The WIR: Twitch Suffers a Major Data Leak, Twitter Sells MoPub to AppLovin, and ITV Adds Weather Targeting

08 October, 2021 

In this week’s Week in Review: Twitch suffers a major data leak, Twitter sells MoPub to AppLovin for over $1 billion, and ITV adds new tools for weather-based targeting to Planet V.

Top Stories

Twitch Suffers Major Data Leak
Live streaming platform Twitch this week fell victim to a massive data leak, as an anonymous hacker leaked the platform’s complete source code. The code contained commit history going back to Twitch’s early beginnings, showing how the platform has evolved over time. The leak also contained sensitive information on Twitch’s payments to its most popular creators, and references to an unreleased video game distribution service called ‘Vapor’.

The hacker, who posted the leak on notorious message board 4chan, said they hoped the leak would “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space,” describing Twitch’s community as a “disgusting toxic cesspool”.

Twitch has since confirmed the leak as authentic, blaming it on a “server configuration change”

Twitter Sells MoPub to AppLovin for $1.05 Billion
Twitter said on Wednesday that it was selling in-app monetisation platform MoPub to mobile game and marketing platform AppLovin for $1.05 billion in cash.

In 2013, Twitter purchased MoPub for around $350 million. The company said MoPub generated $188 million in revenue in 2020. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that the sale of MoPub was a step towards the company’s goals of generating $7.5 billion in revenue by the end of 2023, and “accelerating [their] ability to invest in the core products that position Twitter for long-term growth.”

AppLovin previously acquired mobile marketing analytics company Adjust in February of this year.

 ITV Launches Real-Time Weather Targeting on ITV Hub
Advertisers on ITV Hub can now target customers contextually based on the weather. Users of ITV’s programmatic platform Planet V can now enable their campaigns to automatically go live, pause or adjust copy depending on the weather. They can do this according to the weather in the viewer’s particular region. 

ITV has partnered with global weather metadata provider to provide weather data on conditions ranging from rain and temperature to pollen. ITV is the first UK broadcaster to launch such a feature, saying it was designed in response to advertiser demand.

ITV says it trialled the new feature with advertisers such as a pharmacy brand marketing hayfever relief medication. The broadcaster says food delivery companies, grocery advertisers, and energy companies have been some of those who have expressed interest in the feature. 

The Week in Tech

Perion Network Acquires Vidazoo
Perion Network, an Israeli ad tech company has acquired Vidazoo, a video monetisation platform for $93.5 million. The acquisition of Tel Aviv based Vidazoo will allow Perion Network to add video to its digital ad solution,  The $93.5 million that Perion Network used to acquire Vidazoo was made up by $35 million in cash immediately, and up to $58.5 million in milestone payments.

Apple’s Privacy Changes Signifies Desire to Move into Advertising, Says RBC Analyst
Apple’s recent privacy changes signify a desire to move into the internet advertising market, which is currently dominated by Google and Facebook, an RBC Capital Markets’ analyst says. In April, Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT), which has made it harder for app advertisers to track users. “We view (the privacy changes) as a sign that Apple may want to compete in global advertising,”  said RBC analyst Brad Erickson.

Tech Giants Should Be Regulated in the Country They Are Based In, Says EU Lawmaker
A senior EU lawmaker has said that new legislation will mean that tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook should be regulated in the countries where they are based. Countries such as France have been seeking to widen the scope, worrying that the concentration of big tech European headquarters in a couple of countries will weaken enforcement. Google, Facebook, and Apple are all headquartered in Ireland. While Amazon’s headquarters are in Luxembourg.

Facebook Lost $6 Billion in Six Hours During Outage
Most Facebook services, including Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger, Instagram and Oculus, were down for almost six hours on Monday. The outage also locked Facebook employees out of their work accounts and internal systems, part of the reason why the outage took so long to solve. Facebook said that the outage was caused by “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication”. It reportedly lost $6 billion from the outage.

Verve Group Acquires Match2One
Verve Group, an omnichannel ad platform has announced the acquisition of programmatic advertising platform Match2One. The acquisition brings new self-service capabilities for customer acquisition and retail advertisers. This is the latest acquisition for Verve Group, having acquired ad tech platform Smaato in July, and contextual advertising company Beemray in May.

Google to Invest $1 Billion in Africa Over Five Years
Google has announced that it will invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years. It will put cash into various initiatives to aid Africa’s digital transformation. These include funds for start-ups and building better and cheaper internet connections.

App Installs Up 72 Percent Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Says Report
App installs are up 72 percent when compared with pre-pandemic levels, says a new report released by marketing measurement platform AppsFlyer. The report found that app installs in Q1 2021, were double compared to the same period last year. It also found that Apple’s enforcement of ATT caused the install rates of e-commerce apps to slow by 12 percent on iOS between May and July.

More First-Party ID Impressions Than Third-Party Cookie Impressions in Test Market, Says AdForm
Media spend on first-party ID-based impressions overtook third-party cookie-based impressions in Denmark, a test-market for many global advertisers and agencies . The test programme run by AdForm is called FIRST-PARTY NOW, and participants included Vodafone UK, Coop, and American Express Nordics.

The Week in TV

Sky Launches Smart TV Aimed at Replacing Satellite Dishes and Boxes
Sky is launching Sky Glass, a smart TV that aims to replace satellite dishes and set-top boxes. The new device is aimed at solving the problem of the multiple software and devices that are currently required to watch linear and connected TV. The Sky Glass smart TV will come integrated with Sky Q. Sky Q aggregates content from subscription streaming services as well as the broadcasters’ platforms. This means that those who have Sky’s new smart TV will be able to access content from Sky, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, ITV Hub, and All 4 through one single user interface and remote. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

HBO Max Makes Pricing More Competitive As It Launches in Additional European Markets
HBO Max has said that it will launch in seven more European countries in 2022, as well as adjusting its pricing to make it more competitive. HBO Max is initially launching on the 26 October in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, and Andorra, the company had said that in 2022 the streaming service would launch in 14 more European countries, but that has now been upped to 21. HBO Max has also dropped their price by 20 percent in the Nordics, meaning the service is now cheaper than Disney+ and Netflix in the region.

NBCUniversal Reaches New Deal With YouTube TV Following Dispute
YouTube and NBCUniversal reached an agreement on Saturday meaning that customers of the service would continue to get NBCU channels. There will be no increase in price to YouTube TV. In reaching the deal, NBCU dropped their previous request that Peacock Premium would be bundled with the streaming service.

Yahoo and Tubi Partner on CTV Ad Buying
Yahoo and Tubi have expanded their CTV partnership. Under the new partnership, advertisers using Yahoo’s DSP will have access to Tubi’s whole streaming content library. The companies already had an SSP partnership in place. Tubi and Yahoo say this extended partnership will “streamline” CTV ad buying.

Streaming Is More Popular Than Pay-TV in the UK, Roku Says
Nine in ten British consumers are streamers, compared to seven in ten who are pay-TV subscribers, says a survey by the National Research Group for Roku. The National Research Group found that enthusiasm for streaming was spread across age groups, with 77 percent of 57-70-year-olds now streaming. Although, for now, there are more sports on pay-TV than on streaming services, the gap in viewership is closing with the report finding that 51 percent had watched sport on streaming, compared with 55 percent on pay-TV.

Xumo is Offering Ad-Free Movies On Its AVOD Service
Comcast owned AVOD service Xumo is offering ad-free movies on its platform. Xumo has called its “Ad-Free Movie of the Week” a first for the industry. The first ad-free movie made available was 2016 comedy Miss Stevens, starring Timothée Chalamet‎, Lily Rabe and Oscar Nunez. Xumo said it tested the concept in August, and that it drove increased frequency of use and sessions per user.

French Youth Media Meltygroup Launches SVOD With Alchimie
The French youth-focused entertainment and news outlet meltygroup is launching a subscription service that includes an SVOD platform as well as other content like podcasts. The offering, which will be known as melty+, will include melty TV channels launched in collaboration with SVOD aggregator Alchimie.

European Broadcasting Union Creates New Co-Production Networks for PSBs
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced that it has created new networks to foster collaboration between its member PSBs. At meetings earlier this week, broadcasters discussed ways to work together on the production of young adult dramas and documentaries.

ProSiebenSat.1’s Commerce Arm Sells Amorelie
ProSiebenSat.1’s commerce arm NuCom has sold its 98 percent stake in sexual wellness brand Amorelie. The German broadcaster had helped strengthen the brand through TV advertising, but said that now the company had become more internationalised, it was time to sell. Amorelie was sold to EQOM Group. 

Redbox Partners With FreeWheel
US video entertainment company Redbox has announced its partnership with Comcast’s ad tech platform FreeWheel. Redbox offers two free streaming options, AVOD movies and FAST TV channels. The partnership with FreeWheel will allow advertisers buying Redbox inventory to target specific audiences.

Mediaset Renames Holding Co as “MFE: Media for Europe”
Mediaset announced its new name “MFE: Media for Europe”, and at the same time laid out the new dual structure the company will take. Last month, the company moved its headquarters to Amsterdam. The Italian pay-tv operator has proposed a dual class share structure in an effort to further its M&A plans.

Amazon Prime is The SVOD Market Leader in Japan, Says Report
A report from Media Partners Asia (MPA) found that Amazon Prime Video made up 33 percent of subscriptions to SVOD services in Japan. This is a considerably higher share of the market than rivals Netflix (14 percent) and Hulu Japan (six percent). The report also found that premium video streaming in Japan reached 85 billion minutes during January to August 2021.

The Week in Publishing

Ozy Media Shuts Down, Then Returns from the Dead
Reports swirled early in the week that scandal hit digital media business OZY Media had closed down, only for the company to relaunch later in the week. Agencies cut off relationships with Ozy following reports that the company had inflated its audience metrics, and that its COO had impersonated a YouTube executive on a call with Goldman Sachs, to try to attract investment. But CEO Carlos Watson told NBC on Tuesday that the firm was having a “Lazarus moment”, and will remain open for business.

IAC’s Dotdash Buys Meredith Corp for $2.7 Billion
Dotdash, the digital media arm of IAC, this week announced a deal to buy US media giant Meredith Corp for $2.7 billion, adding Meredith’s brands including People, Investopedia, and Allrecipes to Dotdash’s portfolio.

Facebook Accused of Prioritising Profits Over Banishing Harmful Content
Whistleblower Frances Haugen, who worked on the civic misinformation team at Facebook as a project manager, this week claimed that Facebook prioritised profits over cracking down on harmful content. “There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” she said in a ’60 Minutes’ CBS interview. “And Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests like making more money.”

Future Predicts Profits At Top End of Expectations
Publishing group Future Media said this week it expects annual profits to be at the top end of market expectations, as it continues to feel the effects of a pandemic-led bump in its digital ads business. The group also announced the completion of its £300 million acquisition of Dennis Publishing.

YouTube Expands Video Action Campaigns to CTV
YouTube has begun selling CTV inventory through its performance-focused ‘video action campaign’ offering, which leads users from video ads to a brand’s website. On CTV, ads simply display a URL at the bottom of the ad, which leads users to the brand’s website.

Pinterest Launches New Video Ad Format
Pinterest executives said this week that the platform is launching new ad formats aimed at driving more ecommerce on Pinterest, making it easier for brands to promote products to users. One new format allows brands to upload their product catalogues, which Pinterest will automatically create a video ad out of, making it easier for brands to run video campaigns.

Biites Secures Funding from FirstPartyCapital
Copenhagen-based video startup Biites this week launched in the UK, having completed its Seed funding round with FirstPartyCapital. Biites says its platform is specifically built with long form branded video in mind, giving owners of premium content a unique distribution channel that includes  tools for audience analytics and automated amplification.

Ofcom Steps Up Oversight of TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitch
The UK’s media and communications regulator Ofcom this week set out new guidance for video-sharing platforms (VSPs), designed to better protect audiences from harmful online videos. Under the Audiovisual Media Services Regulation which came into force last year, Ofcom has power to regulate VSPs whose European operations are primarily based in the UK – which includes TikTok, Twitch, Snapchat, and OnlyFans. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

Snap Rolls Out New Monetisation Options
Snapchat this week announced new monetisation options for creators called Spotlight Challenges, which have payouts of$25,000 or more. Creators will be challenged to create content around a certain theme, using a certain sound, or a particular AR lense, and the content with the highest engagement will get rewarded.

Entertainment Daily is UK’s Fastest Growing News Site
Entertainment Daily was the UK’s fastest growing news site in August, according to Press Gazette, with site visits up 120 percent year-on-year. Entertainment Daily was followed by inews, up 66 percent, and Al Jazeera, up 29 percent.

Instagram Consolidates Video Offerings into Instagram Video
Instagram this week combined its long-form video hub IGTV with its regular in-stream video content, into ‘Instagram Video’. Video content will now appear on a dedicated video tab on users’ profile pages, as well as within Instagram’s Explore page.

The Week for Agencies

You & Mr Jones Acquires DP6
You & Mr Jones announced last Friday that it has acquired DP6, a Brazilian marketing data company which counts Carrefour, CNN, and Whirlpool as clients. The acquisition strengthens You & Mr Jones’ data capabilities, as well as its presence in Latin America.

Publicis Groupe Reports 2.5 Percent Narrowing in UK Gender Pay Gap
Publicis Groupe this week reported progress on narrowing the pay gap in its five biggest UK agencies, which have on average cut the pay gap by 2.5 percentage points since 2019. Starcom now has the smallest pay gap with 6.2 percent, while Digitas has the largest out of the five to report, with a 28.2 percent gap.

John Lewis Calls First Media Review in Ten Years
UK retailer John Lewis has launched its first media review in ten years, Campaign revealed this week. The account is currently held by MG OMD.

UK Brands Throw Their Weight Behind Origin
A number of UK brands have thrown their weight behind Origin, ISBA’s initiative aimed at delivering the ‘North Star’ of cross-media measurement, which is working hand-in-hand with the WFA’s global work. Unilever’s Sarah Mansfield and Money Supermarket’s Peter Duffy were among those who lent their backing to the project.

Wavemaker Bags Amazon Audience Insights for Planning Tool
Wavemaker has secured a world-first deal with Amazon Advertising, which will make data from Amazon’s ‘Overlapping Audiences’ API available through Wavemaker’s own ‘Provocative Planning’ media tool. The Overlapping Audiences API provides insights on how brands’ audiences overlap with Amazon’s own audiences.

Greenpeace Leads Call for EU to Ban Fossil Fuel Marketing
A coalition of pressure groups including Greenpeace, ActionAid, Avaaz, and Badvertising are calling on the EU to ban fossil fuel ads and sponsorships. The campaign has picked up the support of MEP Bas Eickhout, who said that “fossil fuel firms also copied the smoking companies’ strategies when they fed into climate denial — It’s time we copied what was done with cigarette ads”.

MSQ Buys Production Studio Brave Spark
Agency group MSQ Partners has acquired production studio Brave Spark for an undisclosed fee. Brave Spark’s video and digital production capabilities will be used to support MSQ’s individual agencies, while continuing to provide standalone services for clients. MSQ will also look to expand Brave Spark’s business globally.

Hires of the Week

Kelly Campbell Appointed President of Peacock
NBCUniversal has named Kelly Campbell as president of Peacock. Campbell recently stepped down as president of rival Hulu. 

Martin Galvin Joins Pinterest As Global Agency Commerical Lead
Martin Galvin has been hired as global agency commercial lead at Pinterest. Galvin joins from GroupM, where he was UK commercial strategy director at WPP media division.

FreeWheel Promotes Virginie Dremeaux to VP of Marketing Across UK and Europe
FreeWheel this week announced the promotion of Virginie Dremeaux to vice president of marketing and communications. Based in Paris, Dremeaux will be responsible for leading and expanding FreeWheel’s international marketing team to support its business efforts in the UK and Europe.

Danielle Gonzales Becomes iProspect’s First North America CEO
Danielle Gonzales has been appointed as iProspect’s first North America CEO. Gonzales joins from Publicis Groupe, where she spent 25 years.

This Week on VideoWeek

CTV Platforms Must Tread Carefully in Promoting Their Own Streaming Apps, read on VideoWeek

The Curious Case of the ITV Share Price, read on VideoWeek

Join us for VideoWeek100 @Hakkasan, October 21st, read on VideoWeek

Ofcom Steps Up Oversight of TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitch, read on VideoWeek

What Will the UK Broadcasters’ Joint CTV Service Actually Look Like? read on VideoWeek

Sky Launches Smart TV Aimed at Replacing Satellite Dishes and Boxes, read on VideoWeek

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