The WiR: Google Submits YouTube to Media Ratings Council Audit, WhatsApp Status Blow for Snapchat Weeks Before Snap IPO, UK Ad Blocking Levels Have Stabilised at 22 Per Cent

In this week’s Week in Review: Google submits YouTube to Media Ratings Council audit, WhatsApp status blow for Snapchat weeks before Snap IPO, UK ad blocking levels have stabilised at 22 per cent. 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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Google Submits YouTube to Media Ratings Council Audit
Google is engaging the Media Ratings Council (MRC) to audit YouTube metrics: and its partners Moat, Integral Ad Science and Double Verify are the first scheduled for the “stringent, independent audit”. The audits will validate their data collection, aggregation and reporting, and viewability statistics. Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it, too, would have some of its ad metrics audited by the MRC.

WhatsApp Status Blow for Snapchat Weeks Before Snap IPO?
Facebook’s latest release: WhatsApp Status, could impact Snapchat’s growth in developing markets, following the launch of Instagram’s new video features last year. Status effectively clones Snapchat features and has the added advantage of being end to end encrypted, potentially affecting Snapchat’s growth in new markets where Facebook dominates.

It’s another blow for Snap’s founders as they face tough questions from sceptical investors around slowing user growth; competition from Facebook’s WhatsApp as well as their ability to monetise their user base.

UK Ad Blocking Levels Have Stabilised at 22 Per Cent
IAB and YouGov report that the proportion of British adults who use the internet and are currently using ad-blocking software has remained at 22 per cent from 2015 to 2016. IAB attributes the lack of growth to more widespread consumer understanding of the ‘value exchange’ that ads fund free content.

The Week in Publishing

Bloomberg Using Programmatic To Improve Ad Relevance
Bloomberg is bringing market information relevant to the article being read, into their readers’ side-bars. The programmatic creative is being packaged as a new ad unit, called DataLock, which aims to reduce banner blindness by providing financial information relevant to each story in the right rail.

Engagement with Ad Block Users Leads 57 Per Cent to Enable Ads
When presented with messages that educate and initiate conversations around how ads fund content and publishing models, up to 57 per cent of ad block users enabled their ads again, according to a report produced by Dennis and Sourcepoint.

Tinder Acquires Snapchat-style Social Video Startup Wheel
Tinder has acquired social video startup Wheel, with the aim of bringing Snapchat-style video messaging to its dating app.

Facebook Is Expanding Ad Breaks for Live and Uploaded Video
Facebook is introducing or expanding three types of video ads for both the social network and publishers’ websites: in-stream video ads for publisher websites, expanding ad breaks for Facebook Live videos within Facebook’s own app and ad breaks for publisher videos uploaded to Facebook. In a blog post, Facebook said publishers with available inventory will be able to show more relevant video ads across mobile and desktop devices.

Twitter Loses Head of Entertainment
Twitter head of entertainment talent and lifestyle partnerships Lara Cohen became the latest executive to leave the social network. Cohen announced via a tweet that she was leaving the company, but she did not reveal her future plans.

Study Finds Even Skipped Pre-roll Ads Can be Effective
A study by Magna reports that even skipped pre-roll ads can still boost brand awareness. The research – which analysed online behaviours of 11, 338 users using eye tracking sensors, webcams and surveys to weigh users’ attention –  also found that six-second videos have maximum impact on brand awareness.

UK News Brands Sign up to Yahoo International Feeds
Several of the biggest legacy print publishers in the UK have signed agreements to have their content distributed via Yahoo’s newsfeeds in Canada, India, Singapore the UK and the US. The deal will add content from The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, the London Evening Standard and Hearst UK to Yahoo’s news, sports, finance and lifestyle coverage.

A Single Instagram Post Can Now Contain Up to Ten Photos and Videos
Instagram officially introduced the ability for users to share multiple photos and videos in a single post, after several users spotted the feature being tested earlier this month. Users who update their iOS or Android applications to version 10.9 can now add up to 10 photos and videos to a single post, and other users can swipe through those posts to view all of the content.

61 Per Cent of Snapchat Content Video
Posting video is key to brand success on Snapchat, according to a survey by Snaplytics. 61 per cent of the content posted by brands the platform are videos, a five per cent increase from the first quarter of 2016. In addition, the company found that the number of snaps in a story averages around eleven per update and that brands post, on average, twice times a week. Completion rate, or the number of people viewing the whole story, climbed to 88 per cent compared to 84 per cent the previous quarter.

Advertisers Have Even Less Time to Connect as Mobile Video Hits Turning Point
Advertisers have less than one minute to make their point via video before viewer engagement drops off dramatically, finds research by AOL. Though cultural difference exist between audiences, the trends suggests advertisers need to communicate their message in the first few seconds.

YouTube Has Now Automatically Captioned One Billion Videos
YouTube has captioned one billion videos, which people watch 15 million times a day. The service’s automatic captions currently support 10 languages and the company plans to roll out improvements to these additional languages.

New Research Suggests Editorial Content is More Memorable and Engaging than Social Feed Content
Editorial content has a strong impact for video advertisers when compared with social feed content, according to a neuro-mapping study by Teads. Editorial content was found to support greater viewer engagement, which creates higher impact for video advertisers.

Mobile on Track to be Number One Video Screen in UK
The rise in video viewing on mobile devices is forecast to drive increasing mobile ad spend in 2017. AOL reports that we are approaching a tipping point where mobile is set to be the number one video screen.

Google Dominates VR Headset Shipments, Samsung Tops VR Revenues
Google’s Cardboard VR ecosystem has a commanding share of shipments and installed base, but Samsung and Sony’s successful VR launches in 2016 see them split more than half of VR hardware revenues, StrategyAnalytics reports.

Australian VR Market in “Critical Phase”
Sales of VR headsets in Australia hit more than 200,000 units sold in 2016, “putting content developers in the hot-seat”, according to research from Telsyte.

Oscars Second Only to Super Bowl for Ad Revenue
The Academy Awards show continues to dominate rival ceremonies in ad revenue, with the average price of a 30-second spot in the Academy Awards at $1.72 million in 2016. Both commercial load and the cost of a 30 second spot continue their long term trend increases, despite concerns about declining live audiences.

China to Dominate Live Streaming Market
It is estimated that in 2020 the total number of mobile live streaming viewers in China will approach 500 million by 2020 in China, generating a market of approximately $13 billion (€12.32bn). According to a report from Huawei X Labs and China Mobile Research Institute, this demonstrates that China will probably dominate the world’s live streaming market.

29 Per Cent US Consumers get News from Social Media
Just over three quarters of US broadband households get the majority of their news from social media platforms, Parks Associates report. However, despite the growth of online news consumption, the majority of broadband user feel that television is more authentic.

The Week in TV

ITV to Move Prime Time Production Out of London
ITV will bring all of its London staff together under one roof when it builds a new HQ on the site of its South Bank studios. However, the move will mean prime-time shows will be produced outside of London.

BBC to Launch Channel for Scotland
The BBC says it wants to recognise the need to spend more of the licence fee raised in Scotland on Scottish content and services and do more to reflect Scotland on screen. Lord Hall described the move as the biggest single investment in broadcast content in Scotland for more than 20 years.

MobiTV Attracts $21m Funding
IP-based video delivery solutions company MobiTV has announced it has closed $21M in funding from Oak Investment Partners and Ally Corporate Finance.  The funding will be used to accelerate the expansion of the MobiTV Connect Platform to enable IP delivery for Pay TV providers.

Sky and Mediaset in Advanced Talks over Pay-TV Sale
Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reports that Sky and Mediaset are in “advanced talks” over the sale of Mediaset’s pay-TV business. Whilst equity analysts have issued a reminder that the same story has run before, the consolidation is favoured as the current competition between Sky and MS Premium generates rights inflation.

The Week for Agencies

Accenture to Acquire German Digital Agency SinnerSchrader AG
Accenture has announced it will purchase a 62 per cent stake in SinnerSchrader AG in order to expand Accenture Interactive’s capabilities in Germany. Accenture and SinnerSchrader have a signed agreement outlining a relationship that aims to jointly develop digital transformation solutions through consulting, design and technology.

Online Firms Become Top TV Ad Spenders
Online businesses invested a total of £639 million in TV advertising according to Nielsen and Thinkbox. Brands such as Amazon,, Comparethemarket, Just Eat, Netflix and drove an eight per cent increase in online businesses TV ad spend between 2015 and 2016.

DCM Launches Cinema Events Team
Digital Cinema Media has created an events and activations team to match demand for ‘experiential’ promotions. DCM says increasing demand for cinema activations reflects clients’ desire to access undistracted and hard-to-reach audiences, looking to be entertained.

The Week in Ad Tech

VidMob Rolls Out A Self-Serve Campaign Manager For Snap Ads
Video production and editing startup VidMob has launched a self-serve platform to allow advertisers and publishers to create, manage and buy Snap Ads within a single interface. Once a video is ready, a brand can layer on targeting parameters, such as demo, age, interests and geo.

TVSquared Raises $6.5 Million
TVSquared has announced a $6.5million funding round with investors West Coast Capital and Scottish Investment Bank. TVSquared’s platform brings same day campaign measurement and advertising optimisation to the global TV industry.

MediaMath Recognised in the Latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs
MediaMath has announced it has been recognised by Gartner, Inc. in the latest “Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs.” The Magic Quadrant is a market research report that assesses companies on their ability to execute and for completeness of vision.

Hires of the Week

The Rubicon Project President and Six Other Executives to Depart
The Rubicon Project has announced  its president, Greg Raifman, and six other executives are departing the company as part of a management restructuring.

Discovery Appoints David Fisher VP for Digital Ad Sales
Discovery Networks International has appointed David Fisher as Vice President for Digital Ad Sales. Fisher joins them from Sky.

Ogilvy and Mather London Announces Three New Managing Partners
Ogilvy and Mather London has announced three new appointments: Jon Tapper joins from BBH as managing partner/head of account management and will lead the new Vodafone account; Laura Le Roy will oversee both Barclays and SC Johnson at O&M, having also worked previously for BBH; M-L Robinson joins having recently spent time client side as head of brand for Boden and will oversee the BP account in her new role as managing partner for the agency.

Verizon Hires Apple’s Andrew McKechnie as Chief Creative Officer to Lead In-house Agency
Verizon has hired Andrew McKechnie to be the chief creative officer of its in-house creative agency – currently in development. McKechie joins Verizon from Apple.

AMC Networks Executive Appointments
AMC Networks International has announced executive personnel changes: Kevin Dickie joins as Senior Vice President, Channels Group, UK, MEA and Poland; Levente Málnay joins as Senior Vice President, Channels Group, CE and NE; and Tanya Gugenheim joins as Senior Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Development.

This Week on VAN

Singtel Buys Turn for $310 Million, Read more on VAN

Did Snapchat Misrepresent the Health of Traditional TV in its S1? Read more on VAN

Short and sweet: Why There’s a Growing Appetite for Five-Second Video Ads, Read more on VAN

Shine Rebrands as ‘Rainbow’ and Pivots to Become a Verifier for Acceptable Ads, Read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Spotify, Playlists, Wieden + Kennedy New York

Spotify have one upped last year’s very funny OOH campaign, running a series of slots based on the weird and wonderful playlists that people make… and asking the artists featured to react to them. Here’s two because we couldn’t choose just one.

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