The WiR: Facebook Overstated a Key Video Metric for Two Years, The Trade Desk Soars on the NASDAQ, Yahoo Faces Embarrassing Breach

In this week’s Week in Review: The Trade Desk Floats on NASDAQ, Yahoo faces embarrassing data breach and Google’s antitrust woes continue. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

New Video Frontiers, Video’s Global Gathering
King’s Place, London, Oct 19-20th

Facebook Overstated an Important Video Metric for Two Years

Advertisers feel they have been misled by Facebook’s video metrics for the past two years, according to a report by the Wall St Journal. Facebook only included video views of more than three seconds in its “Average Duration of Video Viewed” metric, meaning that video views of under three seconds were not factored in, which meant that the average duration was higher than it should have been. Facebook say their new metric, “Average Watch Time,” will reflect video views of any duration and will replace the earlier metric.

According to the WSJ, a Publicis note to clients said, “This once again illuminates the absolute need to have 3rd party tagging and verification on Facebook’s platform. Two years of reporting inflated performance numbers is unacceptable.”

This week Facebook also announced it is rolling out an array of additional measurement products it says will help marketers see how effective cross-channel campaigns are in terms of online and offline return on investment. The social network announced several new partnerships with companies including Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, Visual IQ and Neustar MarketShare to help them deliver the changes. The new tools will allow advertisers to see how a campaign affects offline purchases, test how likely people are to buy products if they have or haven’t seen an ad and track which ads deserve credit for purchases. Mobile app developers will also get their own focused measurement tool.

The Trade Desk Opens at $28.58 After NASDAQ Debut

The Trade Desk debuted on NASDAQ on Wednesday at a price of $28.75 per share, up nearly 60 percent from its IPO price of $18, and continued to climb to close yesterday day at $30.10 per share. The stocks re-opened at $28.58 on Thursday. Commentators are calling the results a good start, particularly considering that adtech companies have struggled recently on the public markets.

Over 40 Per Cent of Video Budgets Allocated Beyond Pre-roll

While total market spend is up, less money is being allocated to the traditional pre-roll format, according to Collective’s 2016 UK Online Video Advertising Market Report.  Whilst Broadcaster Video On Demand (VOD) still takes the lion’s share of video advertising spend, clients are increasing their investment in display, YouTube, social channels and other more niche providers. This has led to a drop in the number of bookings valued at £100,000+, down from 21 per cent of total bookings in 2015 to 13 per cent in 2016, and a rise in bookings valued between £25,000 to £50,000.

The study also found that quality content is still very much king:


And that video budgets in the UK were most likely to be in the £25-50k range:


Looking to the future, respondents were most excited about 360 video which was closely followed by VR:


Yahoo Lets Advertisers Retarget with Native Ads, Faces Embarrassing Breach
Search advertisers in the US will now be able to expand the reach of their campaigns on Yahoo Gemini, its search and native advertising marketplace, by leveraging search retargeting on Yahoo’s native supply. Unlike traditional search retargeting, Yahoo Gemini now reportedly enables customisation at the keyword level with match types and variants. According to Yahoo, this means advertisers can more effectively leverage native ads to reach consumers who have signalled intent related to a specific product or service through a search query via Yahoo Search.

However, it’s not all good news. Yahoo is reported to be steeling itself to reveal the full extent of a potentially widespread and serious data breach instigated by a hacker named ‘Peace’ which could affect several hundred million user accounts. If true the hack comes at the worst possible time, just as the ailing company’s sale to Verizon is set to be finalised.

Big Week for Google, with Allo Release, Antitrust News and Launch of Digitize

Alphabet has been handed a three week ultimatum to respond to EU antitrust charges levelled against it over allegations that Google abused its dominant position with the Android mobile operating system to impede rivals. The firm had been scheduled to respond this week but has been granted an extension by the European Commission after Google requested additional time to review documents.

Google is hoping disrupt Facebook’s grasp of the Western chat app market, with the release of rival service, Allo. Allo is integrated with Google Assistant, meaning users will be able to ask the assistant questions while remaining in the chat, voiding the need to jump around apps. The app also provides predicted responses to questions, based on responses to previous conversations.

Finally, Google and the Economic Development Board (EDB), part of the Singapore government, launched Digitize this week, an education programme to help people become experts in programmatic and marketing technology.

TubeMogul Boosts Display Offerings and Adds Native

TubeMogul has revamped its display offering in order to increase accountability and further improve effectiveness in cross-channel branding and performance campaigns. The company reports it wants to deliver results “without compromising on context, fraud, transparency or viewability,” said Boaz Ram, Director, Display and Social. The service has been bolstered through new agreements and deepening existing relationships, including extending Integral Ad Science’s pre-bid filters for viewability and fraudulent traffic and adding support for Deal ID functionality across marketplaces. The company has also added integration with TripleLift to enable marketers to incorporate native display and video ads into their cross-channel strategySony Developing VR Beyond Games
Sony says it will extend content for its dedicated VR headset into non-gaming areas such as TV and film, but has no plans to join the burgeoning market for smartphone-based headsets. Andrew House, Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc’s chief executive, told Reuters he was already in talks with media production companies to explore possibilities for the PlayStation VR headset, due for release next month.

Digital Video Ads Drive Sales Activity

Viewing triggers video sharing and strong emotional responses, with two-thirds of digital video viewers taking action after seeing an ad and one quarter making a purchase after seeing that ad, according to the Power of Video from YuMe. According to the report, two thirds of digital video viewers have taken action after seeing a digital video ad, a rate that is 1.7x more effective than other forms of digital advertising.”

ISBA Launches Guide to Programmatic Advertising

The ISBA has launched a new Programmatic Guide in association with Infectious Media, to help promote greater awareness and understanding of programmatic advertising. Despite the fact programmatic is set to make up 70 percent of the digital display market this year, ISBA members are increasingly concerned that media agencies are not doing enough to educate advertisers on programmatic and promote transparency in their media management practices.

BBC Given Permission to Create Netflix Subscription Rival in New Royal Charter

The BBC has been given the “right to fail” with innovative new programmes and services under a new Royal Charter which will require the corporation to test subscription services for the first time. Karen Bradley, Culture Secretary, presented a draft of a new 11-year Charter to Parliament this week. The Charter guarantees the BBC’s independence from Government but mandates greater transparency over spending and salaries.

Mediaset, Vivendi Court Case Finalised

A Milan judge will begin hearing two lawsuits for damages filed by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset and Fininvest groups against French media giant Vivendi on March 21st 2017. Last month, Berlusconi’s family holding company Fininvest requested €570 million in damages from Vivendi over an alleged failure to respect an April agreement to takeover Mediaset media group’s pay-TV unit Premium. Separately, Fininvest’s media unit Mediaset filed a suit against Vivendi for allegedly pulling out of the deal.

Sky Invests in Ginx TV

Sky has invested £1.55 million in Ginx TV, the owner of the UK & Ireland’s only 24-hour eSports TV channel, GINX eSports TV. ITV will invest an equal amount, and both companies will have the option to acquire further holdings. The investment follows the launch of the channel on the Sky platform in June.

UnrulyX SSP Unifies Demand Sources For Publishers

Publishers can now unify their global outstream video demand within a single platform through Unruly’s SSP, UnrulyX. The platform allows publishers to optimise demand from the company’s programmatic and managed services, publishers’ sales teams, exchanges, DSPs and other SSPs. The company claim that this ensures every impression is offered to multiple sources in a unified auction, leading to increased number of competing bids, maximum fill and higher CPMs.

IMAX Entering VR
Cinema operator IMAX is getting into the Virtual Reality (VR) small-screen speciality market. CEO Greg Foster, speaking at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch media conference in Los Angeles, also noted that the company is investing a significant amount of time working on the VR concept, which includes bundled ticketing for a movie and VR experience.

Samba TV Launches TV-to-Digital Sync Platform in Europe

Samba TV, provider of real-time audience driven advertising and media analytics, has launched its Sync and Retarget digital ad buying platform for the UK market. To support these expanded service offerings, the company has appointed Hitesh Bhatt to serve as its regional vice president for EMEA and has designated its London office as its European headquarters. Sync and Retarget has been available in the US since 2014.

Streaming Video Alliance and CTA in QoE Initiative

Industry forum, The Streaming Video Alliance will collaborate with the Consumer Technology Association to develop industry-wide guidelines to formalise metrics, associated terminology, and event and attribute access as it pertains to streaming media Quality of Experience (QoE). The service will launch with the support of Conviva and Adobe.

Netmums Founder Secures £2m to Fund Video Channel for Mothers

An online video channel set up by the co-founder of popular parenting website Netmums has secured £2m of funding to expand its offering for mothers. Channel Mum, which was founded two years ago by Siobhan Freegard after Netmums sold to the Axel Springer-owned Aufeminin Group, has agreed a deal with private equity company NVM to create more videos tailored for new and expectant mothers.

Over Half Online Video Plays on Mobile Devices
Ooyala has released new research on “power users”, customers who visit video sites on more days each month and make more frequent visits each day than an “average” customer, as part of their Q2 2016 Global Video Index. The report has identified more week time viewing, with Mondays being a particularly bad time to catch this segment. The big finding for ordinary users was that 51 per cent of all plays are mobile, an increase of 15 per cent from a year ago and 203 per cent from 2014.

Over Half of Europeans Stream TV

The majority of Europeans aged 15 to 45, use the Internet at least once a week to watch films or TV series (53 per cent) according to a Eurobarometer survey. To watch TV series and films online, people first turn to professional film and TV series streaming websites (free or paid), then to video sharing websites and broadcasters’ online TV services. 15 to 24 year olds are more likely to use the Internet to watch TV series and films than the 25-35 year olds (67 per cent vs. 42 per cent).

Eastern Europe Pay-TV Set for Growth

Despite economic woes, 44 of Eastern Europe’s top 64 operators will increase their subscriber bases between 2015 and 2021 according to Eastern Europe Pay TV Operator Forecasts report from Digital TV Research. The region still had 24.5 million analogue cable TV subscribers by end-2015, any of whom are likely to digital pay-TV platforms and free-to-air DTT.

Netflix and Amazon Revenues to Double

Revenues from SVOD services, such as Netflix and Amazon, are set to more than double from $14.6 billion this year, to $34.6 billion in 2021 according to data from Juniper Research. Netflix now sees US subscriber numbers level with leading network providers DirecTV & Comcast (47 million and 47.7 million respectively).

Are “Skinny Bundles” the Antidote to Cord Cutting?

‘Skinny bundles’, TV packages composed of selected channels targeting specific customer segments, can attract younger consumers to pay-TV, according to Altman Vilandrie & Company’s consumer video survey. However, the survey also shows that two-thirds of older consumers, pay-TV’s most reliable subscribers, say they are wasting money for channels they don’t use, meaning skinny bundles could end up cannibalising the existing subscriber base.

Millennials Forego Pay-TV for SVoD

A majority of Millennial “Cord-Nevers” – adult broadband users between the ages of 20 and 35 that have never signed up for a legacy pay-TV service – perceive subscription streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu satisfy their video needs. Consequently, they feel little need for a traditional cable, satellite, or telco-TV service according to research from The Diffusion Group.

Four Companies Control Half of Western Europe’s Pay TV Subs

The 73 top operators collectively accounted for 93 per cent of Western Europe’s pay TV subscribers by end-2015 according to data from Digital TV Research. Despite adding 7 million subscribers to take their total to 97.26 million, this proportion will fall slightly – to 92 per cent – of the region’s 105 million pay TV subscribers by 2021. Liberty Global, Sky Europe, Vodafone and Altice will continue to account for half the region’s pay TV subs.

This Week’s New Partnerships:

Indonesian Publisher Goes Programmatic with SpotX
KMK Online has made its video inventory available programmatically after inking a deal with video ad platform, SpotX. The Indonesian digital publisher operates various news, video, and information portals, including,,, and

This Week’s New Hires:

Advertising Association Hires New CEO
The Advertising Association has named Stephen Woodford as its new CEO. Woodford joins them from DDB.

AOP Announces New Executive Chairman
Jo Holdaway, Strategic & Commercial Data Director at ESi Media, will become new Executive Chairman at the Association for Online Publishing (AOP), as Tim Faircliff steps down. Faircliff will remain at the AOP as Non-Executive Board Director.

Viacom’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Dooley Steps Down
Viacom’s interim chief executive Tom Dooley has stepped down, with a source close to the situation informing Reuters that the company will look both internally and externally for a replacement. The media giant has confirmed that Dooley will be leaving in November.

This Week on VAN:

The Opportunities and Challenges of Using Video Advertising in Messaging Environments, read more on VAN

Why Third-Party Ad Serving Doesn’t Exist in China, read more on VAN

Publishers Need to be Smarter about Selling to Compete Against Facebook and Google #Video@Dmexco, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Adidas Odds, Adidas, Taproot Dentsu

Odd, isn’t it, that a man should run a marathon on one leg? A stirring video and unusual product launch from Adidas India.

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