The WiR: UKTV and Channel 4 Strike £1 bn Ad Sales Deal, Facebook to Invest More Than $3 Bn in VR, Baidu Opens AR Lab

In this week’s Week in Review: Twitter’s Dan Biddle departs, Facebook to invest more than three billion dollars in VR and Baidu opens augmented reality lab to integrate AR into search. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

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The Week in TV

UKTV and Channel 4 Strike £1bn Ad Sales Deal
UKTV and Channel 4 have reached agreement for Channel 4 Sales to become the exclusive advertising representative for the UKTV portfolio. Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, Channel 4 Sales will represent UKTV as its sole advertising sales agent across its full portfolio of services including 10 linear channels, VOD services and websites.

Facebook Plans to Invest More Than Three Billion Dollars in VR
Mark Zuckerberg has revealed more about the future of Facebook whilst testifying in a $2 billion lawsuit surrounding the origins of Oculus, a VR company it acquired in March of 2014. Zuckerberg told a courtroom that the company will likely invest more than three billion dollars over the next decade to bring VR to hundreds of millions of users, the NYTimes reports.

Baidu Opens Augmented Reality Lab
Chinese search giant Baidu is establishing an AR lab to research and build more sophisticated experiences and integrate AR into search. The institution is the fourth such lab to be established under the Baidu Research division, joining the company’s Big Data Lab, Silicon Valley Lab and the Institute of Deep Learning, which the AR Lab is spinning out from. Baidu is already shipping AR experiences inside Mobile Baidu, Baidu Maps and its local services app, Baidu Nuomi.

Twitter’s Dan Biddle Departs in Second Major Media Exit
Twitter’s director of strategic innovation, Dan Biddle, is leaving the company in the second major media departure in recent weeks. Biddle, who joined Twitter UK in 2012, initially as head of UK broadcast partnerships, announced his move in a string of Tweets. The news comes less than three weeks after Lewis Wiltshire, Twitter’s London-based senior director of media partnerships, Tweeted that he too was leaving the firm after four years. News of Biddle’s exit comes in the same week that Twitter officially shut down its short-form video service, Vine, and turned it into a camera app.

YouTube Testing In-app Messaging
TechCrunch reports that YouTube is currently testing a new in-app messaging feature on iOS and Android that will allow users to exchange clips, texts and links without ever having to leave the app. The functionality is solely available in Canada for the time being. The messaging platform is reported to be pretty straightforward and has no specific video-centric features.

Nielsen and AT&T Strike STB Viewing Data Deal
Nielsen has agreed a multi-year deal with AT&T to include anonymised set-top box data from connected homes subscribed to AT&T’s DirecTV and U-Verse services into Nielsen’s TV currency ratings services.

FoxNext for VR
Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Networks is creating a new division for video-gaming, location-based entertainment and VR/AR productions headed by Twentieth Century Fox Film content management chief Salil Mehta. FoxNext will oversee the production of studio franchise VR experiences and work to commercialise Fox’s VR strategy.

Sony Entertainment Chief Departing for Snapchat
Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, has confirmed that he is departing the company to fully focus on his role as Chair of Snap Inc – owners of social app Snapchat and a company in which he was an early investor. Lynton will stay with Sony for another six months as he works with overall Sony Corp chief Kazuo Hirai to find a replacement CEO for the firm’s US-based entertainment division.

One in Five Americans Won’t Watch Pay-TV in 2017
One in five US adults will not watch traditional pay-TV programming in 2017, according to eMarketer’s estimates. The total number of households subscribing to cable, satellite, or telco TV packages will inch down 0.7 per cent to 98.7 million. And that figure will continue to decline in tiny increments.

Broadcasting is 49.5 Per Cent of Italy’s Media Sector
Italy’s media sector was worth €17.08 billion in 2015, practically unchanged to the previous year (€17.14 billion), representing 1.05 per cent of GDP. Television and radio broadcasting accounted for 49.5 per cent of the total, according to AgCom.

Sub-Saharan Africa Pay-TV Thrives
Most of the main pay-TV operators in Sub-Saharan Africa lowered their prices during 2016 to ward off competitors. The knock-on effect was that other platforms lowered their fees, according to findings from Digital TV Research’s Sub-Saharan Africa Pay-TV Forecasts report.

The Week in Publishing

Snapchat Is Now Pitching Brands on Sequential Video Ads
Snap has started pitching brands on a new type of ad package called sequenced messaging, a type of sequential advertising, according to AdWeek. The new ad pricing bundles video ads together so brands can run back-to-back video ads with different creative within Discover.

Instagram Stories Launches Live Video in the UK
Instagram has rolled out its Live Video feature in the UK. The feature sits within Instagram Stories and brands and users will get to live-broadcast their doings within the platform’s Stories sandbox. The function competes directly with Snapchat, and Twitter-owned Periscope. It also mirrors parent company Facebook’s Live Video.

Mobile Usage Hits Critical Mass
Overall app usage grew by per cent and time spent in apps grew by 69 per cent, compared to 2015, according to new figures from Flurry. Time spent in social and messaging apps grew by 394 per cent over the last year.

Daily Mail Takes Step Back from Project Rio Amid Publisher Doubts
The Daily Mail has taken a step back from “direct involvement” in cross-industry initiative Project Rio amid concerns from those involved over the viability of its attempt to pool inventory from six media owners. DMG Media, publisher of the Daily Mail and Metro, confirmed that it is not participating in Project Rio meetings at this time, to focus on its own broader commercial priorities in 2017.

Vimeo Launches Review Tools
Vimeo has launched video review tools which allow Vimeo PRO and Business members to share, collect feedback and collaborate on video projects. With these new tools, creators can privately share videos with reviewers, and reviewers can leave time-coded feedback directly in the video.

Apple Will Increase the Price of Apps in the UK by 25 Per Cent Due to Brexit
Apple is increasing its App Store prices for apps and in-app purchases by more than 25 per cent in the UK as a result of the post-Brexit fall in the pound, 9to5Mac reports. It means that an app currently priced at £0.79 will increase to £0.99. And it’s likely the changes will hit the iTunes Store for TV shows, movies, and books.

Amazon Prime May Launch on Luxury Indian Trains
Amazon Prime is in talks with Indian Railways for distribution of its Prime Video services in luxury trains, the Economic Times reported.

The Week in Ad Tech

StrikeAd by Sizmek Keeps Currency Local Throughout Campaign Lifecycle
Sizmek has introduced multi-currency support for mobile-first programmatic media solution, StrikeAd, enabling advertisers and agencies to use local currencies throughout the entire campaign lifecycle.

Clear Channel Launches Programmatic Solution
Clear Channel is rolling out an out-of-home programmatic buying solution allowing advertisers to trade inventory at a fixed price. From March the first iteration of this offer will give UK media buyers the ability to reserve a fixed volume of inventory at a fixed price, an “automated guaranteed basis”.

VR Company Spaces Raises Additional $6.5 Million
Spaces, the virtual reality and mixed reality company launched in 2016 by VR pioneers from DreamWorks Animation, has raised an additional $6.5 million (€6.1m) in funding, led by China-based Songcheng Performances Development, with additional investment from Comcast Ventures, the venture-capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation, and other leading VC groups.

The Week for Agencies

Advertising Underpins UK Economy, Says Deloitte
Every advertising Euro spent in the UK is multiplied seven fold, according to figures from Deloitte and ISBA. The study found that advertising contributed nearly six million jobs across the EU and over four and a half per cent of total GDP.

Bellwether Report Reveals Mixed Results
The Institute Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA) latest Bellwether report has revealed mixed results, showing that marketers dismissed ongoing uncertainty in the UK by raising their budgets toward the end of 2016, but forecasting that ad spend will fall in 2017. Thirteen per cent more companies registered an increase to their budgets during Q4 of 2016.

Digital, TV, Radio Improve Purchase Intent By 90 Per Cent
Consumers viewing a constant message across a variety of channels can improve purchase intent by 90 per cent and brand perception by 68 per cent, according to research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The IAB set out to prove whether desktop or mobile advertising improves brand impact when mixed with traditional advertising, and if so, by how much.

Lévy Suggests Publicis Groupe to Name Insider as his Successor
Maurice Lévy has declared his successor will be an insider, via Bloomberg and suggested Publicis Groupe is close to naming “him”.

Condé Nast’s MD Coleridge to Step Down
Nicholas Coleridge is stepping down as managing director of Condé Nast Britain and president of Condé Nast International after 28 years with the company. He will stay on as chairman until at least the end of 2019. Digital chief Wolfgang Blau will succeed Coleridge as international president, while UK deputy managing director Albert Read has been elevated to managing director.

Partnerships of the Week

Improve Digital Partners with TP Vision Philips 
Improve Digital has partnered with LCD TV manufacturer TP Vision Philips, to offer video programmatic advertising campaigns on its smart TVs in the European market.

Hires of the Week

Integral Appoints Nick Morley
Nick Morley joins Integral Ad Science as Managing Director EMEA and Niall Hogan moves to lead South East Asia expansion. Morley joins them from Intent Media.

Realeyes Hires Tina Gaffney to Drive Success from Emotion Measurement Research
Realeyes has appointed Tina Gaffney as Head of Customer Success, she joins them from Toluna and Harris Interactive.

Alistair MacCallum Joins M/SIX as UK CEO
Alistair MacCallum has been named UK chief executive of M/SIX, just four months after he departed rival M2M when it was abruptly shut.

Michael Lean Joins BBC Creative as Planning Chief
Michael Lean will join the BBC’s in-house creative division at the beginning of February, overseeing strategy for marketing campaigns across all BBC brands. He joins them from Grey London.

This Week on VAN

Display Viewability “Not Really Improving” as UK Advertisers Wasted Over £600m on Non-Viewable Ads Last Year, read more on VAN

The Tech Sessions: How Semantic Contextual Targeting Works, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Cancer Research UK, Live From the Inside, Anomaly London

Cancer Research partnered with Channel 4 to air a live colonoscopy during an ad break, to demonstrate the many things happening across the UK to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Not for the faint hearted.

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