In this week’s Week in Review: rumours of Snapchat creating secret VR Goggles, Yahoo Storytellers makes its UK debut and Unruly gets emotional over its analytics. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Snapchat to Launch VR Goggles?
Snapchat messages may soon be getting into VR. The Financial Times spotted that the startup has joined the working group for bluetooth technology, which any company building a device with bluetooth connections must be a part of. The paper speculates that this adds to the growing list of evidence that points towards the company working on a virtual or augmented reality device after it hired Raffael Dickreuter, a top visual effects guy from Hollywood and reportedly bought VR startup Seene.
Yahoo Launches New Content Marketing Studio, Yahoo Storytellers
Yahoo has announced the UK launch of Yahoo Storytellers, a full service content marketing studio for customised brand experiences. After its US launch in June this year, the studio will now provide UK brands and agencies with data-led content marketing services. Yahoo Storytellers leverages Yahoo’s editorial expertise, extensive data, native advertising through Yahoo Gemini and content marketing on Tumblr.
Beeswax Raises $11 Million Series “A” Round from Foundry and RRE
New York based startup Beeswax, a New York-based startup founded by executives from Google’s ad group, including CEO Ari Paparo, has announced an $11 million Series “A” round led by Foundry Group and RRE Ventures.
“We believe the Beeswax Bidder-as- a-Service offering is a game-changer for smart marketers, letting them bring cutting edge programmatic techniques in-house. At the same time, the unique model gives them lower, flatter, and more predictable costs.” said Seth Levine, Managing Director at Foundry Group.
Unruly Teams Up With Nielsen, Affectiva, Moodagent And Kent State University
Video ad tech company Unruly has launched two new products designed to bring end-to-end emotional intelligence to digital advertising. Unruly EQ is a new content testing tool, launched in partnership with marketing research firm Nielsen, emotional analytics company Affectiva and music data analysis Moodagent, that gives advertisers the data they need to maximise the emotional, social and business impact of their video content.
The company has also launched a series of new private marketplaces (PMPs), which allow marketers to programmatically target premium media environments that complement the emotional footprint of their ads.
Telefónica to Float O2 and Infrastructure Business
Telefónica plans to float O2 after Europe’s competition authorities blocked it from merging with Three earlier this year. Telefonica now says preparations for an initial public offering of O2 UK are underway. It will keep a majority share in the mobile network and will also list its infrastructure business, Telxius.
Highest Ad Fraud Levels on Chrome and Internet Explorer
Chrome and Internet Explorer are the biggest sources of fraudulent ad traffic, according to research from FraudLogix. Non-human traffic accounted for 20.5 per cent of ad impressions served on Chrome, and a mammoth 50 per cent on Internet Explorer. By comparison, other browsers analysed in the study all showed less than five per cent fraudulent impressions. According to The Wall Street Journal, both Google and Microsoft questioned the methodology behind the study, claiming that it isn’t possible to accurately measure fraud at browser level. However, FraudLogix believes that the higher proportion of fraud for these browser simply reflects their widespread adoption.
Trinity Mirror Marketing Diversifies Into Ad Sales And Merges With Branded Content
Trinity Mirror has merged its marketing and branded content divisions under Zoe Harris, the group marketing director. Harris has added responsibility for Invention, the branded content arm, after its director, Mark Field, quit after 11 years to join News UK in a similar role. The marketing department will become part of Trinity Mirror Solutions, the ad sales operation, which already includes Invention.
Improve Digital Rolls Out New Programmatic Ad Monetisation Platform
Improve Digital has launched its new platform 360 Polaris, a full-stack ad monetisation technology for video, web, and mobile publishers. The company claims to have created an all-in-one publisher solution that integrates the capabilities of both an ad server and a supply-side platform (SSP).
Ooyala Creates Holistic Video Advertising Platform
Ooyala has combined its ad server and programmatic platform into a single solution, a revamped version of Ooyala Pulse. The platform enables ad sales teams to collaborate and access inventory within the same platform, managing both direct-sold and programmatic inventory simultaneously.
Ad Inflation Drives Moment Marketing Boom
Brands are being forced to rethink their marketing strategies as the battle for consumer attention has pushed up advertising prices, according to a new report from TVTY. Moment marketing campaigns mean brands focus their digital spend around a particular event, or ‘macro moment’, likely to engage their audience. The research shows a third of brands are now taking an even more granular approach, by targeting ‘moments within moments’. These ultra-targeted ‘micro moments’ mean spend is further optimised at the exact point when consumers are most likely to be paying attention. For example, a brand might choose to only launch a digital display campaign when a specific footballer that is loved by their audience scores a goal during a match. The research shows the top three triggers are: changes in the weather; the TV advertising of competitors; and travel metrics such as flight delays.
Snapchat Ad Revenue Forecast to Reach Nearly $1bn Next Year
Snapchat’s ad revenues are poised to explode, according to eMarketer’s first forecast of ad revenues for the social platform. Worldwide, it will generate $366.69 million in ad revenues this year, with that figure jumping to $935.46 million in 2017.
Snapchat has also killed daily ‘Live Stories’ for cities and fired their human curators this week. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
UK Ad Spend Downgraded by Carat
The UK ad spend forecast has been downgraded to 5.4 per cent for the year, down from previous expectations of 6.2 per cent according to Carat’s Ad Spend report. The report attributes the downgrade to the Brexit vote. Despite slower growth, the UK will remain the top market in Western Europe and fourth globally.
US Brand Professionals Believe Outstream Video Will Grow Significantly, Say Teads
Two thirds of US brand professionals believe outstream video will grow significantly in the next two years, according to a new study from Teads, “Outstream: The New Wave of Advertising”.
Flite Creates 1:1 Personalised 360° Ads
Creative Management Platform (CMP), Flite. has launched a personalisable ad unit with 360-degree video or image. Similar to Facebook 360 Video or YouTube 360 video, Flite 360° supports video or images for 360-degree spherical viewing, and adds all of the available interactive elements and personalization components from the Flite CMP platform.
Adform Introduces New DMP, ‘Audience Base’
Adform announced the availability of its data management platform (DMP) as a standalone solution that enterprises can integrate into their existing digital ad-tech and mar-tech environments. As part of the launch, the Adform DMP has changed its name to Audience Base.
Massive and IBM Cloud Video Deliver Video Platform
Massive Interactive has teamed up with IBM Cloud Video to provide a solution that simplifies video logistics management for streaming services. The Massive AXIS platform provides customisable video apps along with a drag and drop interface that allows editorial teams to centrally manage, schedule and update content and UIs across any device.
Verizon DMS Launches Live Streaming Solution
Verizon Digital Media Services has launched its Live Streaming Solution, designed simplify streaming live content at scale. The launch of the Live Streaming Solution coincides with enhancements to the Verizon Digital Media Services platform, including workflow enhancements in the Uplynk Video Streaming service, enhanced monitoring tools in Network Operations Centres in Los Angeles, California and Ashburn, Virginia, and the availability of a managed services team for day-of-show support.
IPG Mediabrands Buys Search and Content Agency, Stickyeyes
IPG Mediabrands has acquired the Leeds based search and content agency, Stickyeyes Group. The deal is reportedly worth more than £20m and will see both Stickyeyes and Zazzle Media retain their established brands. There will not be any redundancies as part of the buy-out.
Connected Device Apps Driving Revenue Generation
Connected device apps for the monetisation of video services are now the second most used method for consumers subscribing to OTT services according to a report by Parks Associates and Ooyala, “Connected Apps: The New Battleground for Video Services“. More than 25 per cent of OTT video service subscriptions were purchased through a connected device app, including apps on streaming media players, game consoles, and connected TVs. Apps on connected devices trail only service provider websites in securing OTT subscribers.
EU Digital Infrastructure Needs €700bn Investment
Europe needs to invest €700 billion in digital infrastructure to catch up with the US and China, according to Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. The commissioner for the digital economy warned that if Europe doesn’t develop fibre-optic networks and nextgen 5G applications and networks fast enough, “we will lose, because important technological applications will not be possible any longer in our industry”.
HTC Backs VR Studio
HTC has invested $5 million in Steel Wool, a VR development studio founded by alumni of Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, and Telltale Games. The company will use the funds to help develop multiple existing projects across games, simulation, and narrative concepts.
VR Headset Sales Flatline
Sales of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets have flatlined in the US according to figures from digital gaming platform Steam, despite stock problems no longer being an issue. With the Oculus Rift priced at £550 (€656) and the HTC Vive at £800, the price is obviously a key issue for early adopters, with a Steam survey showing that only 0.18 per cent of users own an HTC Vive and just 0.10 per cent have an Oculus Rift.
CBS ‘All Access’ Ad-free Service
CBS will launch a commercial-free plan for the “CBS All Access subscription service” in the US. In addition to the existing subscription offering of $5.99 (€5.37) per month, subscribers now have the option to watch CBS All Access’s on-demand content commercial-free for $9.99 per month.
This Week’s New Partnerships:
SpotX and LiveRamp Partner to Give Video Advertisers ‘Data Independence’
Video inventory management platform, SpotX, and data management company LiveRamp™, have partnered to offer video advertisers ‘data independence’. Publishers using SpotX’s platform can now use LiveRamp to overlay first- and third-party data onto their audiences.
BT Sport Partners with Google to Manage Digital Sales for Dynamic Ad Insertion
BT Sport has introduced dynamic ad insertion into live streamed events, to make ads more relevant for viewers across multiple screens. BT Sport has teamed up with Google as its digital sales partner for dynamic ad insertion, making Google responsible for ad monetisation around key live broadcast sporting events appearing on the BT Sport website and app.
IP Deutschland Teams Up With Smartclip
IP Deutschland’s entire addressable TV portfolio will be marketed exclusively by Smartclip. Smartclip’s portfolio covers all German households equipped with HbbTV, of which there are roughly 13 million.
This Week’s New Hires:
Sam Wilson Joins SpotX
Sam Wilson has joined SpotX as a new director to spearhead OTT advertising growth for broadcasters and publishers. Wilson joins them as Director, Business Development from Brightcove.
Realeyes appoints David Bilicic to Head of Global Sales and Strategic Partnerships
Emotion measurement technology firm Realeyes has appointed David Bilicic as their Head of Global Sales and Strategic Partnerships, to accelerate their worldwide growth. Bilicic was previously vice-president of business development at WPP-owned Lightspeed.
Hearst Appoints First Chief Content Officer
Cosmopolitan US editor-in-chief Joanna Coles has been promoted to a bigger job at Hearst, taking on the role of the publisher’s first chief content officer.
This Week on VAN:
Google Partners with BT Sport on Dynamic Ad Insertion for Live Streaming, read more on VAN
Second Screening Can Actually Make TV More Effective, read more on VAN
Ad Of The Week: Theo’s Dog, Malteasers, AMV BBDO
Malteasers has won one million pound commercial airtime from Channel 4, after their ads were deemed to be the winners of the ‘Superhumans Wanted’ prize. The ads will accompany the Paralympics and feature people with various disabilities sharing anecdotes. Find out what happened to this woman’s hearing aid in this episode which will air for the first time with no subtitles….