The WiR: Fox Claims “Government Media Plurality Report is Flawed”, WPP Warns of Slowdown, RTL Revenues Surge

In this week’s Week in Review: “Government media plurality report flawed” claims Fox, Vimeo adds 360° video, Snap rallies after falling below opening price. 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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“Government media plurality report flawed” Claims Fox
21st Century Fox has described officials at the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as being “simplistic” in their analysis of the potential impact of Fox’s bid to take over the 61 per cent of Sky that it does not already own, suggesting the basis for some of their initial findings was “seriously flawed”. The assertions, reported by the Financial Times, were contained in a letter published Wednesday March 8th as 21st Century Fox made its initial representations following Culture Secretary Karen Bradley’s announcement that she was “minded to intervene” in the group’s takeover bid for Sky and considering whether to refer its offer to the UK’s media watchdog Ofcom.

WPP Warns of Slowdown Despite 2016 Being Record Year
Advertising group WPP forecasts a challenging 2017 with low growth, as political and economic uncertainty in Europe could threaten profits in the coming, despite 2016 being a record year. The company, said the UK’s prospects were “mixed” as Brexit negotiations continued, and due to the potential for political turbulence across Europe.

RTL’s Digital Revenues Surge 

The affirmation came as the Luxembourg-based media group reported 31.9% digital revenue growth for 2016, taking its total to €670 million. Digital now accounts for 10 percent of the group’s overall revenues, which grew by 3.4 per cent to €6,237 million.

The Week in Publishing

Vimeo Adds 360° Video
Vimeo has added support for 360° video on its online video portal. Vimeo says its take on 360° video is simple: provide a home for creators to learn new techniques, upload, share, and sell 360 videos, while viewers can discover cutting-edge 360 videos from the world’s best creators across multiple platforms.

More Than a Third of UK Ad Spend Going Mobile in 2017
Mobile ad spending in the UK will reach almost seven billion pounds this year, representing approximately 36 per cent of UK media ad investment, according to eMarketer. Overall digital ad spend is forecast to grow eleven percent in 2017, to almost eleven billion pounds, with mobile driving much of the growth as marketers pursue increasingly smartphone-focused consumers.

Millennials a “Distracted Audience” for Advertising
Millennials present unique challenges for marketers due to their viewing-time media habits, reports Nielsen. Whilst they are less likely to skip commercials than their elders, millennials have the lowest program engagement and lowest ad memorability scores as they’re most likely to use their phones when ads are shown. Millennials understand the necessity of ads in order for brands to inform the public of their products and services (79 per cent) and many say that overall, ads don’t bother them (46 per cent), especially if the content they’re viewing is free (75 per cent).

UK Digital Usage Still Growing as Oldest and Youngest Drive Uptake
The proportion of the UK population using the internet will grow to 82 per cent this year, as majorities of UK residents engage in an expanding list of digital activities, according to eMarketer. Growth will be most pronounced in digital devices adoption and new digital activities, and is expected to be driven by those from the far ends of the age spectrum.

Viewing Digital Video More Common than Smartphone Use in UK
Digital video viewing is one of the most common digital activities in the UK, eMarketer reports, estimating 43.2 million people in the country will watch digital video content at least once per month in 2017. Of the digital behaviors tracked by eMarketer, only internet use in general will exceed video viewership. Social video may be marketer’s best bet for reaching viewers

NMA Calls for Government Investigating of Google and Facebook over ‘Fake News’
The News Media Association (NMA), which represents national and local newspapers, is calling on the British government to investigate Google and Facebook’s role in the controversial rise of ‘fake’ news. In addition, the association has asked for either Ofcom, the UK’s media regulator, or the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to open up a separate investigation into Facebook and Google’s role in the media.

Financial Times Launches Online Advertising Charter
The Financial Times has published a commercial charter, in which it pledges to uphold clearly-defined standards around customer service, viewability, non-human traffic, brand safety, third-party verification, reporting, pricing “and more”.

The Number of VR Companies Grew 40 Per Cent in 2016
The Venture Reality Fund has seen the VR market grow more than 40 per cent in 2016, VentureBeat reports. The largest growth was in content companies that create apps for head-mounted VR displays, with gaming and entertainment nearly doubling in size.

Mead Johnson and Vinamilk Suspend Vietnam YouTube Ads Following Government Probe
Brands in Vietnam are stopping advertising on YouTube as the company is embroiled in a government investigation over alleged inappropriate content on its platform, Campaign reports. Vinamilk said it has acted following indications it could be held liable for adverts appearing against YouTube content that is allegedly in violation of Vietnamese regulations.

More Signs of A Move Away From ‘Blanket Ad-Blocking’
The future of ad-blocking has been called into question after companies behind the software widened the scope of their businesses, Campaign reports. Ad-block providers such as Shine and Eyeo have recently launched new services which operate on a vetting or whitelist policy that consumers can opt into, whilst a recent study found that the number of ad-blocker users is stabilising at about 22 per cent of the UK’s internet audience, suggesting that it has hit saturation point.

The Week in TV

TV Accounts for 93.8% of 2016 UK Video Ad Viewing
The average person in the UK watched 20 minutes of video advertising a day in 2016, of which TV advertising accounted for 93.8%, says Thinkbox. Other online video collectively accounted for 5.9% of the video advertising that was seen in 2016, up from 4.7% in 2015.

RTL’s Dutch Boss to Become New CEO

Anke Schäferkordt is stepping down as co-CEO of RTL Group. The European broadcaster’s Dutch boss Bert Habets will be taking on the role.

Facebook Plans for TV-Like Video Programming
Facebook has been soliciting pitches for TV-like original programming, The Wall Street Journal reports. The social media platform is looking at a six key genres, and is said to be mainly interested in weekly series of 30 minute episodes.

comScore Connected Home Service
comScore has released comScore Connected Home, a syndicated service to be based on the company’s proprietary Total Home Panel – a research platform that measures consumer behaviour across home network-connected devices. Connected Home delivers insight into usage of products including computers, mobile phones, tablets, streaming sticks, Smart TVs, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and more.

The Week in Tech

VertaMedia Launches Server-Side Header Bidding Ad Server
VertaMedia has announced the launch of its header bidding ad server. The server-side header bidding framework is being sold as a means of speeding up the process and reducing latency, whilst allowing bids from more partners.

LoopMe’s Artificial Intelligence Receives $10m Additional Funding
LoopMe has announced $10 million funding, received from Impulse VC and Harbert European Growth Capital to support growth and investment in artificial intelligence technology. In addition to the funding, George John has joined the company’s board of directors. John previously founded artificial intelligence-led marketing platform, Rocket Fuel.

In-House Media-Buying ‘Significantly’ Accelerated Through Programmatic Buying Tech
A significant number of the largest global advertisers have shifted media-buying in-house thanks to programmatic media-buying tech, according to analysis from Pivotal Research Group. PRG reported a growing trend for advertisers to take media-buying away from their agencies and bring it in-house because of their ability to buy programmatically. Though agencies were still engaged for other related services.

Snap Rallies After Falling Below Opening Price
The Snapchat parent company’s share price began to rally on March eighth, following a two day slump where shares lost 21 per cent. When trading opened on March ninth shares remained lower than the opening price of $24, but had never dropped below the initial offer price of $17.

Programmatic Direct Forecast to Drive UK Display Ad Spend of £2.5bn in 2017
Programmatic display advertising was tipped to generate ad spends of two point five billion pounds in the UK this year, with the single biggest driver being the growth of programmatic direct, according to the UK Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The Week for Agencies

Half of Pirated Content Viewers Would Change Viewing Habits When Informed of Harm to Industry
48 per cent or consumers of pirated content would stop or watch less illegal content after learning of the damage that piracy causes the media industry, according to a survey by Irdeto. The survey suggests education could have a huge impact on the number of people who pirate video content, though significant cultural differences were identified.

UK Police Claim 64 Per Cent Drop in Pirate Site Advertising Due to “Operation Creative”
A UK police operation that disrupts websites which provide access to illegal content has claimed success following research showing that in the past twelve months there has been a 64 per cent decrease in advertising spend on targeted websites. The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) reports that their operation means more revenue to the UK’s creative industries in which hundreds of thousands of people rely on for employment.

Latino and Social-Mobile (SoMo) Viewing Key to Future US Revenue Growth
Video operators and networks in the US must focus on two key trends for new revenue growth: Latino viewing and the rise of social-mobile video, according to TDG. The report notes that while the video industry can no longer rely on a rise in young viewers, the US Latino population will grow from 56 million in 2016 to 82 million in 2030. Additionally US Latinos over-index on a host of video viewing behaviours, in particular the use of smartphone video.

Vizeum Show Biggest Rise in 2016 Agency Billings
Vizeum had the greatest proportional increase in billings of the top ten media agencies in 2016, Campaign reports. Nielsen figures show that Vizeum’s billings were £357.1m, up from £300m in 2015 – an increase of 19 per cent. It also had the biggest monetary rise of £57.1m.

Partnerships of the Week

TAG and JICWEBS Partner to Tackle Advertising Supply Chain Challenges
The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS) have announced they will work together to tackle some of the issues facing digital advertising. The two cross-industry standards bodies aim to transfer learnings to create a united and consistent approach across markets.

Facebook Signs Meetrics to Expand Third-Party Measurement
Facebook announced in a blog post that it is signing Meetrics to further expand its third-party measurement partnerships. Meetrics has joined ComScore, Nielsen, Integral Ad Science and Moat, to provide cross-channel compatibility and third-party verification options.

Hires of the Week

Buchanan and Farnhill Promoted as Publicis UK Restructures Management
Publicis UK has announced a restructuring of its management team, promoting Karen Buchanan to Chairman of Publicis London & Chief Client Development Officer across Publicis UK and Nick Farnhill who expands his remit to become CEO of Publicis London and CEO of POKE.

Liz Salway Joins Mindshare to Head UK Programmatic Team
Mindshare has hired programmatic consultant Liz Salway to run the Mindshare Worldwide programmatic team.

Mars Chocolate Global Media Director Marc Zander joins Teads

Marc Zander has joinedvideo advertising marketplace Teads, as its global vice-president of client partnerships. Zander is former global media director for Mars Chocolate.

The Week on VAN

Number of Streaming Subscribers in the US Surpasses Pay TV for the First Time, read more on VAN

Rubicon Project Tries to Steady the Ship in Europe with Internal Hires, read more on VAN

Pay TV Will Continue to Grow in Asia Pacific, Defying Global Trends, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: State Street Global Advisors, Fearless Girl, McCann

A fearless girl stands up to the famous Charging Bull of Wall Street, to emphasis the power of female leadership as part of International Women’s Day.

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