAN:

IAB Research Finds There has Been No Rise in Ad-Blocker Adoption in the UK, read more on VAN

PwC Report Predicts that SVOD will Place Limits on Online TV Advertising’s Growth, read more on VAN

Three Key Questions Ahead of TV Rise, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week:  2016 Ford FT, 360 Experience, Tool of North America
What does it feel like to be a racing car driver? Ford’s new VR experience attempts to capture just that feeling. A sneaky peak of the full experience can be seen below.

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