The WiR: Snapchat IPO to Debut on NYSE, Sky H1 Operating Profit Down, Facebook Rumoured to Be Developing TV App


In this week’s Week in Review: NYSE snaffles Snapchat IPO, Sky H1 operating profit down and Facebook rumoured to be developing STB app. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

Snapchat IPO to Debut on NYSE
Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. has chosen the New York Stock Exchange, not Nasdaq for its IPO, according to CNBC. Snap is expected to file publicly for the IPO imminently, going public as early as March. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are leading the listing, while JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Allen & Co, Barclays and Credit Suisse are joint bookrunners. The float is expected to value the firm at around $25bn.

In other news, Snapchat parent Snap Inc added partners to its Ads and Custom Audience Match APIs and introduced a new API category for Creative this week. It also now allows marketers to license Ad Partners’ tech for self-serve buys.

Sky H1 Operating Profit Down Nine Per Cent, Launches Internet TV Service
Sky has reported an operating profit of £679 million (€632m) for its half-year, down nine per cent as a result of the increase in Premier League costs (up £314 million year on year,) which was “substantially” offset by its strong revenue growth and “excellent” progress in operating efficiency.

In addition, the broadcaster is to launch full pay-TV over broadband, targeting around two million UK homes that cannot or will not install a satellite dish. The news has reportedly been received badly by investors.

Thrills and Spills for Facebook

Facebook is refining its ad measurement offerings to give marketers more information about their campaigns on its ad platform. The social network will expand partnerships with third-party ad tech companies, such as Nielsen and comScore, promising better quality data to bring it in line with other media like television. The company is reportedly also developing an app for television set-top boxes as part of its mission to become ‘video first’. Discussions are rumoured to be underway with media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming.

The company also announced this week that its ad revenue had rocketed 57 per cent to $26bn, reporting a net income of $10.2bn (£8bn) in 2016, up from $3.7bn in 2017 on the back of exceedingly strong advertising revenue performance.

Finally, Facebook’s Oculus has lost its case against game maker ZeniMax.  A jury ordered Facebook to pay $500 million in damages to ZeniMax due to theft of intellectual property.

The Week in TV

Mediawan Acquires AB Groupe
French pay-TV broadcaster AB Groupe has been bought by investment consortium Mediawan. Mediawan is paying €270 million for AB Groupe, which is owned by Claude Berda and French commercial network TF1 (33.5 per cent) and says it will need to raise €130 million in order to complete the transaction.

TV Manufacturers Stop Making 3D TVs
Last week, LG and Sony announced they will halt manufacture of 3D TVs, leaving no major manufacturers left in the market. The firms admitted a lack of demand was behind the move, as consumers were not sold on the idea of sitting in their living rooms wearing a chunky pair of 3D glasses while watching TV.

Record Figures for BBC.com
BBC.com had a record-breaking year in 2016 with 98 million unique visitors each month. Along with the news and sport mobile apps, the global news and features site generated more than 15 billion page views across the year.

Russia Bans DailyMotion
Russia has permanently blocked access to online video portal DailyMotion – owned by French media group Vivendi, following a complaint from Gazprom’s media division that the site was illegally hosting TV content. The Moscow city court ruled that DailyMotion had repeatedly violated Russia’s copyright law by hosting shows from Russian TV network Pyatnitsya!, owned by Gazprom’s TV arm Gazprom Media.

Connected TVs in 74 Per Cent of US Broadband Homes
The penetration of Internet-connected TVs among US broadband households has increased nearly 50 per cent since 2013, from 50 per cent to 74 per cent at year-end 2016 according to numbers from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

Super Bowl Free on Roku
Roku is to make coverage of the forthcoming American football Super Bowl available for free.

The Week in Publishing

Twitter Replaces ‘Moments’ with ‘Explore’ to Bring Trends, Search and Live Video Together
Twitter has replaced its Moments tab with an Explore feature in order to make it easier for users to discover new content. The new service brings together trends, newsworthy moments, search and live video in one place.

97 Per Cent of Vibrant Media Customers Expect More Budget to Vertical Video
“For 2017, 97 per cent of all our media agency buyers and planners expect more budget to be committed to vertical video,” said founder and executive chairman of Vibrant Media, Craig Gooding. The new figures are released to coincide with the launch of Vibrant Vertical which enables brands with Snapchat content to broaden their reach.

Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia Oppose #muslimban
Tech giants have joined Washington state government in a lawsuit against president Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban against seven Muslim nations. Washington attorney general, Bob Ferguson, filed a lawsuit against Trump’s order, which was supported by at least three local tech firms: Amazon, Microsoft and Expedia, reports The Verge. Microsoft told Reuters it been cooperating attorney general’s office and was providing information about the order’s impact “in order to be supportive. And we’d be happy to testify further if needed,” spokesman Pete Wootton said in a statement.

Facebook Receives Warning Shot From EC Over ‘Fake News’
The European Commission has warned Facebook and other social media outlets they should eliminate fake news or face legal action from Brussels, the Financial Times reports. The latest events must be a “turning point” for social media platforms, as they are at risk of losing trust if they do not take more responsibility, said European Commissioner Andrus Ansip.

“I am worried, as all people are worried, about fake news, especially after the elections in the United States. I really believe in self-regulatory measures, but if some kind of clarification is needed then we will be ready for that,” said the commissioner.

AP Upgrades Video Interface
The Associated Press (AP) has upgraded the user interface of AP Media Port, its file delivery platform for video content. The new interface features a new responsive design, multibrowser compatibility and enhanced functionality.

News App Usage on the Rise
Nearly four in 10 internet users ages 16 to 64 worldwide regularly used news apps on their smartphone or tablet in 2016, up seven percentage points from 2015, according to data from GlobalWebIndex.

The Week in Ad Tech

First Companies Certified Against Ad Fraud
Affectv and RadiumOne are the first companies to receive a certification seal under the JICWEBS’ anti-fraud Good Practice Principles. They were awarded the seal following an independent audit by ABC.

Sky AdSmart for Channel 5
Sky AdSmart has added its first public service broadcaster to its ad-targeting portfolio. Channel 5 becomes the latest Viacom-owned network to join Sky AdSmart, following Comedy Central and MTV.

TV Ad Market Worsens Amid Continuing Brexit Concerns
The TV ad market has worsened since the start of the year, with the first quarter facing a fall of at least six per cent as Brexit continues to undermine confidence, according to Campaign. Media sources said January and February are both due to drop five per cent, while March could be down as much as ten per cent because of tough comparisons a year ago, when Easter was early.

Ad Blocker Usage Up 30 Per Cent
Ad blocker usage surged 30 per cent in 2016, according to a new report from PageFair. There were 615 million devices blocking ads worldwide by the end of 2016, 62 per cent (308 million) of those mobile. Desktop ad blocker usage grew 17 per cent year-on-year to 236 million.

Apple Returns to Growth as iPhone 7 Boosts Sales
Apple has reversed three quarters of decline, shipping 78.3 million iPhones in the quarter and reported record services revenues, reports IHS. However, it was not all good news as eMarketer reported that Apple TV continued to lose market share over the festive period.

Sizmek Unveils Data Hub 
Sizmek has launched Data Hub as part of its Programmatic Creative solution. Data Hub is a data-centralising ecosystem that enables advertisers to pull in audience segments from integrated Data Management Platforms (DMPs) and enrich them with data collected from served ads.

Ooyala Launches Global Video Programme
Ooyala Solutions Partner Programme launched this week, with more than 30 international reseller partners on board including VCS Productions (Switzerland), Videoelec (Colombia) and Digital Logistics (Australia).

The Cookie is (Almost) Dead, Say Marketers 
Over half of digital marketing managers say that cookie-based advertising campaigns will die out within the next 12 months, according to a new report from Viant. The vast majority of marketers (83 per cent) say people-based marketing campaigns perform better than cookie-based campaigns.

The Week for Agencies

Grey and Mindshare Open Personalised Live Ad Arm
WPP agencies Grey London and Mindshare have partnered to launch a division to create personalised live ads. Mindshare FAST@Grey London will combine creative, data and media planning and buying, using behavioural and contextual data signals to optimise media buying.

Ogilvy to Discard Sub-brands
The global array of Ogilvy brands is consolidating into “a single, branded, integrated operating company,” according to Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Chairman & CEO John Seifert. Effective immediately, Ogilvy operations in the US will operate as one P&L. The move will be reflected globally over the next year.

Arthur Sadoun Replaces Levy at Publicis
Arthur Sadoun will take over as chief executive of Publicis Groupe from longtime CEO Maurice Levy on June 1. Currently, Sadoun oversees all of Publicis’ creative agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett.

Control and Transparency Concerns as Advertisers Increase Programmatic Spend
Ninety per cent of advertisers aren’t happy with their current programmatic relationship, while two-thirds are uncomfortable with the conflicts created by principal trading, according to a new WFA report. The companies surveyed are reviewing and resetting contracts and business models to improve control and transparency whilst increasing programmatic spend.

UK Adspend Forecasts Downgraded Despite Five Billion Pound Third Quarter
UK adspend growth will be weaker in 2017 as the surge in digital spend slows down. Total growth was 4.4 per cent in 2016, the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report estimates, a drop of 0.8 percentage points on its previous forecast for the year.

Partnerships of the Week

Pixability Expands Social Video Advertising Solution with Moat Partnership
Pixability has partnered with Moat. The partnership incorporates Moat’s viewability and attention measurement and reporting with Pixability’s video advertising solution for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Hires of the Week

SpotX Promotes Sean Buckley to Chief Revenue Officer
SpotX has promoted Sean Buckley to Chief Revenue Officer. In the newly created role, Buckley will continue to lead SpotX’s Platform and Demand Facilitation teams.

Alexander Franke Joins Evania Video
Evania Video has hired Alexander Franke as Director of Publisher Development. He joins then from plista.

Zoe Clapp Joins Thinkbox
Zoe Clapp, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of UKTV has joined the board of commercial TV trade body Thinkbox.

This Week on VAN

Quality, Discovery and Growth: Why Facebook Has to Make its Move to TV, read more on VAN
Header Bidding’s Unexpected Consequence: The Death of the Banner Ad, read more on VAN

WFA Says Transparency is Fuelling the Rise of Alternatives to Agency Trading Desks, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: TV2 Denmark, All that We Share, Nicholas Berglund
In a week marked by protests against those who seek to highlight divisions, this ad reminds us that there is much that unites us, however we define ourselves.


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