The WiR: New Video Frontiers to Showcase the Industry’s Leading Innovators, Google Unveils Pixel Smartphone & Daydream VR Headset, Eye Tracking Study Challenges Viewability Metrics

In this week’s Week in Review: New Video Frontiers to showcase the industry’s leading innovators, Google unveils Pixel smartphone & Daydream VR headset and eye tracking study challenges viewability metrics. 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 to Showcase the Industry’s Leading Innovators 
Whilst New Video Frontiers has always been a forward-looking event, the surge in video innovation over the last year will make this year’s event one of the most interesting and exciting yet, featuring everything from outstream, VR and 360 right through to live native video marketing. We’ll also be focusing on some of the biggest issues of the day, including:

  • Facebook’s role in the publisher ecosystem.
  • The rise of visual search.
  • How to thrive in the new TV ecosystem.
  • Who spends what and where in video advertising?
  • Creating new advertising models for VR and AR.
  • Imagining the agency of the future.
  • Video advertising in China.
  • A debate on the need for precision-marketing in TV advertising.
  • Trinity Mirror’s success story as a programmatic publisher.

Tickets now on Sale
New Video Frontiers, Video’s Global Gathering

King’s Place, London, Oct 19-20th

Google Unveils Pixel Smartphone & Daydream VR Headset
Google has released a host of new hardware this week including the new Pixel smartphone, personal assistant and VR headset. Google’s new smartphone looks very similar to an iPhone, available in 5 and 5.5″ screen sizes, but sports an extremely hi-res camera with gyroscopic technology to take shake-free video, quick charge and a headphone jack. Google is also offering free unlimited storage for photos and videos to Pixel owners.

Google also debuted its new Daydream VR software, along with the Daydream View headset. The headset, which retails at just $79 (compared to Samsung Gear’s $499 price tag) is made from comfortable materials that emphasise wearability. View is designed with convenience in mind, and wirelessly syncs up with the Pixel.

Eye Tracking Study Reveals Online Ads Must be Viewable for 14 Seconds to be Seen
An online ad needs to be seen on a screen for at least 14 seconds to have any chance of being looked at, according to an eye-tracking study of nearly 4,300 consumers by inSkin Media. The study also reveals that a quarter of “viewable” ads are never looked at, while one-third are looked at for one second and 42 per cent are viewed for more than a second – the median being 0.7 seconds. To be looked at for one second, an ad needs to be viewable for 14 seconds, the study said.

Steve Doyle, InSkin Media’s chief commercial officer, said: “A campaign should be assessed in three stages: did the ad have the opportunity to be seen, was it actually looked at and what was the impact.


Pinterest Names First CFO, Hints at Potential IPO
Pinterest has named its first chief financial officer, a signal that an IPO may be on the cards. Todd Morgenfeld is now the CFO at Pinterest, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Morgenfeld is joining the company from Twitter, where he currently serves as the vice president of finance, a role he’s held for about a year and a half. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has denied the possibility of an IPO however, saying that the hiring “reflects that we’re scaling the business up.”

Cox Launch Videa Programmatic Platform
Cox Media has launched Videa, its programmatic advertising sales platform, with access to inventory from more than 200 stations. The system will enable automated buying of TV schedules based on data, with analytics designed to optimise results. Videa says it is working with major buying agencies including Carat, Starcom, Empower MediaMarketing and U.S. International Media on the project.

Apple’s App Store Search Ads Launched
Apple’s long-promised search ads are almost here and expected to be tremendously important for app publishers and marketers, since 65-80 percent of all app installs happen after a search on either the App Store or Google Play. Apple is using Apple iAd network for the units. However, app makers are unhappy about the ads, which will make it very difficult for ads without significant advertising budget to be found through the store.

Programmatic Video Advertising on the Rise
Advertiser adoption of programmatic video is rising, with 60 per cent of US digital video ad spending predicted to be transacted through programmatic channels this year. This represents a substantial increase from the 39 per cent transacted last year and is partly being driven by YouTube’s early adoption of the technology, says an eMarketer report.

Guardian Launches Programmatic Audience Targeting 
The Guardian News & Media has launched a programmatic audience targeting platform that it says will deliver smarter and more effective campaigns. The publisher said its audience intelligence will be decoupled from advertising inventory, enabling brands to better target audiences. Eurostar has already used Guardian Programmatic Audiences, which has been created by GNM in partnership with digitial agency iProspect.

ANA Calls for Facebook Third Party Auditing
The Association of National Advertisers has backed calls for Facebook’s video metrics to be audited by a third party. Bob Liodice, president and chief executive at the US trade body, said that news of the social media giant miscalculating video views on its site for two years “is troubling”.

Facebook Testing Own Version of Snapchat
Facebook is testing Snapchat-like photo and video messages that disappear after 24 hours in its Messenger app. After TechCrunch first spotted the changes, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the feature test, which is called “Messenger Day,” to Business Insider. The company spokesperson said that Messenger Day is currently being tested in Poland and declined to offer details on whether it would eventually be available to Messenger users in other countries.

American Backer Boosts UK TV Start-up
TVPlayer, a British start-up that charges people only £5 a month for pay TV has finalised a £5 million funding round led by Arts & Entertainment Networks, which is part-owned by The Walt DisneyCompany.

Bloomberg Claims New Article Page Cuts Load Time in Half
Bloomberg Media has made speed the main focus of its new technology news vertical with a new article template called Javelin which will go live on 5th October. In tests, Bloomberg said it cut page load time by 30 percent to 50 percent depending on the test. If it performs as hoped after launch, Bloomberg plans to roll out the template to the rest of its portfolio: the flagship Bloomberg and Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg Politics and Bloomberg Pursuits.

Twitter UK’s Revenue Growth Slows to 31 Per Cent
Twitter UK’s growth slowed last year as turnover rose by 31 per cent to £76.2m, according to accounts filed at Companies House. The UK business, which is run by managing director Dara Nasr, generated pre-tax profit of £3.4m, up 3.5 per cent year on year.

Sky Launches Sky VR App
Sky has launched a brand new app, Sky VR. The app, available to download for free, showcases a range of videos from Sky and its partners.

Over Half Prefer Ad-supported Online TV to Paid
The majority of TV consumers (53 per cent) say they prefer free TV to subscription services, where they ‘pay’ by viewing commercials, according to a study from Hub. However, the way viewers respond to ads themselves runs counter to this stated preference, with the majority saying they skip ads whenever they have the chance. More than 8 in 10 (83 per cent) of DVR users skip ads at least “most of the time”. Plus, when fast forward has been disabled, nearly half (45 per cent) view it as a “major frustration”.

Weather Channel Hit Hard by Cord Cutting

On Wednesday, CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla tweeted a chart from Deutsche Bank, which showed the linear TV channels with the biggest subscriber losses over the last four years. In it you can see both “inertia” channels and “sports” channels have been hit hard. MTV and VH1, which are great for simply flipping to without knowing exactly what’s on, saw big losses, as did ESPN and ESPN2. The Weather Channel saw the biggest dip.


Digital Native Millennials Embrace ‘Traditional’ Media
Eighty per cent of UK Millennials access news and information content through mobile devices, exclusively or combined with desktop, according to comScore research. News and information sites reached almost all Millennials online in the UK, with 94 per cent reach in August 2016. ‘Traditional’ media outlets such as the Telegraph, the Guardian and Daily Mail have a higher reach amongst Millennials than amongst the total UK digital population.

Console VR to Account for Over 50 Per Cent of VR Hardware Revenues, But Only 27 Per Cent of Shipments
Hardware revenues from VR headsets, peripherals and 360º cameras will reach over $50 billion by 2021, up tenfold from an estimated $5 billion in sales this year according to Juniper Research. This rapid growth will arise from a widespread adoption of VR by smartphone users, and the high unit prices commanded by headsets for PCs and consoles.

Record VR Startup Investment
Another half a billion dollars was invested into virtual and augmented reality start-ups in the third quarter of this year, with a record $2.3 billion (€2bn) invested in the last 12 months, reports Digi-Capital. Q3 2016 saw the 9th straight quarter of investment trending upwards, as the money flowing into AR/VR is now being driven by major Sand Hill Road VCs and corporate investors. With investments averaging

Telegraph Owner Writes Down Newspapers by £150m
Telegraph Media Group’s parent company has written down the value of its publishing titles by £150m and paid its owners, the Barclay brothers, a dividend of a similar amount. The company was written down by £149.4m, while £150m was paid as a dividend to May Corporation, a Barclay-controlled company. The non-cash impairment charge means that TMG made an overall loss of £131m last calendar year. The figures were revealed in a Companies House filing, Press Acquisitions.

Roku Helps Media Companies Put TV-Style Apps (And Ads) On Its Platform
At 10 million active accounts strong, Roku is turning to media companies to improve the quality of its streams and ramp up ad monetisation. This week’s rollout of Roku Direct Publisher allows content owners to develop and distribute video via Roku apps. The tool is also designed to help increase awareness and usage of those apps and supports third party video players.

Intelsat Restructuring Debt, and Fleet
Speaking at a Deutsche Bank equity conference on September 27th, Intelsat’s CFO Jacques Kerrest, told analysts that the recent threat from some bondholders’ allegations that the company had breached loan covenants were now behind it. On the same day,Intelsat restructured $141.8 million of bonds of 2022 due Notes with 99.74 per cent of bondholders accepting Intelsat’s new terms.

Viceland UK Struggling to Find Audience
Vice’s UK TV channel has got off to a slow start, with some nights during peak viewing time achieving a zero rating audience figure. Viceland UK, which launched on September 19th exclusively on Sky, has only managed a peak audience of just under 14,000 during 9pm to 11pm in its first two weeks of broadcast.

IRIS.TV Launches Campaign Manager
Video personalisation software company IRIS.TV, has launched Campaign Manager, a product that enables publishers using the IRIS.TV video programming platform to serve audiences branded video campaigns in-stream with editorial content. Campaign Manager uses IRIS.TV’s personalisation engine to program branded videos to the right user across all publisher video entry points.

Yospace Enables Dynamic Ad Insertion for BT Sport
BT Sport has deployed Yospace’s ad solution to monetise live channels across its online platforms. The Yospace platform enables ad breaks in BT Sport’s live streams to be replaced when viewed online, resulting in new inventory being made available across the broadcaster’s line-up of live sports coverage.

“Huge Demand” for In-flight Sat-TV
Satellite-based in-flight entertainment provider, Gogo, expects ‘per-aircraft’ (ARPA – Average Revenue per Aircraft) revenues to double within five years. The company says that by 2020 there will be enough Ku-band satellite capacity over North America to serve 2800 commercial aircraft in the air at any one time.

Pay-TV Complaints Down
The total volume of telecoms and pay-TV complaints made to Ofcom reduced between Q1 2016 and Q2 2016, with declines in landline, broadband and pay-monthly mobile complaints. BT continued to top the pay-TV complaints charts with 16 complaints per 100,000, followed by TalkTalk with 7 and Virgin Media with 5. Sky drew the fewest complains with just 1 per 100,000.

50 Operators Control Two-thirds of Global Pay-TV
The top 100 operators accounted for three-quarters of the world’s pay TV subscribers by end-2015, with this proportion not expected to change over the next five years. The top 10 operators took 42 per cent by end-2015, according to the Global Pay TV Operator Forecasts report from Digital TV Research.

Split Screen Viewing for Sky Q
Sky is introducing new features to its next-generation Sky Q box. Sky Q customers can now choose Split Screen viewing to watch two live streams side-by-side.

This Week’s New Partnerships:

Sky and Discovery UK Announce Commercial Partnership
Discovery Networks UK & Ireland appointed Sky Media as the exclusive sales partner for Discovery’s portfolio of eleven factual and entertainment TV channels in the UK and Ireland, in a new long-term deal.

BBDO partners with Mars to launch video crowdsourcing platform
BBDO has created a global crowdsourcing platform to enable its clients to commission online video content, with Mars as its launch partner. Flare Studio is an extension of BBDO’s content division Flare and is similar to crowdsourcing specialists eYeka.

This Week’s New Hires:

iProspect Makes High Profile Hires
Dentsu Aegis Network has named Ruth Stubbs as global president of iProspect, effective immediately, succeeding Ben Wood, who left the agency last month. Set to join as vice-president of business strategy is the MailOnline’s chief of staff Kerry Hipkiss, while Hannah Fisher will take up the role of executive director, client leadership from More Th. Jack Swayne has been appointed as chief strategy and analytics officer and will be relocating from iProspect’s office in New York.

This Week on VAN:

TV Industry Increasingly Sees Programmatic as a Way to Exploit Digital’s Weaknesses on Fraud and Viewability, read more on VAN

Havas to Train Up 10,000 Agency Staff on Programmatic Advertising, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Asus, The Alien and The Dinosaur, SuperHeroes
What happens when you get ordinary New Yorkers to crowdsource an ad for a mobile phone. Well, I’m glad you asked, because Asus have done just that in this surreal offering in the #Incredibleisnow series.

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