The WiR: Ofcom to Investigate Sky and 21st Century Fox Merger, Facebook Launches VR App for 360 Photos and Video, Sky Programmatic TV to Give Advertisers Real-Time Purchasing

In this week’s Week in Review: Ofcom to Investigate Sky and 21st Century Fox Merger, Facebook Launches VR App for 360 Photos and Video, Sky Programmatic TV to Give Advertisers Real-Time Purchasing. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

Ofcom to Investigate Sky and 21st Century Fox Merger
A proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky has been referred to Ofcom. Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has asked Ofcom to assess whether deal gives mogul too much control of UK media and whether his family are ‘fit and proper’ owners. Speaking in the House of Commons Bradley said she had referred the matter because of “public interest considerations” which “warrant further investigation.” Ofcom has 40 days to investigate and deliver its report, which will undoubtedly shape Bradley’s decision to approve or block the deal.

Facebook Launches VR App for 360 Photos and Video
Facebook has launched its first dedicated app for watching 360-degree videos, Facebook 360. The app will serve as a hub for 360° video and photo content posted to the site. Facebook claims that there have been more than one million 360° videos posted to the site and more than 25 million 360° photos to date. The app, which is available only on the Samsung Gear VR headset, allows users to view photos and videos in full 360°.

Sky Programmatic TV to Give Advertisers Real-Time Purchasing
Sky Media has launched the second test-and-learn phase on its programmatic TV roadmap. Following piloting, the second phase of Sky AVx (Audio Visual Exchange) will give buyers the capability to purchase audience and make decisions in real-time on Sky’s owned and operated TV and VOD inventory.

The Week in Publishing

Google Launches YouTube Viewing App Uptime for iOS
A Google-developed app for watching and sharing YouTube videos, called Uptime, has gone live on the Apple App Store. The app lets users meet friends, share and watch YouTube videos as well as add stickers, emojis and comments in real time. Users can follow other Uptime users to see what they’re watching, and share clips from the service from within the app.

Advertisers Prefer Instagram to Snapchat
Marketers appear more interested in spending ad dollars on Instagram rather than Snapchat, Ad Age reports. This due to a lack of return on the investment in Snapchat, as well as concerns about measurement, and declining engagement from users. The report also notes that between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, AOL and YouTube, Snapchat only outperformed AOL in terms of ROI, scoring a three point eight three out of a possible eight points.

Sling TV Expands its Cloud DVR Beta to Amazon Users
OTT service provider Sling TV has expanded availability of its Cloud DVR through their early-access programme ‘First Look’. The service is now available to Sling TV customers using Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick or Fire tablet devices.

Northern & Shell Partners with for Personalised Digital Video
Northern & Shell Media Group has signed a deal with US video tech company to enable customised digital video programming across its Express, Daily Star and OK! Magazine sites, Campaign reports. The technology will also help publishers to track viewer behaviour and each video’s performance.

Facebook Launches Third Snapchat Stories Clone
Facebook has added Snapchat like features to its main chat platform, Messenger. Facebook Messenger Day lets users post videos and photos with illustrated filters and stickers to the chat platform that will vanish after 24 hours – mimicking Snapchat stories. The service is currently being rolled out in the US with a full global rollout expected shortly.

Reaching Consumers in Upbeat Mood Could Make Digital Ads 40 Per Cent More Effective
Reaching consumers when they’re feeling “upbeat” could increase the effectiveness of advertising by 24 per cent in general, and of digital advertising by 40 per cent, according to Yahoo. When consumers are feeling upbeat they are 30 per cent more likely to engage with native video content than in other emotional states. They are also 28 per cent more likely to engage with content marketing, and 21 per cent more likely to engage with direct marketing.

CDN Market to Grow by 20 Per Cent in 2016
The global content delivery network market is anticipated to grow at a year-over-year rate of 19.9 per cent in 2016 and reach $5,898.9 million in revenues. North America will continue to be the largest market for content delivery network, with total revenues in the region expected to grow at 21.3 per cent in 2016.

US Streaming Viewers Equal Pay-TV Subscriptions
For the first time ever, the percentage of free or paid streaming video subscribers in the US (68 per cent) has caught up to the number of paid TV subscribers (67 per cent), according to research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The new study also reports that the time US consumers spend watching video content on TVs is almost equalled by time spent watching video content on all other consumer technology devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Chinese Consumers Watching Longer Content on Smartphones
Chinese video consumers are increasingly using their smartphone to watch content they used to only watch on devices with a larger display, including movies, TV series, and variety shows, Strategy Analytics reports. A strong willingness to pay for video content was also exhibited due to an increasing lack of free content in China.

Facebook and Twitter Should do More to Combat Fake News
Cybersecurity boss says companies must recognise their ‘social responsibility’ in the fight against misinformation, The Guardian reports. Paul Chichester, the director for operations at the GCHQ-controlled body, said social networks such as Twitter and Facebook should be doing more to combat the emerging threat of fake news, and help tackle misinformation spread by state-backed groups.

Mobile to Account for 60 Per Cent of Online Video Views this Quarter
Since Q4 2016 mobile viewing has made up 54 per cent of total global video plays and is projected to hit nearly 60 per cent in Q1 2017, Ooyala reports. Mobile devices remain the primary device for global video viewing, and attract the most video views for advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) services.

SPB TV Announces New Low-Bandwidth VR Tech
Russian technology provider SPB TV has unveiled a technology platform that it says is able to deliver virtual reality and 360° content on transmission rates as low as two point five Mbps. The SPB TV Rosing OTT TV platform can show 360° feeds in multiple resolutions.

Vivendi Unit Buys Island to Create Media Campus
Vivendi has purchased land on the central part of Seguin Island where it plans to build a multi-media campus. Vivendi’s Boulogne-Studios subsidiary says that the facility is intended house multiple media and content companies, including digital companies, in five to seven years time.

US ‘Cord Nils’ Increase 144 Per Cent in Five Years
The number of ‘cord nils’, US broadband homes that make zero use of traditional pay TV services from cable, satellite, or telco-TV providers, has almost tripled in the past five years, The Diffusion Group (TDG) claims. TDG report that ‘cord nils’ numbered just under eight million in 2011, rising to 22 million by year-end 2016.

AR, VR Spend Forecast to Double in Western Europe
Spending on AR and VR hardware, software and services in Western Europe will reach $2.5 billion in 2017, a 131 per cent increase over the $1.1 billion spent in 2016, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC expects the consumer market will be the largest AR/VR spending segment this year, accounting for more than 56 per cent of spend in Western Europe.

The Week in TV

Channel 4 Chief Abraham Quits to Launch New Media Enterprise in 2018
Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham is stepping down after seven years. He will leave this year, once a replacement has been found, to “develop personal plans to launch a media enterprise.” Channel 4 prematurely announced news about Abraham’s departure in a tweet on Monday afternoon, the post was quickly deleted but the news was later in a full statement.

Euskaltel Confirms Negotiations with Zegona for Telecable
Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel confirms that it has informed Spanish regulator the CNMC of talks with Britain’s Zegona Communications for the “direct or indirect” acquisition of the Asturian group Telecable. A valuation of approximately €750 million is reportedly being considered by Telecable.

RTVE Returns to Profit
For the first time since 2009 Spanish public broadcaster RTVE has climbed out of the red with a profit of €800,000. The group acknowledge that cutting costs has been the key. In 2009, costs amounted to €280 million compared to €183 million for 2016.

TV Accounts for 94 Per Cent of UK Video Advertising Viewing
Analysis of 2016 video consumption in the UK shows TV advertising accounted for 93.8 per cent of video advertising viewed in the UK, according to ThinkBox. Overall, the average person in the UK watched 20 minutes of video ads a day in 2016 while total video consumption increased year-on-year from an average of four hours, 35 minutes a day in 2015 to four hours, 37 minutes in 2016. TV accounts for 74.8 per cent of UK video viewing across all platforms measured by viewing time.

Mediaset España Posts Solid 2016 Results
Mediaset España has reported total 2016 revenues of €992 million, up two point one per cent on 2015 figures. The company continues to dominate Spanish commercial TV with a 2016 TV market share of 43.3 per cent.

African Pay TV Revenues to Reach Six Billion USD by 2021
African pay TV revenues will climb from $4.4 billion last year to reach $6 billion by 2021, Dataxis forecasts. For the year ending 2016, Africa pay TV subscribers stood at approximately 18.7 million subscribers, representing an increase of approximately two million subscribers compared to the previous year.

US Pay-TV Providers Shed One Million Subscribers in 2016
The top ten television service providers in the United States lost 937,000 television subscribers between them in 2016. According to the informitv Multiscreen Index the top ten collectively account for 88.69 million television customers, so the loss represents 1.05 per cent of subscribers. However, the number of television subscribers to the top ten services actually rose during 2016, as a result of mergers and acquisitions.

The Week in Ad Tech

All4 Launches 360° Video-on-Demand Ads
Channel 4’s commercial division 4Sales has launched a 360° interactive ad format on its video-on-demand digital service, All 4. The UK broadcaster’s 4Sales division announced that Honda and South African Tourism will be the first brands to use the 360° interactive VOD ads.

TVTY Launches ‘Social Trend Trigger’ For Moment Marketing Campaigns
TVTY has launched its Social Trend Trigger, designed to allow brands to react instantly to real-time social trends on Facebook and Twitter and launch digital advertising campaigns based on at the peak ‘moment of interest’. Brands can pre-set triggers, such as keyword or brand ambassador is prominence, to launch digital campaigns across platforms like Facebook and Google.

OpenX Launches Ad Footprint to Simplify Page Performance
Ad-tech firm OpenX on has launched Ad Footprint, a Chrome extension designed to help publishers optimise their desktop and mobile Web pages. The tool aims to give publishers a more complete view of how the advertising on their pages affects web page performance and the consumer experience.

The Week for Agencies

Accenture Interactive Looks to Set up In-House Trading Desks for Clients in Threat to Agencies
Accenture Interactive intends to help clients bring their digital media buying in-house; a move that threatens to bypass an increasingly important and lucrative role for media agencies. The move, reported in Campaign, is motivated by discussions around programmatic trading, including concerns about transparency and fraud in the digital media supply chain.

Havas Group Brings Creative and Media Divisions Under One P&L
Havas Creative Group and Havas Media Group will no longer exist as divisions but will become business units under one regional P&L. Havas Group says that the move is part of the implementation its integration strategy for centralised management in its four largest markets.

Majority of Marketers Not Confident on Reaching Mobile Audiences
The majority of marketers admit they haven’t got to grips with how to adequately tap into the way people use mobiles today, according to a Mobile Marketing Association and RadiumOne report. Interviews with over 300 senior marketers revealed that although the vast majority (80 per cent) agree the rise of mobile has significantly increased the amount of data and signals at their disposal. Yet two-thirds admit they are not confident they’ve identified the most critical signals in their customers’ journey.

Grey London Climbs Billings Rankings
Grey London had the biggest proportional rise in billings in 2016 among the top ten ad agencies, according to Campaign. The WPP shop, whose billings increased 24.8 per cent  to £271.2 million, rose three places to fourth in the rankings, according to figures from Nielsen. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO remains top of the table, even though its billings fell 3.2 per cent to £516.3m.

Partnerships of the Week

Immersion and Teads Partner to Bring TouchSense Ads to Latin America and Europe
Immersion Corp. and Teads will partner to offer and distribute TouchSense Ads in Latin America and Europe.

Axel Springer Strikes Programmatic Deal with Inneractive to Monetise News App Upday
Upday, the mobile news app owned by Axel Springer, has engaged Innerative as it seeks to monetise its traffic. Upday will exclusively use Innex, Innerative’s mobile ad exchange, to sell its mobile inventory programmatically.

Eurosport to Work with NowThis on Social Video
Discovery Communications and Group Nine Media have agreed a content partnership between Eurosport and digital news platform NowThis to produce and co-distribute sports-related social video.

Hires of the Week

IAB UK Appoints James Chandler as New CMO
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK has appointed James Chandler in the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer. Chandler leaves Snap Inc., having previously spent eight years at Mindshare.

Leonardi Appointed CEO of Mediaset Premium
Mediaset has named Marco Leonardi as the new CEO of its under-performing pay-TV unit, Mediaset Premium. Leonardi, who is currently head of acquisition and sales rights at Mediaset, will replace Franco Ricci, who is leaving the company.

Antenna Recruits Chief Content Officer
Antenna TV has hired George Pofantis as chief content officer. Pofantis joins Antenna from  rival Greek broadcaster Alpha.

IRIS.TV Promotes Three in Top Management
IRIS.TV has announced three top management promotions: Christian De Gennaro from Vice President of Sales to Executive Vice President; Rohan Castelino from Director of Business Development & Marketing to Vice President, Marketing and Ryan Pershad from Sales Director to Director of Sales & Business Development. All are newly created positions based in IRIS.TV’s New York headquarters.

Quigley-Simpson Adds Russ Cohn as VP, Creative Marketing & Innovation
Quigley-Simpson has hired Russ Cohn for the position of Vice President, Creative Marketing & Innovation. Cohn joins Quigley-Simpson from Thinkingbox where he was Director of Client Services.

Jenny Jones Joins Telmar North America as VP/Business Development and Client Services
Jenny Jones has joined Telmar North America as VP/Business Development & Client Services for Canada. Ms. Jones comes to Telmar from RealityMine, where she had been VP Media Client Service.

This Week on VAN

LoopMe say AI is More than Tripling Video Completion Rates, read more on VAN

NYIAX Announces the World’s First Advertising Contract Exchange, Powered by NASDAQ, read more on VAN

TV Accounts for 94 Percent of Total Video Advertising Time, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Wireless Bra, Uniqlo, Droga5 London

Super-stylish choreography combines with tongue in cheek humour and sass to drive this fun piece for Uniqlo.

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