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The WIR: European TV Consortium Calls for New Data Initiatives and Metrics, IAB Releases Pubvendors.Json Spec, and Twitter Continues Push into Video

In this week’s Week in Review: A European TV consortium releases five priorities for the TV industry, IAB Europe publishes tech spec for pubvendors.json, and Twitter continues its push into video with new content deals. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

European Consortium Calls for Changes to TV Data and Metrics
European TV executives overwhelmingly agree the industry needs to develop new audience data initiatives and metrics, according to the consortium launched earlier this year by Adobe, Sky, TV Beat, Alphonso and led by MTM. The consortium has released its first report into the pressures facing the TV industry and the changes advertisers want to see, after questioning TV executives across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Benelux. As a result, the consortium has identified what it says are five priorities for the TV industry:

  • Common advertising segments and targeting attributes across different pools of TV/broadcaster ad inventory, to deliver scale to marketers.
  • TV audience data providing comprehensive and independently-verified consumption patterns
  • New data sets and metrics (and associated products) to help bring new advertisers to TV for example SMEs, regional and performance advertisers
  • Principles/methods for unified ad effectiveness measurement, ensuring comparability between different studies, and jointly develop ad attribution tools.
  • New metrics and principles in areas such as viewability (e.g. 100 percent viewability for the full duration of the video) and brand safety (e.g. ad shown in a media-owner curated environment) to highlight TV’s unique quality and value.

IAB Europe Releases Pubvendors.Json Spec to Support GDPR
IAB Europe and IAB Tech Lab this week released a new tech spec, pubvendors.json, to support its recently released Transparency and Consent Framework. The Transparency and Consent Framework is designed to address several of the requirements of the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), and pubvendors.json aims to further support this, by creating a standardised format for publishers to list the vendors they work with, ad their respective data rights and configuration. It is also intended to allow publishers to limit purposes and features on a vendor-by-vendor basis, and to enable the vendors themselves to verify publishers’ GDPR settings.

Twitter Continues Push Into Video with New Original Programmes and Video Ad Solutions
Twitter announced over 30 new original content deals at its NewFronts presentation this week, including deals with NBCUniversal, ESPN, Viacom, and VICE News, as it continues to push into hosting premium video content. Twitter claims its daily video views have nearly doubled over the past year, thanks in part to the success of original video content like Buzzfeed’s ‘AM to DM’ news show. “We’re not guessing, we’re listening. People tell us what they want to see with the conversations they share on Twitter,” said Twitter’s global head of content partnerships Kay Madati. “In the past year, we’ve really expanded our efforts with the best publishers and content creators in the world to bring a slate of programming that reflects those diverse content interests.”

The company also announced new advertising solutions for brands. Twitter will begin pairing brands with creators from its Niche network for in-video sponsorships, and will also work with brands directly on their own live content.

The Week in Tech

Cambridge Analytica Closes Down
Cambridge Analytica announced on Wednesday that it’s closing its doors, following allegations of its use of Facebook user data for political ad targeting. The company filed for bankruptcy, claiming to have been subject to “numerous unfounded accusations”, and saying that “despite the company’s efforts to correct the record, (it) has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas.”

AppNexus Integrates Yieldex Forecasting into Publisher Adserver
AppNexus this week said it has set a “new standard” for pacing and yield maximisation through a new integration of Yieldex forecasting with the delivery engine of the AppNexus Publisher Adserver. AppNexus says it will use “Forecast-Shaped Pacing”, which allocates a line item’s hourly delivery goals according to the specific inventory forecast of that guaranteed line item, to avoid inaccurate pacing and avoid publishers losing out on revenue.

WhatsApp Founder Leaves Facebook
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has left the company after rows with parent company Facebook over user privacy and encryption, according to a report in The Washington Post. Koum will also step down from Facebook’s board, saying via a Facebook post “It’s been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it’s been an amazing journey with some of the best people. But it is time for me to move on.” While Koum has not openly criticised Facebook’s data handling practices, his WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton tweeted in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal calling for users to delete their Facebook accounts.

Mirriad Launches New In-Video Ad Unit
Mirriad on Thursday announced the launch of a new ten second in-video ad unit, supported by the company’s Visual Impact Score, Mirriad’s proprietary standard for safety, verification, viewability and value. Mirriad says the new unit will enable advertisers to embed their brand messaging and imagery within premium content across platforms, including video on demand and linear broadcast, in a way which fits the visual narrative. Ads may appear, for example, on billboards, posters, mobile or TV screens within the content. Mirriad also says independent research from comScore has backed Mirriad’s ad units, with 98.5 percent of sampled ad units passing its reference standard based on statistical tests.

Sublime Skinz Joins Coalition for Better Ads
Sublime Skinz has joined the Coalition for Better Ads, and says it will actively support the group’s mission to raise industry standards and improve the user journey. Sublime Skinz joins Unilever, IAB, The Washington Post, Procter & Gamble, Google and Microsoft in the initiative which says it leverages consumer insights and cross-industry expertise to develop and implement new global standards for online advertising.

The Week in TV

Fourteen Markets Hit by Cord Cutting, finds IHS Markit
The cord cutting trend is eating away at pay TV in the US more than anywhere else, but is affecting 13 other markets too, according to research from IHS Markit. The 13 markets in which total pay TV subscriptions declined last year, in addition to the US, were Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Israel, Venezuela and Ireland, IHS Markit said. However, in eight of these markets, pay TV revenues haven’t decreased despite the decreases in subscribers, as pay TV operators have managed to increase the amount of revenue they gain from each individual subscriber.

Hulu to Run Ads in Live Programming
Hulu shed light on its plans for expansion this week, saying it will begin running dynamically inserted ads in its live TV offering for the first time, and will also allow users to download content, which will also have ads run against it. Ads will only run on content downloaded by subscribers to its ad-supported package, and Hulu says these users won’t have the ability to fast-forward through these ads. Hulu made the announcements at its Upfronts presentation this week, during which it also revealed its subscriber count has increased to 20 million, significant growth from 17 million back in January.

CMA Delivers Final Report on Fox Takeover of Sky
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) this week delivered its final report on Fox’s attempted takeover of Sky, leaving the UK’s secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport Matt Hancock with 30 days to make his ruling. “My decision will be on whether the merger operates or may be expected to operate against the public interest, taking into account the specified public interest considerations of media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards,” said Hancock.

The Week in Publishing

Online Media Viewing to Surpass Linear TV in 2018, finds GroupM
Global time spent viewing online media will this year surpass time spent watching linear TV, according to GroupM’s latest ‘State of Digital’ report. GroupM says it tabulated consumers’ time spent with each media format, globally, and calculated average time spent with media overall. In 2018, consumers will spend an average 9.73 hours with media, up from 9.68 hours in 2017 (figures weighted by media investment). Additionally, GroupM predicts time spent with online media will overtake time spent with linear TV for the first time, globally, in 2018. Online will have a 38% share, TV 37%, and the balance spread primarily across print and radio.

CMA Halts Trinity Mirror of Northern & Shell Assets
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority this week put the breaks on Trinity Mirror’s attempt to purchase assets from Northern & Shell, including the Daily Express and the Daily Star, and is enquiring into how the deal would affect competition in the national newspaper market. The CMA will take into account efficiencies of £20 million in newsrooms, printing and advertising sales, which if realised could help sustain national news provision in a failing print market transitioning to digital services, according to Enders Analysis.

AOP Agrees Amendments to DTSG Good Practice Principles
The Association of Publishers (AOP) successfully agreed amendments to JICWEBS’ DTSG Good Practice Principles, with six additional UK news groups (Telegraph Media Group, ESI Media, Mail Metro Media, News UK, Trinity Mirror and Guardian Media Group) now agreeing to follow the principles as a result. The AOP has facilitated discussions between the news groups, JICWEBS, IAB, IPA, and ISBA since July 2017, and helped implement three amendments to the existing DTSG framework, addressing concerns previously held by premium publishers. The changes include the revision of classifications for each business category signed up to the certification; the capability to showcase measures that demonstrate a business going above and beyond baseline standards; and the ability to distinguish responsibility for open market programmatic buys.

Oath Announces Ten New Video Series
Oath announced at its Newfront upfront this week that it’s investing in ten new original video series, documentaries and live programmes which will premier across its house of brands including HuffPost, MAKERS, BUILD Series, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports. The new content will span sports, news, finance and entertainment, and will feature names including LeBron James, Abby Wambach, Jared Quay and Larry Fitzgerald.

The Week for Agencies

WPP Posts Better Than Expected Growth in First Post-Sorrell Earnings Report
WPP released its financial results for Q1 2018 this week, showing like-for-like revenue up 0.8 percent. Currency headwinds of 6.0 percent saw total reported revenue down 4.0 percent overall to £3.55 billion, but with constant currency revenue was up 2.0 percent. WPP’s executive chairman Roberto Quarta said this was in line with expectations, and that guidance for 2018 hasn’t changed, while investors reacted positively to the news, with WPP shares shooting up seven percent after the results were released. On an earnings call to investors, Quarta stressed that the company’s priority at the moment is finding a replacement for ex-CEO Martin Sorrell, and this it’s too early to speculate about sales of any of WPP’s assets.

GroupM Says Publishers Not Obligated to Sign Data Addendum
GroupM has attempted to ease publishers’ concerns over its Data Protection Addendum for GDPR compliance by telling them they won’t have to sign it if they agree to the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework instead, according to Digiday. Publishers had reportedly felt pressured to sign GroupM’s addendum due to its tight deadline, after which GroupM apparently threatened to cease trading with publishers who hadn’t signed.

Partnerships of the Week

NBCUniversal and Google Partner for VR Content
NBCUniversal announced a new partnership with Google this week to produce virtual reality (VR) content around popular NBC shows, including original content from Saturday Night Live, Vanderpump Rules and SYFY WIRE. The videos will be available on YouTube, viewable by a web browser or mobile phone, and will be produced using Google’s Jump platform for VR video capture. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to bring consumers new ways to experience content from across the NBCUniversal portfolio,” said Ron Lamprecht, Executive Vice President, NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “This partnership combines the creative expertise of NBCUniversal with Google’s VR capabilities to create these engaging experiences. We look forward to working with Google and YouTube on more collaborations like this in the future.”

Sovrn Partners with Anti-Fake News Platform Factmata
Sovrn says it is the first company to partner with machine learning-powered anti-fake news platform Factmata, following Factamata’s first round of seed funding back in February. Factmata’s technology leverages machine learning algorithms, aiming to prevent inadvertent placement of low quality, fake, or hateful content on the web. Through this new partnership, Sovrn says it will use Factmata’s technology to build new whitelists of inventory that are free of hate speech, politically extreme, and fake/spoof content.

SpotX Integrates Nielsen Data for US Connected TV Campaigns
SpotX announced on Tuesday it will be leveraging total and incremental campaign reach reporting that offers demographic breakouts based on Nielsen’s audience data for connected TV (CTV), which it claims is the first time a digital supply-side platform (SSP) has leveraged Nielsen analytics for CTV. SpotX says brands that run CTV campaigns will be able to understand the unduplicated and incremental reach of a campaign’s ads on connected TV and linear TV using Nielsen metrics, and that additionally SpotX can use Nielsen analytics to provide a deeper understanding of CTV advertising alongside linear TV, desktop, and mobile devices.

Hires of the Week

Olivier Abecassis Named CEO of Aufeminin After TF1 Purchase
TF1’s chief digital officer Olivier Abecassis as been appointed as CEO of female lifestyle digital media company Aufeminin, following TF1’s acquisition of the company from Axel Springer. Abecassis replaces Marie-Laure Sauty de Challon as CEO, while the rest of Aufeminin’s management team remain in place.

OpenX Expands Mobile and Video Product Leadership Team
OpenX on Thursday announced it has appointed a trio of industry veterans in product development and management to support the company’s mobile and video business units. Sophia Chung joined as vice president of product to lead mobile app development initiatives, and Roy Firestone and Treven Ho have joined as senior director of product and senior product manager to advance the company’s video strategy globally.

The Week on Van

Google Ramp Up Their TV Offering as TV Becomes YouTube’s Fastest Growing Screen, read more on VAN

YouTube and Facebook’s Economic Models Don’t Support Costly Premium Content, says Vevo’s Kevin McGurn, read more on VAN

Systems that Try to Consolidate Data at Huge Scale Eventually Break, says IPONWEB’s Brian Golbere, read more on VAN

Arete’s Will Milner on Why Investors are Skeptical of Mergers in the TV World, read more on VAN

We’re Unionising the Stubborn Minority who Want to Protect their Data says Brave’s Brendan Eich, read more on VAN

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