In this week’s Week in Review: New Video Frontiers Presentations are now live on the NVF16 website, IBM brings Watson to cloud video and YouTube focusses on premium content for advertisers. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Twitter to Pull the Shutters Down on Vine and Prune Workforce

Twitter announced in a blog post that the company is going to shut down Vine, the company’s six-second video sharing platform. Twitter is also to cut nine percent of its workforce – a total of 350 people – in a bid to reduce costs.

IBM Brings Watson to Cloud Video

IBM has unveiled new Watson-powered cognitive services for its Cloud Video technology. The services are designed to improve how organisations unlock insights for video content and audiences. Digital video insights are currently poor as more than 80 percent of data in the world is unstructured, making it difficult to process. Applying cognitive technology is believed to be a critical next step for mining and analysing the complex data in video so companies can better understand and deliver the content consumers want.

YouTube to Focus on Premium Content for Advertisers

YouTube is to launch a new “slate of packages” for advertisers next year, giving them the opportunity to buy inventory around its premium content. Speaking at YouTube’s IAB Digital Upfronts event, head of brand and solutions at Google, Alison Lomax, said the video channel would launch new sports packages on Google Preferred, which identifies YouTube’s premium content. There will be two types of packages, one based on “behaviours” and one based on “moments”. Its behaviours package will be based on a new sports marque, “Lean in fitness”, focussing on behaviours and “emotional territories”. The other package will be based on moments, such as events like Wimbledon and Glastonbury, in a bid to connect brands to cultural moments.

Snapchat IPO Causes Stir, Changes Discover Terms, Plans to Move into TV

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., is aiming to raise “as much as $4 billion” when it goes public early next year, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg. A source previously told Business Insider that Snap plans to go public by late March at around a $25 billion valuation, but now Bloomberg is saying that number could swell as high as $35 billion or even $40 billion. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs will lead the deal, while JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Co., Barclays, and Credit Suisse will be joint bookrunners.

In other Snapchat news, the company wants to change the terms for content partners on Discover. Instead of sharing ad revenue that section produces, Snapchat wants to pay content partners a flat license fee up front and keep the ad money. It’s the same model that TV networks use when they buy programming.

Job listings posted for parent company, Snap Inc., indicate that the company is looking to hire development managers for its “original shows”, a role that entails reviewing pilots, pitching show ideas, and working with producers. Talent agents have started circulating Snapchat’s name as an active buyer of original programming.

Viacom Labs Debuts New Formats

Viacom Labs will debut a new format that integrates curated livestreams from fans into scheduled programming. MTV Australia will be the first to produce and launch a show with this format, which will debut some time in 2017. “Viacom Labs’ mission is to constantly evolve how fans connect to the content they love and give them opportunities to make it their own,” said Susan Claxton, co-head of Viacom Labs.

Instagram Thought to be Testing Live Video

Reports have emerged that Instagram is testing a Live video functionality. Although Instagram has declined to comment on the reports, images on a Russian news site appear to show Live video embedded into the platform. A large red button reading “Go Insta!” seems to take people to the Live function.

Google and MediaMath Pen AdX Deal for Programmatic Guaranteed

Google and MediaMath have struck a deal, making the adtech outfit the first third-party to be able to access premium media inventory via Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) on a guaranteed basis. Under the terms of the deal, advertisers will be able to use MediaMath to streamline the workflow process of both negotiating for, and securing premium inventory from more than 500 publishers. Additionally, “it is bringing marketers one step closer to leveraging programmatic for all their media buys”, according to the pair.

AT&T: ‘Deal Means a Netflix Rival’

AT&T has indicated it will use its proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner to build a digital video platform to take on Netflix. Randall Stephenson, AT&T chief executive, said that owning content from HBO, Time Warner’s critically-acclaimed premium network, and Warner Bros, Hollywood’s largest studio, would allow AT&T to move more quickly as it builds a new video product to offset the decline of its satellite television business, DirecTV. The companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire Time Warner in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share, valuing the deal at $85.4 billion (€78.5bn).

Apple Has ‘Intense Interest’ in TV

CEO Tim Cook took the opportunity its Q3 earnings call to confirm Apple has an “intense interest” in television. Dealing with rumours after the AT&T-TW deal, Cook said that Apple is “open to acquisitions of any size that are of strategic value where we can deliver better products to our customers and innovate more”. Apple sees a “great opportunity” for the company to create and own content, he added.

ITV Announces 120 Job Cuts as Part of £25m Savings Push After Brexit Vote

ITV is cutting 120 jobs, blaming “political and economic uncertainty”. The company’s chief executive, Adam Crozier, announced he would be seeking £25m of cuts when reporting its half-year results.  ITV said the cost savings were part of a “robust plan to allow us to meet the opportunities and challenges” resulting from the Brexit vote. ITV’s share price dipped nearly five per cent at the end of last week amid reports that it was facing its worst year for advertising growth since 2009.

Twitter’s Stock Rallies Amid ‘Market Gossip’ that Disney is Interested Again

Twitter investors are still eager for a sale. The company’s shares rallied in after hours trading on Tuesday following a report from Betaville that says Disney has “rekindled interest” in buying the struggling social network.

BT Revenue Rises 35 Per Cent, But Writes Down £145m for Italy Errors

BT has reported revenue of £6bn, a 35 per cent year on year increase, for the three months to 30 September. However the telecoms giant has written down £145m after it found “certain historical accounting errors and reassessed certain areas of management judgement” at BT Italia.

Samsung Operating Profit Plunges 30 Per Cent Following Note 7 Fiasco

Samsung has seen profits plunge after the recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Operating profit between July and September fell 30 per cent from a year earlier to 5.2tn won, the lowest level in two years. Meanwhile the firm’s shareholders have backed Samsung heir apparent Lee Jae-yong joining the board.

Havas UK Business Grows Over Eight Per Cent in Third Quarter

Havas has reported third-quarter organic growth of 8.6 per cent in the UK, where the company says it is continuing to invest despite economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Apple iPhone Sales Decline Five and a Half Per Cent Year on Year

Apple’s iPhone sales declined 5.5 per cent year on year in the three months to 24 September, according to the company’s fourth quarter results. Although sales rose compared with the previous quarter in 2016 from 40.4 to 45.5 million and is the third quarter in a row that Apple has reported a year-on-year drop in sales of the phone.

UK Adspend Forecast for 2016 Upgraded as Brexit to Impact Next Year

UK adspend figures for 2016 have been revised up one percentage point to 5.2 per cent after a higher-than-expected growth for the first half of the year, despite concerns from business over Brexit. The Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report did revise the forecast for 2017 down by half a point to 3.3 per cent as the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union begins to unfold.

Top TV Networks List on AsiaMX

Asia Media Exchange (AsiaMX) has announced that a slew of regional and local TV channels from Southeast Asia have signed up to offer their premium advertising assets on its programmatic TV exchange. Advertisers now have access to $500 million in programmatic advertising assets via AsiaMX.

Lots of Data Has No Real Value, Says DPP Managing Director

Plenty of data is collected but is of no real value when it comes to measuring content data, according to DPP Managing Director, Mark Harrison. The Home Truths report from the company did find some areas of value however: business efficiency is to be found in the data around resources, systems, and costs: rich supply chain data offers the opportunity to industrialise many media processes. Commercial value is to be found in the full exploitation of rights, the creation of multiple versions, and the ability to search, find, and retrieve content.

Millennials & TV: Big Appetites, Little Patience

Millennials and Generation Z viewers are the most likely to ‘show dump’: give up on shows they previously enjoyed when it becomes too difficult to access them, either because they’re trapped behind paywalls or spread across a variety of entertainment sources. On the other hand, the 2016 TiVo consumer survey also revealed that the millennial generation spends the most time each day watching video content; there is simply a limit to how many hoops they are willing to jump through before quitting on a specific show.

Four in Ten Users Will Turn Off Ad-blockers Just by Being Asked

Almost four in ten people using ad-blockers are “whitelisting” the Financial Times’ website and agreeing to view ads after being asked to do so, a survey by the newspaper reports. A sample of 15,000 registered FT.com users were split into three groups and encouraged to whitelist the website by giving them varying degrees of access to content. Meanwhile, nearly half of users who had words removed from their story whitelisted the site. This went up to 69 per cent for users whose access was restricted entirely. One in 20 users whitelisted the site without any prompting.

Cisco Pushes Streaming Piracy Prevention

Amit Wohl, Video Security Product Manager in the Service Provider organisation at Cisco, has suggested the company is pioneering a new approach to piracy prevention, with its Streaming Piracy Prevention service utilising technology to locate illegal redistribution of content on the open Internet and closed pirate networks.

Augmented Reality App Downloads to Top 2.3Bn by 2021

The popularity of Pokémon GO is inspiring app developers to incorporate AR technologies into their applications, according to research from Juniper Research. It forecasts that the AR market will rise to 2.3bn apps by 2021, representing a 380 per cent increase from an estimated 482m in 2016.

VR Firms Form Disruptive Reality Group

Five VR companies have joined to cooperate in producing ‘immersive entertainment’. Disruptive Reality includes games company Revolution Software; AR and VR studio Amplified Robot and its health-related arm Medical Realities; VR software developer Spearhead Interactive; digital agency Augusto; and training firm Digital Jam. Disruptive Reality will work as a studio and aims to collaborate with brands across different industries to “unlock the value of VR within the wider franchise mix”.

Three Quarters of Global Internet Use Will be on Mobile Next Year

Mobile devices will account for 75 per cent of global internet use next year, according to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising Forecasts report. The mobile proportion of internet has increased in recent years – from 40 per cent in 2012 to an expected 68 per cent in 2016 and 79 per cent in 2018.

Mobile Viewing Nears Parity with TV

Viewers are watching more content on mobile as viewing time moves closer to parity with fixed TV viewing, Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab research. The ratio between viewing on fixed screens and mobile screens is close to 60:40 this year compared to almost 70:30 in 2010.

Young Adults Spend Less Time in Front of TV than Others

Adults aged 15-34 years spend less time in front of the television than the rest of the population according to Mediametrie. They do not necessarily watch the same channels and programmes as other age groups and are more likely to use time shifted viewing and view sci-fi.

Italian Video Advertising 30 Per Cent Up in 2016

The OTT and VoD Video Advertising market in Italy will grow above 30 per cent this year, representing one fourth of total online advertising, according to figures published by Interactive Advertising Bureau Italia. Video platforms are registering increased interest, while TV content on mobile devices grew at a rate of 40 per cent over the past year.

90 Per Cent of Connected People Own a Smartphone in LATAM

Nine out of ten people connected to the internet have a smartphone and that phone is likely to be Android, according to the IMS Mobile in LatAm, from comScore and IMS Internet Media Services (IMS). The report tracked mobile app usage in six countries (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Chile).

Canadians Continue to Shift to Digital Platforms

Canadians are consuming more audio and video content on digital media and over devices connected to the Internet. Twenty percent of Canadians report listening to online music streaming services, and 57 per cent of Anglophones and 49 per cent of Francophones report watching online TV, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) 2016 Communications Monitoring Report.

YouTube Driving Mobile Video Growth in Africa

Video viewing on mobile networks in Africa has doubled in the last year and YouTube continues to be top the mobile application in both Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, according to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report. Video is expected to grow rapidly in Africa, making it the top application within the next 18 months.

Hires of the Week:

Zecca Lehn Joins IRIS.TV
Zecca Lehn has joined IRIS.TV as a Data Scientist. He will help build and maintain the company’s proprietary video recommendation engine, scale the data science infrastructure, and build an automated competitive intelligence capability.

Neustar MarketShare Expands Footprint in Europe with Two New European Managing Directors
Luis Chaves and Sven Bagemihl have been appointed as managing directors of Neustar MarketShare in the UK and Germany respectively. The two will be responsible for expanding Neustar MarketShare’s presence in each country.

Partnerships of the Week:

Ooyala Powers Vudu’s Adtech Push

Ooyala Pulse now powers the new advertising (AVOD) service, Vudu Movies on Us, from Vudu, Walmart’s subscription-free, video streaming service.

Foxxum, PlayKids Smart TV Partnership

PlayKids, the mobile entertainment and education platform for children, has partnered with Foxxum to launch its Smart TV and Game Console applications worldwide.

IRIS.TV Expands to Asia in Deal with TV TOKYO

IRIS.TV will license its personalised video programming system to TV TOKYO, one of the 5 private national TV networks in Japan. IRIS.TV already operates in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia.

This Week on VAN:

“Ad-blocking is Not the Apocolypse” says PageFair’s Ryan #NVF16, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Organize, The Mom & Dad Bods Anthem, Mother New York

Only 10 per cent of people over the age of 50 donate their organs due to the misconception that “they are no longer healthy enough to qualify as donors.” Enter Mother New York with this humorous video to spark conversations around the topic.

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