Twitter announces host of new APAC content deals

New partnerships across live, sports, entertainment and news take the platform to more than 50 in the region.

Twitter has unveiled a raft of new content partnerships throughout Asia-Pacific, further bolstering the social-media platform’s stable of premium video content.

The deals, announced at this year’s All That Matters conference in Singapore, range from short- to longer-form video content across Twitter’s focus areas of sports, news and entertainment. They include the likes of Sony Music, Vice Media and UEFA Champions League on FMA Indonesia.

“We are proud to expand our livestream and video highlights programming that is brand safe and will appeal to the audience and advertisers in APAC,” said Maya Hari, Twitter APAC vice president.

In entertainment, new deals have been signed with Sony Music, providing custom content and behind-the-scenes clips from major music acts; Red Chillies Entertainment in India, producing content with Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan; and NBCUniversal, bringing its E! programming onto Twitter.

In sports, Twitter has partnered with FMA Indonesia to provide UEFA Champions League highlights; Fox Sports Asia for Formula One content; and Stadium Astro Malaysia for English Premier League.

Finally in news, new partnerships were announced with Vice Media over content throughout APAC; Network18 in India for video content around major events including India’s budget announcement and elections; and NET TV in Indonesia, which renewed and extended its Twitter partnership around bringing TV programming and bespoke content to the platform.

Kay Madati, Twitter global vice president of content partnerships, said APAC is driving growth for the company. “Our unique and strategic value proposition that positions Twitter as a complement, not competitor to traditional media companies, has delivered great success.”

The new content partnerships take Twitter’s total to more than 50 in APAC.

Source: campaignasia.com; 12 Sep 2018

Facebook rolls out Watch video platform to Asia-Pacific

Ad Breaks program expands to ANZ now and Thailand in September, sharing revenue with publishers and creators.

Facebook Watch, the rival to YouTube that the social network launched in the US a year ago, is now available in the rest of the world. Watch exists as a personalised video feed on Facebook and is designed to be a social experience, with users able to see comments other people are making on a show.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re making Facebook Watch available everywhere, giving people in Asia Pacific a new way to discover great videos and interact with friends, creators, and other fans,” said Saurabh Doshi, director of entertainment partnerships for Asia-Pacific in an emailed statement.

Doshi noted expanding Watch’s availability would create new opportunities for creators and publishers in the region, but noted Facebook “still had work to do.” No Asia-Pacific-specific funded content was announced for the launch. Instead, the global announcement highlighted the popularity in the US of shows such as Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and Huda Boss by beauty mogul Huda Kattan.

But all Page videos are available to be published on Watch and Facebook says its focus will remain on video experiences that connect people. As examples, Facebook pointed out creators from Asia like Ms Yeah with over 3.5 million likes and 4.2 million followers, or How to Dad from New Zealand who has built a community of 1.8 million followers.

While Watch has struggled to gain traction with viewers since its US launch, Facebook head of video Fidji Simon said in a blog announcing the move that the total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased fourteen-fold since the start of 2018.

Source: campaignasia.com; 30 Aug 2018

Tencent Video leads OTT content market in China

Tencent Video to maintain its edge over rivals iQiyi and Youku over the coming years, according to eMarketer.

Tencent Video is the leader in China’s subscription over-the-top (OTT) video market, according to eMarketer’s latest market-share estimates, with Baidu-owned iQiyi and Alibaba-owned Youku the next two key players in a tight race.

eMarketer expects 24% out of 229 million people who watch video via a subscription streaming service that bypasses traditional distribution in China will subscribe to Tencent Video by the end of 2018, and that figure will surpass 29% by 2020. iQiyi and Youku are expected to attract 22.9% and 22% of subscribers respectively.

Youku secured rights to stream this year’s FIFA World Cup, resulting in anticipated growth in its subscriber base by 55% this year, stated eMarketer. This means Youku may overtake iQiyi for second place by the end of 2019.

“Competition in China’s OTT market, fuelled by growing internet connectivity and a broader shift toward internet entertainment, is cutthroat. As subscriber churn rates are high, content remains a critical part to improve user stickiness,” said eMarketer forecasting director Shelleen Shum.

Source: campaignasia.com; 24 July 2018

YouTube tweaks monetisation model in response to ‘adpocalypse’

Social video sharing platform YouTube is rolling out a “channel membership” paid subscription option to its top creators, following criticism that its latest ad policies make it hard for publishers to earn money.

In a model already employed by competitors such as Twitch and Patreon, the platform will let publishers with more than 100,000 fans charge $4.99 a month for access to exclusive content, while those with over 10,000 followers will be able to host live-streamed “premieres” and advertise merchandise beneath their videos.

YouTube updated its advertising policies in the wake of a number of complaints about popular brand ads appearing next to inappropriate content on the site, branding a large portion of videos “unsuitable for advertisers”.

However, this prompted a backlash from YouTube’s video-maker community who called the update the “adpocalypse”, many of which saw their income from advertising fall as a result.

Competitor pressure

The announcement from YouTube comes just days after Facebook launched Instagram TV (IGTV), enabling users to publish vertical videos of up to 60 minutes long on the popular photo-sharing app, in what Marketing Tech reported to be a bid to move in on YouTube’s long-form influencer marketing ad revenue.

While YouTube may have reacted to early rumours in launching its membership options today, it’s more likely the platform has been reconsidering its monetisation strategies in recent months in order to catch up with aforementioned rivals, Twitch and Patreon.

However, the launch of IGTV may have thrown a spanner in this plan, attracting influencers currently active on both YouTube and Instagram to consolidate their efforts onto the app, which may eventually result in a migration of some of its key creators.

Speaking to BBC News, editor of YouTube magazine TenEighty, Alex Brinnand, said; “Creators are largely in favour of the direct-to-creator monetisation options, as it offers them higher revenue from people who are passionate about watching their content.

“This is something we’ve seen on crowd-funding platforms for a long time now, so it is really interesting to see the online video industry adopt this revenue model.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 22 Jun 2018

Reddit to feature native video ads starting today

Reddit, the world’s third most popular website after Google and YouTube, is starting to roll out native video advertising across its website and mobile apps following a site-wide redesign. The company is launching the new ad format with select partners, but plans to eventually open it up to all advertisers later this summer, according to a blog post.

The video ads will only be served to redditors that are using the expanded card display layout which is the default of three new modes in Reddit’s latest redesign, which has been met with mixed reactions from users – many are opting to use the old design instead of the new one.

Reddit noted some interesting stats about video consumption in the blog post announcing the pre-roll ads:

– More than 2x video views, growing 23% each month since the start of 2018.
– The website is now averaging more than 5 million minutes of views per day.
– Since launching, videos uploaded via our native player receive twice as many views as YouTube videos on Reddit.
– Native video has taken off in a variety of communities and now accounts for as much as 20% of content in a number of major ‘subreddit’ communities such as r/oddlysatisfying, r/aww and r/FortniteBR for example.

The native video ads will be offered on a cost per view basis and is also offering video-only campaigns for the first time. VP of brand partnerships Zubair Jandali believes that the new format is adding to the utility that the company offers marketers, which are eager to tap the company’s base of 330 million monthly active users.

While Reddit’s website has remained relatively unchanged for the past five years, recently it has increased its product growth with a redesign of its mobile apps and desktop site. Part of that redesign includes giving users the ability to host images and video natively on the platform.

Source: marketing-interactive.com; 13 June 2018

Chinese spend 2 hours, 39 minutes on mobile every day: eMarketer

Contrary to popular belief, mobile screen time is only overtaking TV viewing time in China starting this year. But, mobile video time is growing by about 25% per year.

Smaller screens are set to eclipse television sets in terms of viewing time for the first time in China this year, according to a media forecast report by eMarketer.

Citing digital video as a key driver for increased mobile time, the report estimates that Chinese adults will spend 2 hours and 39 minutes a day on mobile devices. That accounts for close to half of their daily media time (41.6%), up 11.1 % compared to last year.

Nevertheless, TV viewing time is expected to decline by only 2%, to 2 hours and 32 minutes a day, making up 39.8% of daily media time.

The report further estimates that Chinese adults will spend 58 minutes per day this year watching video on mobile, up by nearly 26% year over year. They are expected to spend almost a third of their daily digital time watching video by 2020.

Shelleen Shum, forecasting director at eMarketer, noted that both commercial and user-generated content have had explosive growth over the past year. “Short video apps like Xigua and Kuaishou have received heavy investment in the past year to help commercialise content,” she said. “Ecommerce and news aggregator apps have also used short video content as a way to increase engagement among users.”

However, brand-safety issues and crackdowns by authorities may be a concern for advertisers on these popular platforms. News aggregator app Toutiao, as well as short video apps Kuaishou and Douyin came under scrutiny recently for misleading advertisements and inappropriate content.

Meanwhile, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent also announced investment into short video content during the past year. An eMarketer report released in January predicted that close to 229 million Chinese would watch video on OTT platforms this year. That amounts to about 37% of digital viewers in China, while more than two-fifths of digital viewers in China will subscribe to OTT services by 2019.

Source: campaignasia.com; 19 Apr 2018

Google and Facebook are expanding their video ads

Google and Facebook each recently announced video ad expansions to drive continued ad revenue growth and ensure that both advertisers and publishers continue to see the value in using their platforms either to advertise or distribute content.

The news comes as tech platforms increasingly disappoint advertisers and publishers over brand safety issues and transparency around reach and viewability. The news also comes as 78% of marketers say they plan to increase their video ad production in 2018, according to Clinch research per MarketingDive.

Google’s latest video ad format, called Outstream Video Ads, will operate on mobile devices across Google video partner mobile sites and apps, and will offer advertisers a way of reaching mobile users with video ads outside of YouTube, per Search Engine Land.

Google announced the new format on its blog. The ads will appear in banner ads, Interstitials, in-feed, and native for apps. For advertisers, the new format could enhance brand safety, because only Google video partners— a select group of high-quality publishers and mobile apps — will be eligible to run Outstream ads, improving advertisers’ access to a powerful mix of high-quality video inventory. The format could also offer better viewability assurances on video ads delivered to mobile devices, because advertisers will be charged on a viewable CPM basis. The format also offers advertisers a way of reaching consumers on mobile devices, which are rapidly consuming a greater share of consumers’ time spend across a range of media devices. Mobile ad spend is expected to become the top ad medium this year, capturing 33.9% of total media spending, surpassing TV (31.6%) for the first time, per eMarketer.

Facebook is reportedly expanding pre-roll video ads, after testing the format on Facebook Watch shows earlier this year, according to Variety.

With the expansion, pre-roll ads will appear more broadly in video content surfaced through search results or that’s posted on publisher Pages, as Facebook seeks ways to grow Watch. For now, Facebook won’t insert pre-rolls in News Feed. Along with promoting “good” video content through monetization, Facebook also aims to limit “bad” content by demonetizing low-quality video or publishers that engage in “sharing and distribution schemes,” according to a recent blog post. Limiting low-quality video and expanding available video ad inventory by adding pre-roll ads creates a compelling environment for advertisers and brands. Further, high-quality publishers stand to gain more of advertisers’ video spend on the platform as Facebook prioritizes content that builds engaged and loyal audiences. For Facebook’s part, the platform has identified video as a venue to drive ad revenues, which are the bulk of its total sales, as it reaches capacity for advertising pushed out on News Feed.

Source: businessinsider.com; 25 Apr 2018

YouTube adds on TrueView for reach for ‘even more flexibility’

Google’s YouTube has launched TrueView for reach in a bid to help brands reach more audiences with “even more flexibility”.  According to Google, TrueView for reach brings its popular in-stream format built on user choice together with the simplicity of CPM buying.

“Optimised for efficient reach, this format can help raise awareness among a broad set of customers — and do so within our 95% viewable and 95% audible environment,” said the company in a statement. It is also being lauded by YouTube as a simpler way to buy ad space, which bolster’s YouTube’s current suite of TrueView products such as its TrueView for action feature, allowing advertisers to add call to action functions on their ads.

Currently, Google’s TrueView is marketed on the promise that brands only pay when a viewer chooses to watch their video ad. TrueView ads are also classified as opt-in, so advertisers aren’t restricted by time limits, according to Google. Present TrueView products include TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and bumper ads.

The new format already sees brands such as Samsung Electronics America as one of its beta partners. Jay Altschuler, VP of Media at Samsung Electronics America, said that during its flagship phone launch last spring, Samsung was able to reach over 50% more people at half the CPM using TrueView for reach.

“We were eager to test and learn as the launch partner of YouTube’s new TrueView for reach solution since marketing today is no longer about reach – it’s about engaged reach. User choice and attention are both critical for building a meaningful connection with consumers,” Altschuler added.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Tsangaratos, digital marketing manager at Pepsi France said that TrueView for reach not only enabled the brand to achieve “massive on-target reach”, it also delivered high completion rates on its 10-second video. CPMs also proved to be more competitive, and Pepsi saw 30% lower CPMs on average compared to previous campaigns.

“This ultimately drove lower average costs on incremental reach points: -46% versus TV on specific target audiences,” Vanessa Tsangaratos said.

Source: marketing-interactive.com; 3 Apr 2018

LinkedIn Goes All-In On Video Marketing

Marketers and brands can now leverage video for Sponsored content and Company Pages, to reach their audiences on LinkedIn.

Video has a proven track record of being the most efficient way to capture an audience’s attention on social media. LinkedIn made its first move a few months back, allowing users to share organic, native or uploaded videos on its platform. Individual creators have found video to be a great way to share knowledge, and to express themselves on a platform that had often been seen as “a little boring.”

LinkedIn will make video sharing available on Company pages as well, allowing businesses and publishers to take advantage of the feature. This is great news for organic reach and engagement on the platform. Based on the results of its beta program, LinkedIn found Company Page videos to be 5x more likely to start a conversation among members than other types of content.

Bring Your Campaigns To Life With Video For Sponsored Content

Video might be one of the top engaging types of content, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t engage with the right audience. According to an internal LinkedIn study, over 46% of B2B advertisers surveyed, said that being able to target the right audience was a top challenge when running video campaigns.

Native video ads finally bring together the power of video and targeting on LinkedIn. You will now be able to build the right audience for your video campaigns, based on professional traits like job title, seniority, company name, industry, skills, and more. LinkedIn will also let you target videos based on your Matched Audiences – which provides demographic and interest targeting of the people who have visited your website.

Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, video for Sponsored Content ads live directly on the feed as standalone posts.

Since launching as a private beta program back in October 2017, over 700 advertisers, including GE, Philips and Audi Canada have tested Video for Sponsored Content to highlight their products and services, but also their company mission, customer stories, and thought leadership content. These videos are helping marketers deepen engagement with their brands: on average, LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.

“Video content is crucial for our brand, and these changes allow LinkedIn’s professional community to more easily derive value from the content we are producing,” said Kaydee Bridges, Vice President, Digital & Social Media Strategy at Goldman Sachs. “While our videos can be long – up to 3 minutes – we are seeing deep engagement at a great value.”

Video for Sponsored Content will allow you to measure success through insights and detailed breakdowns of the types of professionals watching, engaging with, and even converting on your video ads (through conversion tracking.)

Renske Siersema, Social Media Manager at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, also shared the importance of leveraging video to engage with their audience of business travellers. “Video stands out because it doesn’t tell, but it shows. On a platform where there’s more business content, a video stands out more, especially on LinkedIn.”

Video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages will be available to all businesses in the next few weeks. LinkedIn has also signed an agreement with Oracle’s Moat to offer third-party video measurement and viewability. These services should be available to customers later this year.

For its new video ad product, LinkedIn has signed an agreement with Oracle’s Moat to offer 3rd party video measurement and viewability.

Source: wersm.com; 29 Mar 2018

CES a Reminder of How Far TV Tech Has Come

As the industry gears up to attend CES this week in Las Vegas, I’m reminded of an invention that enthralled the conference 20 years ago: Web TV. The device promised a new era of entertainment, where television and the internet would converge to give consumers the best of both. They could channel surf and web surf, all while sitting in the comfort of their living room.

But despite the promise of a new, interactive entertainment experience and technology that was state of the art for its time, Web TV never really took off. The hardware was clunky—imagine the old low-definition TV’s of the past, sitting on a set-top box with a keyboard and a modem. The software was slow and hard to navigate. And though there were great things to watch on television, there wasn’t much to do online; no one really wanted to check their email on their TV.

Web TV never really took off, but 20 years later, we’re finally fulfilling the vision of bringing hardware, software and fantastic content together to create an unrivalled living room experience.

Start with the hardware. The latest TV’s are as thin as picture frames and look like art, with high-end displays that render the world into sharp, brilliant relief. They’re also smart from the start, internet-enabled and able to connect wirelessly to your home network. Connected TV sales have grown ten percent in just the last year. If your TV isn’t connected, set-top boxes like Roku, smart sticks like Chromecast, and gaming consoles like XBox One X can unlock incredible libraries of entertainment on nearly any TV. And the latest smart speakers from Google and Apple let you ditch the remote entirely and navigate with the sound of your voice.

As for software, it’s now as important as hardware. TV apps can give you features and experiences you could have never dreamed of before. At YouTube, we’ve worked hard to build an experience that works on every screen. When YouTube first launched, it was something you only watched at work or on your computer; now it’s second nature for people to watch it on their phones or in their living rooms. In fact, TV is actually our fastest-growing screen at 70% year-over-year. Two out of three YouTube users say they watch YouTube on a TV screen, and watch time of YouTube on living room devices now tops over 100 million hours per day.

And that leads to the third point—online video has exploded, creating a golden age of content we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago. Today, you can seamlessly switch from watching live sports on a national network, to the latest Netflix original series, to your favourite music video, to doing Yoga with Adriene—a YouTube yogi with nearly 3 million subscribers. All that choice can be daunting, but recommendation algorithms are getting better and better at surfacing content you’ll want to watch—over 70 percent of time people spend watching YouTube is driven by our recommendations.

These developments have all led us to a watershed moment, fully realizing the potential of what an internet-enabled TV experience can be. But it also frees us up to push past this moment and unleash a new wave of TV innovation. It means we can embrace new formats like 4K and HDR video because platforms like YouTube have so much of that content to enjoy. It means we can create more social experiences, whether connecting fans with their favourite stars through comments, posts or live chats; or connecting them to each other through cowatching experiences that allow people in different places to enjoy the same content at the same time.
And with new over-the-top services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now, we can undergo the biggest change of all: enjoying live TV without the commitments that come with cable. Cable TV revolutionized the television experience, breaking us out of a three-channel world and ushering us into a golden age for the medium. But today consumers can finally get everything they love about TV, without the fees and annual contracts that come with cable.

In fact, they can get even more. YouTube TV offers unparalleled features and powerful experiences that aren’t constrained by the cable box, like an unlimited cloud DVR, personalized recommendations and an experience that works just as well on any screen. It’s no wonder cord-cutting grew by 11 percent over the last year and is expected to jump even higher next year.

When we at YouTube think about the future of TV, this is what we see—a future marked by greater choice, better quality content, smarter recommendations, more social experiences and fewer commitments. As I head to Vegas for CES this year, I’m betting it won’t take another 20 years.

The author, Neal Mohan is the chief product officer at YouTube.

Source: variety.com; 7 Jan 2018