Twitter’s Prager: Video Gives Advertisers Premium Safety

Twitter says it wants to help down-play shady user-generated content (UGC) in the advertising offerings it serves up to big agencies.

in this video interview with Beet.TV, Twitter agency development director Stephanie Prayer says the network is trying to soothe brands’ concerns over the safety of environments in which ordinary folk publish their own content.

“Twitter can solve a lot of their brand safety concerns,” she says. “We have really stringent abuse policies. Coupled with the machine learning that we’re starting to use, any not-safe content on the platform is removed instantly.

“We’re doubling-down on video because it brings us the ability to bring in a depth of content that’s premium and publisher-based. We can weed out the UGC and make this an environment that’s safe for advertisers, to alleviate a lot of concerns.”

Twitter has been less impacted than YouTube by this year’s consternation over the appearance of brand advertisers’ messages against questionable content.

But the social service is also on its own mission to gobble higher video ad CPMs by launching a range of video services and partnerships live.

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Skinny bundles to herald new age of pay-TV as a third of US consumers willing to stream services

A new study from Horowitz Research has revealed clearly the new normal in US TV, showing that 70% of TV viewers aged over 18, and 90% of 18-34-year-olds stream some of the content they watch.

Horowitz believes that over the past decade, the pay-TV landscape has undergone a radical transformation, propelled by Netflix’s and the critical mass adoption of other streaming services. Now, in the latest edition of its State of Pay TV, OTT & SVOD annual survey, the analyst sees the pay-TV industry on the verge of another tipping point ever since. According to the company’s, the industry is about to enter a new phase as the introduction of the likes of Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV signal a new era of competition to traditional cable, satellite, and fibre optic TV providers.

The study shows that 29% of TV content viewers express interest in subscribing to one of these so-called dMVPDs; 30% of them among traditional pay-TV subscribers from cable, satellite and fibre operators. Most crucially, just over three-quarters of those interested in a dMVPD say that in order to consider the service, the overall cost will need to be lower than having a cable or satellite subscription.

When asked which features are most essential in making the decision to subscribe to a dMVPD, respondents listed as top features live TV, local broadcast channels, regional sports networks, DVR, and a variety of cable networks. In other words, facets associated with normal TV. Also considered essential were features that are often antithetical to traditional TV services: Not requiring a contract, not requiring additional hardware such as a dish or set top box, and having the ability to access your entire service on various devices simultaneously, both in and out of the home.

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Youtube hits 1.5 billion people each month

YouTube has a record 1.5 billion logged in viewers every single month. That is roughly equal to one in every five people around the world. On an average, viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube only on mobile devices. YouTube CEO “Susan Wojcicki” noted that YouTube aims to make Virtual Reality (VR) more accessible and affordable for viewers and creators.

Filming 360 degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are pricey which is why they have introduced a new format VR180 which has been the result of the joint effort of YouTube and Daydream that makes it affordable for anyone to make VR videos.
This format delivers 3-D video while capturing 180-degrees around you. When working with camera manufacturers like LG, Yi and Lenovo to build new VR180 cameras for as little as a few hundred dollars which is comparable to what one would pay for a point-and-shoot.
Online video social network makes it a whole lot easier for users to share their favorite YouTube videos with friends. A new sharing feature that lets you share videos right from the YouTube app was announced last year.

According to Wojcicki, more Millennials are using YouTube TV than any other generational group.
With this significant expansion of YouTube, millions of more people will be able to stream their favorite live sports and shows from top broadcast and cable networks.

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Mobile most important news carrier

This year Reuters Digital News Report 2017 arrives amid intense soul-searching in the news industry about fake news, failing business models, and the power of platforms. Reuters Institute’s highly anticipated annual research report casts new and surprising light on some of the prevailing narratives around these issues.

With data covering over 30 countries and five continents, this research is a reminder that the digital revolution is full of contradictions and exceptions.

Findings include:

Only 24% of respondents think social media do a good job in separating fact from fiction, compared to 40% for the news media.
In most countries, we find a strong connection between distrust in the media and perceived political bias.

Online news subscriptions in the US have received a very substantial ‘Trump bump’ (from 9 to 16%) along with a tripling of news donations. Most of those new payments have come from the young.

Ad-blocking growth has stalled on desktop (21%) and remains low on smartphones (7%).

Is the crisis of confidence in journalism, in fact, focusing minds and wallets? How polarised is trust in media across countries? What happened to video? And, are voice-activated devices really growing at apace with the hype? Read this report to discover key trends in the digital media revolution.

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Brexit could lose UK over 1000 TV channels

An Expert Media Partners (EMP) report has found that UK-based international broadcasters face very serious challenges in a post-Brexit world, and predicts that the consequent impact is likely to start being felt this summer. The UK is currently by far the biggest location in the EU for companies broadcasting television channels to other EU member states, but EMP research has identified that this preeminent position is now under threat.

Whilst it isn’t usual to think of television channels as a commodity which countries export, in the case of the UK, exporting television channels is a very substantial business. The report states that the UK has a large domestic broadcasting market, a stable andwell-respected regulatory regime, good access to highly-skilled workers,availability of excellent post-production facilities and a range of satellite uplinks and technical transmission providers. A large part of the business activity that this industry supports is currently pan-European.

In analysing the potential consequences of Brexit, EMP looked closely at the EU’s Country of Origin (COO) principle which is enshrined in the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and creates a common area for broadcasters. Most experts and industry leaders we have consulted agree that any form of Brexit which puts the UK outside the AVMSD licensing regime is likely to threaten the status of the UK as a major television industry hub. EMP predicts that potentially over a thousand channels will look to leave the UK and meet the COO requirements of an alternative EU member state.

EMP adds that it has found several countries already keen to attract broadcasters from the UK, and has also explored the potential for different options of satisfying the Country of Origin principle in those countries.

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Nielsen Launches Measurement for Mobile Ads on YouTube App

Nielsen said it has begun measuring the advertising appearing on YouTube’s mobile app.

YouTube viewing on desktops and mobile web browsers was previously measured by Nielsen, but with mobile usage growing into a dominant position, adding the app was important to getting an accurate picture of consumer behavior.

Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings clients will be able to get age and gender demographics for viewers on the YouTube mobile app, plus reach, frequency and gross ratings points.

“As more people watch video across digital platforms and devices, Nielsen’s comprehensive measurement of YouTube through Digital Ad Ratings is crucial to provide a complete picture of media consumption,” said David Wong, senior VP of digital product leadership at Nielsen. “We are proud to be able to provide the market with an independent view of the audience for advertising on YouTube in context of the wider viewing landscape.”

Measuring ads on the YouTube app also helps producers of content for YouTube channels.

“With the ongoing shift of TV dollars to digital, and specifically mobile video, top brands and agencies are aggressively moving toward more measurable reach,” said Tariq Abouddafar, head of ad platforms at Tastemade. “Nielsen’s ability to measure reach, frequency and GRP on YouTube mobile is a game changer as it allows us to expand our measurable YouTube inventory and audience guarantee, against Nielsen ratings.”

Fox Adopts Six-Second Ad Format

Fox Networks Group is adopting the six-second, “unskippable” ad, following in YouTube’s footsteps as it tries to cater to its growing number of online viewers.

FNG announced the move at the Cannes Lions conference, alongside executives from YouTube, which instituted the six-second ad format last year. FNG’s first such ads will debut on its streaming services and then eventually on linear television, the company said.

“One of our biggest priorities at Fox Networks Group is figuring out the best way for a brand to reach a consumer that captures the right kind of attention,” said David Levy, FNG’s executive vice president of non-linear revenue. “We’re excited to deploy this new format.”

FNG said that it was the first time a television broadcaster had adopted the new ad format.

Advertisers and digital platforms have struggled to come up with ways to keep viewers’ eyeballs on ads as attention spans shorten and more and more people watch videos on their mobile devices. YouTube says that an ad lasting six seconds hits the sweet spot.

“Since we piloted this format last fall, we’ve seen on YouTube that six seconds is both long enough and short enough,” said Tara Walpert Levy, vice president of agency and media solutions at YouTube and its parent company, Google. “It’s great for on-the-go users who appreciate the succinct message, for creatives who appreciate the constraint, and for brands who value the consistent results.”

Four steps Youtube is taking to fight terrorism online

Youtube published today the following post:

Terrorism is an attack on open societies, and addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all. Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution. We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online. There should be no place for terrorist content on our services.

While we and others have worked for years to identify and remove content that violates our policies, the uncomfortable truth is that we, as an industry, must acknowledge that more needs to be done. Now.

We have thousands of people around the world who review and counter abuse of our platforms. Our engineers have developed technology to prevent re-uploads of known terrorist content using image-matching technology. We have invested in systems that use content-based signals to help identify new videos for removal. And we have developed partnerships with expert groups, counter-extremism agencies, and the other technology companies to help inform and strengthen our efforts.

Today, we are pledging to take four additional steps.

First, we are increasing our use of technology to help identify extremist and terrorism-related videos. This can be challenging: a video of a terrorist attack may be informative news reporting if broadcast by the BBC, or glorification of violence if uploaded in a different context by a different user. We have used video analysis models to find and assess more than 50 per cent of the terrorism-related content we have removed over the past six months. We will now devote more engineering resources to apply our most advanced machine learning research to train new “content classifiers” to help us more quickly identify and remove extremist and terrorism-related content.

Second, because technology alone is not a silver bullet, we will greatly increase the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger programme. Machines can help identify problematic videos, but human experts still play a role in nuanced decisions about the line between violent propaganda and religious or newsworthy speech. While many user flags can be inaccurate, Trusted Flagger reports are accurate over 90 per cent of the time and help us scale our efforts and identify emerging areas of concern. We will expand this programme by adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organisations who are already part of the programme, and we will support them with operational grants. This allows us to benefit from the expertise of specialised organisations working on issues like hate speech, self-harm, and terrorism. We will also expand our work with counter-extremist groups to help identify content that may be being used to radicalise and recruit extremists.

Third, we will be taking a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content. In future these will appear behind an interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements. That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.

Finally, YouTube will expand its role in counter-radicalisation efforts. Building on our successful Creators for Change programme promoting YouTube voices against hate and radicalisation, we are working with Jigsaw to implement the “Redirect Method” more broadly across Europe. This promising approach harnesses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential Isis recruits, and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining. In previous deployments of this system, potential recruits have clicked through on the ads at an unusually high rate, and watched over half a million minutes of video content that debunks terrorist recruiting messages.

We have also recently committed to working with industry colleagues—including Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter—to establish an international forum to share and develop technology and support smaller companies and accelerate our joint efforts to tackle terrorism online.

Collectively, these changes will make a difference. And we’ll keep working on the problem until we get the balance right. Extremists and terrorists seek to attack and erode not just our security, but also our values; the very things that make our societies open and free. We must not let them. Together, we can build lasting solutions that address the threats to our security and our freedoms. It is a sweeping and complex challenge. We are committed to playing our part.

2-in-5 seniors own a smartphone. Time for 65+ video app?

According to Pew Research, those 65 and older are getting connected, though at lower rates than their younger peers. In 2016, 73% of adults have access to home broadband, while 51% of people 65+ have it. Penetration of smartphones has also grown strongly among adults, increasing from 35% in 2011 to 77% in 2016. The over-65s have also adopted the devices quickly, growing from 11% penetration to 42% in the same period. Tablet usage has grown somewhat less strongly, with 51% of all adults and 32% of seniors using the device in 2016.

Pew Research says that the younger and more affluent the senior, the more likely they are to own a smartphone. 59% of those in the age range 65-to-69-years own a smartphone, versus 42% for everyone 65+. 81% of those living in households with an income $75,000 or more own a smartphone, and 65% of those holding at least a bachelor’s degree own one.

So, with most seniors connected and many with mobile device in hand, is it time to start advertising to them video platforms like Hulu and Crackle?

Pew is silent on the usage of video by seniors on their connected devices. For a partial answer to the question we need to turn to Nielsen data for a broader age range: those 50+.

Smartphone video reaches more seniors than any other platform

Nielsen says that video reach of connected devices has increased strongly, with one exception, over the last year among those 50+. Those watching video on their smartphone increased from 24% to 37%. The number using a tablet to watch video doubled in the last year, to reach 13%. And connected televisions reached a third of those 50+ in Q4 2016, a slight increase over the previous year. The only connected device used less for video in 2016 than 2015 was the PC, falling from 34% to 29%. The change in usage for video on each device among seniors is roughly in line with other age groups.

Does that mean content providers should be rushing to market mobile video apps targeting seniors? Perhaps not quite yet, though some experimentation on YouTube might be a good approach.

Smartphone video has the greatest reach among seniors. Though video usage has doubled in the last year among 50+ smartphone video viewers, they still only watch 58 minutes a week on the device. It’s similar story for the tablet, where senior tablet video viewers watch just 53 minutes a week. This suggests seniors are snacking on short form content, in services like YouTube, on the mobile devices, not watching long-form video.

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Monetizing Video Puts More Food on the Table for Publishers

The table is set for publishers to derive new revenue from popular content formats and now it’s time to sit down and eat. What’s for dinner? Video. Why now? What has changed? Three trends are converging that make video content a potent opportunity: One, video content is quickly growing in popularity with consumers; two, consumers are buying more products online than ever before; and three, consumers are ready to buy on whatever platform or site that is accessible to them. This represents an immensely profitable new revenue stream for the video publishers and their affiliate networks, and here are three key ways it can happen.

Set The Table And Incorporate More Video

If publishers want to get ahead, they need to understand what a video is worth and ultimately, use more of it. According to Cisco, 69% of all IP traffic will be video in 2017, growing to 80 percent by 2019. Another study from Aberdeen research says that sites with video garner an average 4.8 percent conversion rate versus 2.9 percent for sites that do not. It’s clear that consumers like the “snackable” content that’s easy to consume, because it’s simply more engaging than static content. Look at BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos that recently hit 1 billion views this year, as an example. Simply giving people a visual walkthrough of how to make a recipe has inspired even the most basic cookers to create a delicious dinner.

Video has become invaluable, and particularly interactive and shoppable videos, because they provide a more immediate and real-world experience for shoppers. Videos have a storytelling aspect to them that make its content more desirable, so when you connect the story that these videos create with sophisticated search tools that are now available- like visual recognition search — products that are featured within videos are easily found, and therefore more easily purchased. This is where artificial intelligence has played a huge role in the video industry, because it’s allowed retailers to become more searchable, and publishers to monetize content that users would prefer to consume. Merging these machine learning capabilities with the browsing experience is bringing a whole new world of opportunity for publishers and retailers, and it’s still only the beginning.

Understand New Buying Habits and Ways To Reach Consumers

Not only are more Americans shopping online today, but they are buying a greater range of products across a wide range of channels. So in order to get the right products in front of the right sets of eyes, publishers and retailers need to understand audiences and work together to deliver a great browsing experience with relevant, interesting, and entertaining videos.

The opportunity is bigger than simply selling pre, mid, and post-roll ads against videos, because they can be monetized in myriad ways across these various platforms from social to onsite. Business Insider is one of the more recent publishers using video to drive commerce by leveraging Facebook video to increase reach and ultimately, sales. These video strategies generate a LOT of data that can help publishers better understand their audience and can be made available as a value-add to retailers. They can also provide incremental revenue for publishers that can offer formats like in-video advertising and in-video purchasing to their advertisers.

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