In this week’s Week in Review: Police search Vivendi’s Paris HQ, Google unveils its Insights Engine Project and TAG research shows the ad industry turning the tide in the war on piracy. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Police Search Vivendi’s Paris HQ in Mediaset Investigation
French police and representatives of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (financial police) swept through Vivendi’s Paris offices on Thursday searching for evidence of market manipulation, an accusation leveled against the French media company by Italian broadcaster Mediaset.
Italian police are investigating Mediaset’s claims that Vivendi pulled out of a deal last year to buy Mediaset Premium, a loss making pay-TV service, in order to lower Mediasets share prices, allowing them to then buy a 28.8% stake in Mediaset at a reduced price. Vivendi denies the allegations, saying it acted in good faith, and believes it will strike a deal with Mediaset to bring the investigation to a close. “Regarding the complaint filed against Vivendi by the Berlusconi Group, which has resulted in a search of Vivendi’s offices, Vivendi’s management reaffirms that it acquired its stake in Mediaset totally legally and transparently and remains absolutely confident in the conclusion of this disagreement,” the company said.
Google Unveils Insights Engine Project
Google announced this week the launch of its Insights Engine Project, an initiative which seeks to further integrate Google’s cloud computing and machine learning tech into DoubleClick. Google is connecting its BigQuery and Data Studio services with DoubleClick, and will provide machine learning based insight for publishers to measure their key ad metrics against those of other publishers and to improve forecasting. Google also plans to share more audience data with its partners to aid more effective targeting of adverts.
Ad Industry is Making Progress in War Against Piracy
The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) revealed on Thursday the findings of a new study, Measuring Digital Advertising Revenue to Infringing Sites, which showed that piracy ad revenue has been halved by anti-piracy efforts from within the advertising industry. Digital ad revenue linked to infringing content was estimated to be as high as $111 million last year, but TAG calculates revenues would have been $102-$177 million higher without the quality control steps taken by the digital ad industry.
“We have not won the war against ad-supported piracy, but the battle is joined, and we are making good progress,” said TAG CEO Mike Zaneis. “The collaborative efforts of hundreds of companies using TAG-validated providers of anti-piracy tools is cutting off the revenue for the criminals who profit from stolen content and reducing their incentive to distribute it. Despite the advances made, there is more work to be done, as companies work together to protect their brands against the interrelated challenges of ad-supported piracy, fraud, malware, and lack of transparency.”
The Week in Tech
Teads Expands Video Offering with Launch of inRead 3D
Tead announced on Wednesday the release of inRead 3D, the company’s latest video format which leverages depth of field perception to create a 3D effect for any video creative. Clients can either commission Teads’ sales design team to build the 3D effect using existing video creative, or they can provide their own video with a 3D effect to be inserted into Teads’ inRead ad slot. inRead 3D will be sold in the same way as the standard inRead product and is available on a CPM, vCPM and CPCV basis.
SpotX to Power Programmatic Monetization of Vudu’s Movies On Us Catalogue
Video ad serving platform SpotX announced an agreement on Monday to power the programmatic monetisation of Vudu’s Movies On Us advertising-supported content catalogue. Walmart-owned Vudu offers paid on-demand content, but last year expanded expanded into AVOD (ad-based video on demand).
“The AVOD industry has grown dramatically over the past year, providing advertisers with more ways to reach audiences across screens and delivery systems,” said Mike Laband, SpotX’s VP of Business Development. “Vudu’s Movies on Us feature gives advertisers a unique opportunity to reach millions of viewers on Vudu, which is available across 100,000,000+ devices.”
New TV Advertising and Commerce Platform Connekt Emerges from Stealth Mode
Connekt, an advertising platform which aims to use AI to deliver content-relevant ads on TV and provide a path to purchase, officially launched this week. Connekt will allow consumers to directly engage with TV ads and content in real time and provides them with an instant path to purchase, most likely through a connection to a mobile phone, and has agreed partnerships with companies including LG, Sony, HBO, CBS and Nielsen at launch.
VR Company Blend Media Raised £1.5 Million
Blend Media, specialists in 360˚ and VR video production with whom Facebook partnered earlier this year, have raised £1.5 million in a third round of funding. Blend, which launched earlier this year, works with brands to create 360˚ and VR content, and lists Google, McCann and Volvo among its customers. This latest funding brings total investment in the company up to £2.6 million, which will be used to help expand its technical, sales and marketing teams.
iotec Report Shows Advertisers Intimidated by Mobile Programmatic
Media buying platform iotec’s Mobile Transparency Report, which surveyed 500 UK based marketers, found that 41 percent are intimidated by mobile programmatic, though 60 percent plan to increase their spend on mobile programmatic over the next year. The report also highlighted the importance of transparency, with 27.2 percent listing a is a fully transparent supply chain as the most important piece of a marketer’s relationship with their vendor.
comScore Partners with PlaceIQ to Measure Cross-Platform Lift
comScore and PlaceIQ unveiled a joint offering this week, PlaceIQ PVR powered by comScore, which measures lift in retail visits resulting from TV, mobile and desktop advertising. The solution aims to help marketers and their agencies understand the holistic impact of their advertising on leading customers into physical retail locations, which should also allow media sellers to prove the value of their inventory in driving in-store sales.
The solution will match ad exposure data from comScore with location data from PlaceIQ to measure the overall and individual impact of campaign components. comScore’s viewability measurement will also be integrated to ensure that only digital adverts which have the opportunity to be seen will be accounted for.
The Week in TV
Amazon’s First Live NFL Game Outperforms Twitter
Amazon broadcast its first live NFL game this week, drawing an average of 372,000 viewers, an improvement on the average 266,000 who tuned in to Twitter’s live streams last season. Amazon’s audience though was still dwarfed by the 14.6 million who watched via TV. Amazon has the rights to broadcast eleven Thursday night games this season after outbidding Twitter with an offer of over $50 million. Whereas Twitter, who held the rights last season, made the games freely available to all its users, Amazon only offered the stream to paying Amazon Prime members.
OTT TV Episode and Movie Revenues to Reach $83 Billion
A study by Digital TV Research released this week projects that online TV episode and movie revenues for 138 countries will reach $83 billion in 2022, more than double the $37 billion revenue made in 2016. The US is expected to remain the biggest market, though its global market share will fall from 51 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2022, thanks partly to strong growth in Asia.
TV Still King in Europe says Eurodata
Eurodata TV Worldwide’s mid-year report released this week revealed that the average person in Europe’s five biggest countries watches 3h48m of TV per day with the television remaining the most popular screen to watch on. Internet based viewing is increasingly becoming general practice though, which “can represent a substantial additional audience for certain content, such as targeted fictional content or youth entertainment”, noted Frédéric Vaulpré, Vice-President of Eurodata TV Worldwide.
RedeTV! And Cadreon Begin Programmatic TV Advertising in Brazil
Brazilian broadcaster RedeTV! played its first ever programmatically purchased adverts this week using Cadreon’s Unit software. Advertisers using the service will can for certain audiences based on a monthly CPM, with audience measurement being conducted by IBOPE.
Roku Reveals Five New Streaming Players
Streaming player manufacturer Roku, which raised $219 million in last week’s IPO, announced five new devices this week, as well as a new operating system. The new devices are expected to release over the next few weeks, and range from the low end Roku Express ($29.99 RRP) to the more premium Roku Ultra ($99.99 RRP).
HBO Nordic Team with Turner for Kids Oriented OTT Service
HBO Nordic and Turner EMEA are to launch Toonix, a new OTT service aimed at the 3-12 age range. Toonix will offer over 2000 episodes of child friendly shows from launch, hosting content from Cartoon Network Studios, Warner Bros. Animation and third party distributors. The service will be available to existing HBO Nordic subscribers, as well as via distribution partners in the Nordic region.
Pay TV Market in Africa Reaches 23.7 Million Subscribers
Research conducted by Dataxis shows the steady growth of Africa’s pay-TV market is still on growing steadily, reaching 23.7 million subscribers in Q2 2017, an 18 percent year-on-year increase. The market remains highly concentrated, with Naspers dominating both in terms of subscribers and revenues, though the arrival of Kwesé, a subsidiary of Econet Media, is expected to increase competition.
The Week in Publishing
Facebook to Hire 1000 More Ad Reviewers
Facebook, in the wake of a scandal where it was revealed to have to have hosted political ads relating to the US election paid for by a Russia-linked group, outlined plans on Monday to hire 1000 more staff members to review adverts over the next year. The blog post announcement also mentioned plans require more thorough documentation from advertisers who want to run US federal election-related ads. The social network estimates that as many as 10 million of its users may have been exposed to the Russia-linked adverts.
eMarketer Predicts Huge Mobile Ad Spend Growth in India
eMarketer’s latest media ad spend forecast predicts 85 percent growth of mobile ad spending in India this year as mobile platforms become increasingly popular with advertisers. While traditional media still accounts for the majority of advertising spending in India, double digit growth for mobile is expected over the next few years as smartphones become more affordable and social networks grow in popularity.
Audiences Find Live Stream Ads Less Annoying than Broadcast says Telaria
Monetisation software company Teleria released research on the state of connected TV this week, finding that 35 percent of viewers, and 46 percent of millennials, prefer ads on streaming services to those on linear TV. The study, which fielded surveys in the US, the UK, France, Brazil and Australia, also found that CTV ads are effective at driving response, with over 50 percent of weekly viewers of CTV reportedly taking action after seeing an ad.
Vodafone Spain Launches Video Pass
Vodafone Spain has introduced a new monthly subscription service which allows customers to stream select video content without eating into their data allowance. Vodafone users paying a monthly cost of €8 can stream content in standard definition from YouTube, HBO, Vimeo Netflix, Dailymotion, Youtube Kids, Vevo, Rakuten TV, Twitch, Fox News and Vodafone TV Online without paying for data usage. An HD service for the same channels is also available, costing €17 per month.
The Week for Agencies
Bain Capital Plans Bid for Asatsu-DK
US private equity firm announced its aim on Monday to buy Japanese advertising agency Asatsu-DK (ADK), filing a tender with the Tokyo Stock Exchange to buy ADK’s common shares for around $1.35 billion. Bain hopes to delist the agency, the third biggest in Japan by market share, saying that a strategic review showed that private ownership would best position the company for sustainable growth.
ADK has grown unhappy with its relationship with longstanding partner and largest shareholder WPP. “Looking back over the past two decades, we made a certain achievement at the initial stage,” Asatsu-DK said of the WPP alliance. “Since then we failed to find concrete measures that could be beneficial for both of us.” WPP reportedly believes that the offer undervalues the agency, while second largest shareholder Silchester International Investors LLP has publicly expressed it’s dissatisfaction with the offer. “ADK’s board seems to be unhappy with its shareholders and has looked for an owner they would prefer,” it said in a press release. “This is round the wrong way — when a board loses the confidence of its shareholders, it is the board that should resign.”
Vizeum Secures US, Europe and Africa Media Duties for AB InBev
Dentsu’s Vizeum has won media planning and buying duties for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, taking over from WPP’s MediaCom. It also won contracts for Europe, Africa and Canada, giving it the largest share of AB InBev’s global media duties.
Partnerships of the Week
Canal Digital Chooses Android TV for Next Gen Service
Nordic pay-TV provider Canal Digital announced it is building a “next generation TV experience” based on Google’s Android TV platform. Though not much is known about the new service, Canal Digital CEO Ragnar Kårhus says it will offer “seamless integration between direct TV, streaming and other services”. A release date is expected later this year.
SpotX Integrates with Amazon’s Transparent Ad Marketplace
RTL-owned Video ad serving platform SpotX announced on Thursday the integration of its header bidding suite with Amazon Publisher Services’ Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM). All publishers utilising the TAM server-to-server header bidding solution will now have access to SpotX’s Demand Facilitation team, Curated Marketplaces, verification controls, and the rest of SpotX’s suite of self-serve programmatic direct tools.
TiVo Renews IP Licence Deal with Sony
TiVo and Sony have renewed their intellectual property licensing agreement in a multi-year deal which grants Sony the license to TiVo’s patent portfolios across all of Sony’s worldwide products and services.
Hires of the Week
Devika Bulchandani Appointed as McCann New York President
Devika Bulchandani is to be promoted to the position of president at McCann New York, McCann Worldgroup announced this week. Chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup Harris Diamond says Bulchandani was selected based on her ability to “grow client relationships, understand client business objectives and bring creative teams to life.”
Carmichael Lynch Hires Allison Hayes as Creative Director
Allison Hayes has left Venables Bell & Partners, where she has worked for three and a half years as an associate creative director, to join Carmichael Lynch as creative director.
Blend Media Appoints Matt Chaplin as Chief Revenue Officer
Blend Media has hired former Google executive Matt Chaplin as its chief revenue officer, taking responsibility for its global commercial strategy.
Ad of the Week: Lyft, The Game, Wieden+Kennedy New York
Lyft have released a series of new ads featuring Tilda Swinton and Jordan Peele sharing a ride in a spaceship, part of their ‘It Matters How You Get There’ campaign. The clips make light of the sometimes awkward interactions between drivers and customers, while also taking a few swipes at competitor Uber.