In this week’s Week in Review: Bitcoin-based ad trading platform NYIAX completes funding round, Snap partners with NBCUniversal for scripted content, and Nielsen announced SVOD measurement service. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
NYIAX Raises $5.6 Million
The New York Interactive Advertising Exchange (NYIAX) announced on Thursday it has successfully closed a $5.6 million funding round led by WestPark Capital. NYIAX’s trading platform aims to bring Wall Street’s automated trading capabilities to the buying and selling of advertising, powered by Nasdaq’s blockchain enabled transactional engine. Following a beta period during which the platform increased from 10 to 40 publishers and brands in a few months, the new funding will be used to expand the company’s global reach and accelerate open trading on the platform.
“Digital advertising has long suffered from inefficiencies, fraud, and a lack of true automation. It is one of the last sectors to benefit from the strong trading systems that anchor other markets,” said Robert Ainbinder, who led the WestPark Capital investment, in a press release. “NYIAX changes everything — helping publishers, advertisers and fintech partners address the challenges in today’s marketplace. We couldn’t be more excited to be among the first to invest in the future of advertising as it unfolds today.”
Snap to Create Original Shows with NBCUniversal
Snap’s push into original content moved into action this week as it announced the launch, in partnership with NBCUniversal, of a new digital content studio to create original TV-like shows for its Snapchat platform. Snapchat launched ‘Shows’, it’s home for original content, back in September which NBCU has already produced content for, but this new partnership signals Snap’s first step into scripted content.
“We see scripted as the next exciting chapter to dive into and are thrilled to be charting this path with NBCUniversal, who have been amazing collaborators from the start,” said Snap’s head of original content Sean Mills at the launch.
Nielsen Begins SVOD Measurement
Nielsen is now offering independent measurement services for subscription-based streaming content with the launch of Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings. Nielsen began measuring streaming content in 2014 via an opt-in service, but Nielsen says this new solution marks a significant enhancement to its video on demand (VOD) Content Ratings framework, adding in the demographic and household characteristic data of the Nielsen National TV Panel. Eight television networks and production studios, including A&E Networks, Disney-ABC, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Warner Brothers and others, have signed up so far. At launch the product will only work with Netflix, but Nielsen expects to add Amazon Prime and Hulu in 2018.
The Week in Tech
Cedato Launches Video Supply Path Optimisation Tool
Cedato announced on Thursday the launch of its new proprietary video supply path optimisation technology which will be used to power its upcoming premium video marketplace. These new products are designed to improve video yield and performance without compromising quality, at scale, for publishers and programmatic advertisers, according to the press release.
VR Advertising is Highly Memorable, says YuMe Study
YuMe in partnership with Isobar, RLTY CHK, and RetinadVR released the results this week of a new virtual reality in-game advertising study which that found VR advertising is highly memorable with 70 percent aided recall across all ad formats. The study compared consumer responses to three forms of VR advertising – pre-roll video ads, brand logos present in-game and 3D branded objects inserted into interactive game play. The highest levels of brand recall occurred with the pre-roll video ad, which achieved 90 percent aided recall on the day the study was conducted.
“We believe our study indicates that VR advertising is highly memorable in any format. It’s encouraging to see that a video ad, the most familiar and high-performing digital format, also delivers the highest rate of ad recall in the VR world,” said Mireya Arteaga, Research Lead, YuMe in a press release.
Metrological and ActiveVideo Bring OTT Content Experiences to Installed Devices
Metrological and ActiveVideo this week announced a joint solution that enables global pay-TV operators to rapidly deploy integrated OTT content experiences on existing set-top boxes.
The solution combines the cloud virtualization capabilities of ActiveVideo CloudTV with the Metrological Application Platform, which integrates TV and Internet experiences with full lifecycle support for TV app stores and content. The cloud-based solution gives service providers the ability to deploy OTT content on existing STBs that have limited resources and lack full HTML5 support.
The two companies say their new offering gives the flexibility required for operators to provide OTT services to previously unserviceable markets. Two operators in the Caribbean and Latin America region have said they plan to launch the integrated solution next year.
Measurement Still the Greatest Challenge for Cross-Platform TV and Video Advertising says FreeWheel
The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video launched its latest report on Wednesday, The State of Unified Video: Today and Tomorrow, calling for a new cross-platform measurement solution for the premium video industry. The report, based on a study which questioned brand marketers, creative agencies and media agencies, found that measurement is still seen as the number one challenge for cross-platform campaigns, and that almost three-quarters of marketers and agencies (70 percent) believe there will eventually be three or four key third party measurement providers in the industry.
AR Company Magic Leap Raises $502 Million
Magic Leap announced on Tuesday that it has raised $502 million in Series D equity funding, led by Singaporean investment fund Temasek. This latest round of funding takes total investment in the company up to $1.9 billion, despite the fact the magic leap has not yet produced any products. It is known to be working on “mixed reality” glasses which it says will bring together the digital and real worlds.
Marketo Launches New Suite of Analytics and Personalisation Services
Marketo on Tuesday unveiled a suite of new and enhanced solutions designed to give marketers and sellers cross-channel personalization, enhanced email analytics, and account-based insights. Among the new tools available is a new AI based content personalisation programme which determines the best content to display to each audience.
Vemba Raises $6 Million in Funding
Toronto-based Vemba announced on Wednesday it has raised $6 million in series A-1 funding from Time Warner Investments and SpotX, with participation from existing investors Upfront Ventures and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. The funding will be used to further expand the company’s technology offering for content owners and publishers and continue rollout of the platform to media companies around the world.
The Week in TV
ProSiebenSat1 and Discovery to Launch Joint Streaming Service in Germany
ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery Communications on Monday launched a new joint AVOD streaming service in Germany, under the ProSiebenSat.1’s existing 7TV brand. At launch the service brings together nine German terrestrial TV channels: ProSieben, SAT.1, kabel eins, sixx, ProSieben MAXX, SAT.1 Gold and kabel eins Doku, as well as Discovery’s free to air channels DMAX and TLC. A range of original and premium TV shows will be available on the service, both live and through catch up, and the two companies hope to add more content partners in the future.
Christian Dankl, CEO AdVOD ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, said: “This first phase of our streaming joint venture will see premium content from Discovery added for all 7TV fans. A new joint technology development for a pioneering streaming service is underway and we look forward to an exciting 2018, when we enter the next phase.”
Netflix Plans $8 Billion Spend in 2018 After Record Q3
Netflix added a record number of Q3 subscribers this year and plans to spend up to $8 billion on new content over 2018, it revealed this week. Netflix’s latest earnings report report shows it added 5.3 new subscribers globally over the third quarter, which was more than Wall Street predicted and caused Netflix shares to rise to a record high earlier this week.
“As we move into 2018, we aim to achieve steady improvement in international profitability and a growing operating margin as our success in many large markets helps fund investments throughout Asia and the rest of the world,” said a quarterly letter to shareholders released by the company..
Freeview New Zealand Launches New VOD Platform
New Zealand-based Freeview announced the launch of a new Freeview On Demand platform combining Live TV and On Demand services on Smart TVs and set top boxes. Expected to be in store in next year, the new device will combine Freeview Live TV, Freeview On Demand and Freeview Record capabilities, giving viewers on-demand content from Māori Television, TVNZ OnDemand and ThreeNow, as well as a range of local and international third-party VOD apps.
The Week in Publishing
Twitter Pledges to Handle Harassment after Boycott
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed over a series of tweets that Twitter will roll out a series of new rules for tackling sexual harassment, hate and violence on its platform. A boycott campaign had been launched against Twitter after actress Rose McGowan, one of the women who has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, had her account temporarily banned for posting a private phone number. Dorsey acknowledged the backlash, saying that Twitter will take a “more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them”, and that new rules will concern “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence”.
Vox Pitches Branded Explainers
Vox Media has expanded its sponsored content offering with the launch of Explainer Studios, which will allow brands to commission videos in Vox’s popular ‘explainer’ format. Vox explainers are short form videos which explain a given topic in simple terms, covering subjects from the rise of ISIS to the ways fairground games are rigged. Brands including Ben & Jerry’s and Spotify have already signed up to commision explainers relevant to their products.
IAB UK Launches “Gold Standard” to Clean Up Online Advertising
The Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) announced this week its new “IAB Gold Standard” initiative, an effort to raise the standards of digital advertising. The Gold Standard lists its three fundamental aims as reduction of ad fraud, improvement of the digital advertising experience and increase of brand safety, though it expects to expand and cover other issues over time. Spearheading the initiative are 23 IAB UK board member companies (including Facebook and Google) who’ve publicly signed a letter committing to the following three actions:
- Reduce ad fraud by implementing the ads.txt initiative on all sites carrying ads
- Improve the digital advertising experience by adhering to the LEAN principles, the Coalition for Better Advertising standards and never using the 12 “bad” ads
- Increase brand safety by working with JICWEBS with a view to becoming certified or maintaining certification.
The Week for Agencies
Publicis Shares Drop After Disappointing Q3 Results
French advertising group Publicis’ share price fell on Thursday after it posted disappointing Q3 results which fell short of market expectations. Sales in the third quarter reached €2.67 billion, short of the forecast €2.34 revenue.
“Over the course of the summer the financial markets were exposed to a negative news flow regarding our industry,” said Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun in a statement. “But the truth is that there is nothing new there. We all know that our industry is facing many challenges. Consumer behavior is changing, the media landscape is being disrupted, we are confronted with new competition and our clients have been facing challenges around growth, cost and brand trust challenges for years.”
Accenture Plans to Buy Altima
Accenture has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire French digital agency Altima, it revealed this week, the latest in a series of agency acquisitions. Accenture says its purchase of Altima, which creates and adapts experiences for eCommerce, mobile and in-store commerce, would strengthen its position in France and other key markets.
“France is home to many of the world’s most exciting and successful brands,” said Christian Nibourel, country managing director for Accenture in France and Benelux in a press release. “At the same time, it’s a market where many international brands are trying to gain market share. The acquisition of Altima would put Accenture Interactive in France in an excellent position to help businesses innovate the digital experiences and expand their footprint, locally and internationally.”
UK Video Ad Spend Overtakes Display for First Time Ever
Advertisers in the UK are now spending more on video ads than display ads for the first time ever, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Digital Adspend report. The latest figures put video ad spend at £699 million for the first half of 2016, while display advertising lagged behind at £685 million. Read the full story on VAN.
Partnerships of the Week
TabMo Partners with IAS for Mobile-first Approach to Brand Safety, Fraud and Viewability Measurement
TabMo and Integral Ad Science (IAS) have begun a new partnership which will see IAS’ pre-bid capabilities integrated into TabMo’s Hawk platform.ytics solutions to empower the advertising industry, today announce a pre-bid integration on TabMo’s Hawk platform. Media agencies and brands will be able to use the Hawk DSP to target consumers as they normally would, but can now also see IAS viewability pre-bid segments before a bid is submitted on an impression.
BARC India Partners with DEN Networks for Measurement
BARC India has partnered with cable distribution company DEN Networks to measure TV viewership using Return Path Data (RPD) via its digital set top boxes (STBs).The deal will allow BARC India to fetch data from DEN Networks STBs, while DEN networks will use this data for subscriber management, packaging opportunities and to drive advertising revenue on their in-house channels.
Hires of the Week
ISBA Picks Elizabeth Fagan as President
The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has chosen Elizabeth Fagan as president to replace the departing Simon Litherland next month. Fagan is currently managing director of Boots in the UK, and returns to the ISBA after previously serving on its council.
Rosita Wijngaarde Join Lab
Soho-based digital agency Lab has announced that Rosita Wijngaarde has joined its performance marketing team as managing partner. Wijngaarde’s appointment will see her help drive growth for Lab’s transparency focussed, end-to-end offering.
The Week on Van
AI Targeting is Not Manipulation says Texture AI’s James Carney, read more on VAN
Mobile Trends are Accelerating Video Convergence says Spotify’s Brian Danzis, read more on VAN
UK Video Ad Spend Overtakes Display for First Time Ever, read more on VAN
Brands Should Look Beyond Facebook and Google says Oath’s Dave Simon, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
Bodyform, Blood Normal, AMV BBDO
In an effort to normalise periods, this sanitary towel commercial draws attention to some of the strange tropes used in ads by subverting them, for example replacing the mysterious blue goo that’s usually used to show a pad’s absorption with actual blood.