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WiR: Google Tests Video Ads in Search Results, A Bad Week for Flash and NBC Invests in Buzzfeed

Harriet Kingaby  21 August, 2015

In this Week in Review: Google evolves its search results to include video adverts, more bad news for Flash and NBC teams up with Buzzfeed. For your weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Google Tests Video Ads in Search Results
Google is reported to be testing promoted video ads in search results, according to industry sources, as part of its search evolution. The search video ads are in a limited test right now. Commentators are predicting that the format that could bring in more brand dollars.

IAB and Amazon Reject Flash
In a newly released set of guidelines, the Interactive Advertising Bureau has announced it is going to set HTML5 as the new industry standard in interactive marketing. Amazon has also stated that it will not allow Flash on its adverts on, AAP and other IAB standard placements across owned and operated domains.

NBC Universal and Buzzfeed Announce Investment
NBC Universal and Buzzfeed have announced that NBC will make a $200m investment in Buzzfeed. As part of the investment, the companies will explore strategic partnerships across both organisations. It’s been reported that Comcast is to launch a video platform that will host digital publishers like Vox, BuzzFeed, AwesomenessTV, The Onion, Mic, Vice and NBC Sports. Yahoo Japan has announced that it will be working with Buzzfeed on Buzzfeed Japan, launching this winter.

Facebook Changes ‘Live’ Users Allowance
Days after announcing Live would only be available to celebrities, Facebook has announced that it will soon be available for verified accounts and journalists too.

Apple Online TV Service Delayed
Due to a stall in negotiations with big TV networks, Apple has stalled the release of their online TV service until next year, 2016.

Viewability Slides Whilst Fraud Decreases Says Report
Less than half of digital display adverts are viewable online and viewability has dropped year on year according to the Integral Ad Science Q2 report. However, it’s not all bad news as levels of fraud have decreased in the same time period.

Mobile Advertising Revenue Increases, But There Are Fears For The Future
Global mobile advertising revenue increased 64.8 percent to $31.9bn in 2014, according to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Mobile display showed the highest growth, and mobile search and messaging also saw a rise. However, growth in mobile spending is plummeting and online video growth is beginning to slow, according to the Digital Publishers Revenue Index Report from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte.

Facebook Beats Google For News First

Facebook has beaten Google to the top spot as the main source for online news traffic, a report from

YouTube to Age Restrict Music Videos
YouTube has agreed to implement age restrictions on music videos after research from the British Board of Film Classifications (BBFC) highlighted large quantities of children were watching content they said their parents would disapprove of.

Samsung Unveils New Smartphone Early
Samsung has released its new Galaxy S6 edge+ ahead of schedule in order to get in front of Apple. The phone has a focus on video filming technology, thanks to the growing popularity of Periscope and YouTube Live.

Ofcom Releases Mobile Coverage Checker
Regulatory company Ofcom has released a tool that enables consumers to find out which mobile carrier has the best coverage in their area.

Quality of Video Experience is Paramount Says Report
Viewer engagement has been shown to be improved by the viewer experience of video, a mid-year report by Conviva has found. Increasingly, TV-quality viewing online, free of buffering or loading delays, is the expectation for viewers.


Netflix Beats Amazon But BBC iPlayer Comes Top
Netflix has pulled ahead of Amazon in the UK online streaming market, according to the latest study from Ofcom, but neither can compete with the free to access BBC iPlayer.

Video Content Most Engaging Online
Video content and tailored information has been found to be most effective when engaging people online, a report by Rapt Media has found. In over 2,000 people in the U.S and UK, nearly two-thirds of consumers admit that they will spend more time watching video if they can interact with it.

IAB Believes in Ad-Funded Internet
Following its pledge to release a statement each day for the ‘IAB Believes’ initiative, the IAB has been tackling issues such as ad-blocking, brand safety online, ad viewability and ad fraud. The initiative is in response to mounting criticisms about digital advertising.

US Pay TV Operators Lose Subscribers
Pay TV operators lost 625,000 video subscribers in Q2 alone, reports SNL Kagan in their Q2 U.S Multichannel Subscriber Report.

CAP Announces New Vlogging Guidelines
CAP, the Committee of Advertising Practice, has set up new guidelines for vloggers after the users demanded more clarity. The guidelines follow an ASA ruling last year that showed some sponsored vlogs to be misleading.

Instagram Increases Musician Followers Six-Fold
Instagram has increased their musician following by from 51 million to 283 million in a year, says a report by online music analysts Next Big Sound.

Periscope Surpasses Ten Million
Live streaming video app, Periscope, has announced they have surpassed 10 million users just four months after launching.

Huffington Post Teams With YouNow
The Huffington Post has teamed with online video provider, YouNow, to create a live weekly video series, called HuffPost Now, aimed at millennials through a partnership with the live streaming service YouNow.

Vdopia Chocolate Increases Advertising Spend
Vdopia’s “Chocolate” has experienced a 172% increase in ad spend in Q2, serving 12 billion mobile video ad auctions per month over the quarter.

Chime Communications Reports Profit Decline
Chime Communications has released its first half financial report in which the company reports a pre-tax profit like-for-like decline of 18 percent, despite its agreed acquisition with WPP and Providence Equity.

Sizmek Announces Disappointing Q2 Results
Sizmek has announced its Q2 results for 2015, which show a 9 percent year-on-year decline in revenue.


Ad of the Week: Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank, HostelWorld, Lucky Generals
Chris Eubank has finally made Alan Partridge’s TV show suggestion ‘Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank’. The ad comes hot on the heels of comments by Eubank claiming he had no idea why people were asking to go youth hosteling with him.

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