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The WiR: UK Newspapers United to Take on the Digital Duopoly, Facebook to Bypass Adblockers on Desktop Browsers and VideoAmp Unveils Advanced Television Ad Buying Platform

Harriet Kingaby  12 August, 2016

In this week’s Week in Review: Facebook to bypass adblockers on desktop browsers, VideoAmp unveils new ad buying platform and watch out Google and Facebook, here comes Project Juno. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Project Juno: UK Publishers Unite to Take on Google and Facebook
A consortium of major UK publishers have united in a bid to thwart the Google-Facebook digital ad duopoly, Campaign Live reports. The publishers have large, highly engaged and quality audiences, which makes them very attractive to advertisers. Instead of competing amongst themselves they are uniting to defeat a common enemy under the banner of ‘Project Juno’. The parent companies of The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Mirror, The Sun, Express, Metro and The Daily Star are involved in this effort, drawing in over three quarters of the UK’s digital population last month, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures cited by The Guardian.

Discussions about how to best proceed are being finalised, but it is suggested that the companies will combine their ad sales teams and are coordinating to improve data assets and the ease of transacting.

project juno

Facebook to Bypass Adblockers on Desktop Browsers
Facebook and Google control 64 per cent of the digital advertising market, but are not immune to the usage of adblockers, what has doubled in just over two years. However, their approaches have been different, with Google becoming a key member of the “acceptable ads” programme run by Adblock Plus. In a blogpost announcing the change, Facebook made a sideswipe at the acceptable ads programme and suggested that, by updating their ad preferences, they were “putting control in people’s hands”. The company will only be bypassing adblockers on the desktop version of its website for now, but the vast majority of Facebook’s mobile users use the company’s apps, which are largely immune to adblockers.

VideoAmp Unveils Advanced Television (ATV) Ad Buying Platform
VideoAmp has launched ‘ATV’, an Advanced Television advertising platform for automating using data the purchase and measurement of video campaigns running across On-Demand and Linear TV Channels.  ATV enables advertisers to run efficiently targeted cross-screen video campaigns with increased reach by using data from VideoAmp’s user- graph. At launch, inventory will be available on OTT, digital long form, broadcast TV stations and set-top box VOD.

Google to ‘De-Emphasise’ Adobe Flash 
By December, Adobe Flash will no longer be turned on by default in Google Chrome and it will likely be blocked in most instances from September. Chrome is used by 50 per cent of people on desktop, according to estimates. Instead, Chrome will use by default HTML5, a more modern standard that can save battery life on laptops and decreases load time. If a site supports only Flash, then Google says that users will have an option to enable Flash when they first visit the website.

Publishers’ Organic Reach on Facebook Rapidly Decreasing
Publishers’ organic reach per post on Facebook dropped by 52 per cent through the first half of 2016, according to research from SocialFlow reported by MarketingLand. The data indicates that Facebook is becoming increasingly inhospitable to written content. The period between January and May 2016 accounted for a 42 per cent decline in publishers’ organic reach, while June and July accounted for a 10-percentage point drop, following Facebook’s adjustment of its algorithms to emphasise personal posts in the News Feed over posts from publishers. Last week, Facebook also announced that it would be clamping down on clickbait headlines.

In other news, the social media giant is reportedly testing a feature on both its Android and iOS apps that would allow users to stream Facebook videos to TVs that are connected to an Apple TV or Google Chromecast via Airplay.

TubeMogul Misses Q2 Guidance Slightly, Numbers Still Promising
TubeMogul has missed its Q2 revenue forecast by 3 per cent, citing slower than expected shifts in advertiser spend from desktop to mobile. Revenue in the second quarter reached $55.4 million, a 22 per cent increase from the year before but still short of analysts’ expectations of about $58 million. Despite the misses, overall spend was promising. Advertiser spend grew 33 per cent to $139.3 million, and programmatic TV spend nearly doubled from Q1. Mobile ad spend grew 146 per cent in Q2, despite being lower than projected.

Low Investor Confidence in Viacom
Moody’s has revised its outlook for Viacom to negative, citing weak results and an ‘unprecedented corporate governance crisis’. The credit ratings agency warned that the media giant’s rating could be downgraded if the decline in its performance is not stopped. Viacom is in the midst of a corporate battle between CEO Philippe Dauman and Sumner Redstone, who ultimately has control of the company via its parent group National Amusements.

Now it’s Twitter’s Turn to Take on Snapchat Stories
A week after Instagram launched its own version of Snapchat Stories, Twitter has announced it’s making its own Moments feature available to everyone. Moments has been around for a while, but up until now a closed group of human editors have been selecting what’s available. It’ll soon feature ‘influencers and brands’.

In other news, the brand received a boost as research from Dentsu Aegis and MediaScience revealed that video ads on Twitter deliver better 20 per cent better recall.

Turner Invests $45 Million in Refinery29
Turner continues looking for new investments in original video content. The Time Warner company is leading a $45 million funding round in Refinery29, the digital media company focused on millennial women. Turner plans to use its own content development, data, ad sales and technology to enhance Refinery29’s reach. Scripps Networks Interactive is also participating in the investment.

Vodafone and Liberty Global Welcome Merger Clearance
Vodafone Group and cable MSO Liberty Global have welcomed the conditional clearance by the European Commission of the two companies’ proposed merger of their operating businesses in the Netherlands to form a 50:50 joint venture.

Walt Disney Makes $1bn Bet on BAMTech
Walt Disney has made a big bet on streaming video with a $1bn investment in BAMTech, a technology group that it will use to develop a standalone subscription service for its ESPN sports cable network.
Disney has acquired a 33 per cent stake and has an option to increase its holding to majority control. Bob Iger, Disney chief executive, said BAMTech would help position the company in a rapidly changing media landscape defined by a shift away from cable television subscriptions.

YouTube Red Extended to Kids
YouTube has extended its ad-free subscription service, YouTube Red, to the YouTube Kids app. The service is initially available in the US, Australia and New Zealand with plans to roll out in further countries in the near future

Amazon to Stream Show Pilots on Twitch for 24 hours
Amazon will stream its version of The Tick and Jean-Claude Van Johnson on Twitch for 24 hours on August 31st, roughly two weeks after their Amazon premiere on August 19th. It’s suggested that this is a move to broaden the series’ audience as the Amazon owned platform is currently used primarily for games.

Home Improvement and Pre-Olympic Campaigns Drive Growth in Outstream Mobile Video
Outstream mobile video advertising saw growth in Home Improvement (Retail), Government and Politics and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) in Q2, led by pre-Olympic campaigns, and the US leadership race according to research by Positive Mobile. Significant growth in local retail advertising is led by national retailers targeting local markets, most notably local car dealer groups.


Deutsche Telekom Grows TV base
Deutsche Telekom grew its total IPTV, satellite and cable TV customer base 5.1 per cent year-on-year to 3.96 million in the second quarter. The operator said that the majority of its 193,000 net TV additions, compared to Q2 2015, were customers in Greece, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.

One in Ten Brits Stressed by Slow Internet
One in ten UK adults – the equivalent of 4 million Britons – are experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of poor Internet connections. According to research from the campaign to Fix Britain’s Internet – an industry coalition representing Openreach customers and comprised of Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and the Federation of Communication Services, 56 per cent also complained they were unable to perform simple online tasks such as working from home, streaming films, chatting on Skype, or making purchases due to a poor Internet connection.

Radio and TV Most Trusted Media Sources in Europe
Radio and TV continue to buck the trend of declining trust in the media according to research from the EBU’s Media Intelligence Service. 55 per cent say they tend to trust radio, 48 per cent say the same about TV. The written press, internet and social media record much lower levels of trust – in the case of social media only 20 per cent.


ProSiebenSat.1 Q2 Revenue Up 15 Per Cent
German pay-TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has reported Q2 revenues of €886 million, up 15 per cent, and EBITDA of €254 million, up 7 per cent. Digital and adjacent revenues grew 43 per cent year-on-year to reach €263 million.

ITV Snubbed in Takeover Attempt of Entertainment One
Entertainment One, the owner of children’s TV brand Peppa Pig, has rejected a takeover bid from ITV, who offered 236p a share for the company, valuing it at more than £1bn. However, the Canada-based film distribution and TV production company said the bid “fundamentally undervalues the company and its prospects”.

Olympic TV Ratings Down
The Brazilian time zone is affecting TV ratings for the Olympic Games across Europe according to reports. Interest may build, but so far, UK audiences are down almost one third when compared with the London Games in 2012. However, on the upside, the BBC says that digital ‘Red Button’ viewing is up with Day One attracting 12.9 million compared to 7.8 million in 2012. The States is seeing a similar reduction, with many blaming the quality of broadcaster NBC’s coverage.

The UK Spends More Time on Media and Comms than Sleep
Fifteen million UK Internet users have undertaken a ‘digital detox’ in a bid to strike a healthier life balance, according to new Ofcom research which also suggests that UK adults spend an average of eight hours 45 minutes on media and communications each day – more time than they do sleeping. In other findings: broadcast TV generated record revenues of £13.6bn last year, partly driven by pay-TV subscription income rising and online TV revenues were up by 23 per cent.

Ten Leading Pay TV Services Lose 663,000 Subs in US
Ten leading pay-TV services from AT&T to Charther in the US lost 663,000 subscribers between them in the second quarter of 2016, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index. The second quarter is generally a weak season for television subscriptions but some operators managed to reduce their customer losses.

Africa: Pay-TV Subs to Reach 30m
Africa pay-TV subscribers will reach 30 million in 2021, up from 16 million in 2015, according to data published by research firm Dataxis. Digital satellite pay-TV subscribers for 2021 is expected to arrive at 20 million compared to 8 million for digital terrestrial pay TV subscribers.

Netflix Fails to Impress Italy
Netflix has failed to make an impression in Italy, as subscriptions to the online streaming service are not growing as fast as expected, reportedly because it lacks local content, especially football.

This Week’s New Partnerships:

Yahoo View Partners with Hulu
Yahoo! has launched Yahoo View, a new TV-watching site featuring a variety of Hulu series and ‘behind the scenes’ content.

Magine to Reach over 100m Chinese Homes
Swedish streaming television platform Magine has announced an agreement with a Beijing-based digital TV system integrator and operator to build, launch and operate an Internet-based video streaming system for the Chinese market. In parallel, Magine has established the Magine Asia Unit, based in Hong Kong.

This Week’s New Hires:

Greg Riviera Joins Vibrant Media as VP Sales, East
Greg Riviera is joining native advertising company Vibrant Media as Vice President of Sales for the East region. Riviera joins them from and has previously worked at Microsoft.

This Week on VAN:

Video Tech Company Kaltura Raise $50 Million in Advance of Planned IPO, read more on VAN

Dentsu Aegis Network Ramps Up on CRM and Tech with Merkle Acquisition, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: The Swim, Visa, BBDO New York

At a time when the debate on immigration is heated on both sides of the Atlantic, Visa have chosen to make refugees the focus of their Olympic advertising. This beautiful heartfelt story shows why.

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