04/28/17: YouTube’s ad boycott woes don’t sink Alphabet in Q1

Good morning. It’s Friday April 28, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!

Hot spot: In digital advertising, a hot spot is an area of an ad unit which, when rolled-over by the user’s cursor, such rollover triggers an event (such as an expansion of the ad).
is following in YouTube’s footsteps, adding a feature to Facebook Rights Manager that will allow content owners to claim ad earnings off of pirated content. Previously, copyright holders essentially had two options: Allow infringing videos to stand, or have them taken down. Now they they’ll be able to select an option that lets them collect the revenue from mid-roll ads that run during the video, instead of allowing those earnings to flow to the uploader. The new features also give rights-holders the ability to automate their response to stolen uploads, customizing rules for whether they’ll block such content, allow it to stand while being shown viewing metrics, claim the ad revenue, or have the video manually reviewed.
Looks like Alphabet has fared pretty well through that whole YouTube advertiser boycott. The Google parent reported $24.75 billion in Q1 revenue – a 22% year-over-year increase – and earnings-per-share of $7.73. That beat Wall Street’s projections of $24.22 billion in revenue and earnings-per-share of $7.39. The biggest driver of Google’s revenue growth was mobile search advertising. YouTube has lost a number of high-profile advertisers since reports surfaced last month that some video ads were running on hate speech videos. But Google has since taken steps to curtail such occurrences. Analysts offered mixed projections as to just how much the crisis would eat into revenue. But while Alphabet doesn’t break out revenue figures for YouTube, it seems evident that the fallout hasn’t been too catastrophic.
According to Frost & Sullivan principal analyst Dan Rayburn, Sling TV ended Q1 with about 1.3 million subscribers. Rayburn, who also serves as EVP of StreamingMedia.com, explained in a post that his assessment was based on information that Sling TV has been passing around to Wall Street analysts. (The Dish Network-owned OTT TV service doesn’t actually make such info public.) Rayburn was somewhat bearish on the immediate future of the OTT TV space as a whole. “Between Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and soon to be Hulu, I expect there will be less than 3M subs to all the services combined, by the end of this year,” he wrote.
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Ad tech firm AppNexus has launched new multimedia auction technology. While most real-time bidding auctions are for a single ad format, AppNexus’s multimedia auction lets a number of dfferent media types compete with one another for a single ad slot. AppNexus says its primary goal is to increase demand for each ad placement.
Netflix’s ramp-up in East Asia doesn’t stop with its recent licensing arrangement in China. The streaming giant has also partnered with South Korean broadcasting company JTCBC. The deal gives Netflix around 600 hours of scripted and unscripted TV shows.
The Asia Pacific unit of Discovery Networks has reached two new digital partnerships in Asia. The company will partner with VS Media, a Chinese multichannel network, to launch Tanba, a new platform short-form video platform designed to stimulate learning. Tanba will be available via Chinese social media platforms, and via Facebook and YouTube in other Asian markets. (Discovery has held a minority stake in VS Media since last year.) In addition, Discovery partnered with Tabilabo, a digital media and tech company based in Japan. Under that deal, the two companies will work to create a new video advertising solution across both linear and digital platforms. 
How’s this for growth: According to a new study from Leichtman Research Growth, 69% of U.S. TV homes now have at least one TV set that’s connected to the internet through devices like Apple TV or Roku Players, via a smart TV, or through a connected Blu-ray player. The number sat at 50% in 2014, and 24% back in 2010. Make no mistake: It’s only going to keep going up. The survey, called Connected and HD TVs XIV, reached 1,204 U.S. adults.
According to the latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), digital video ad revenues amounted to $9.1 billion in 2016. The semi-annual report was conducted by PwC US. That $9.1 billion figure represents a major increase from 2015, when digital video ad revenues added up to $5.9 billion. All told, the report finds online ad revenue as a whole added up to $72.5 billion last year. That’s a 22% increase from 2015, when the online ad space added up to $59.6 billion in revenue. One other notable tidbit: At $36.6 billion, mobile accounted for more than half of all online ad revenue in 2016 – the first time that’s ever happened. Mobile video rose by almost 150%, hitting $4.2 billion last year.
Heather Brewster and Pasa Mustafa have joined the digital media company Keshet Digital Studios. Brewster, who will now serve as VP and Head of Development, has previously held positions at Smokebomb Entertainment and Fullscreen. Mustafa, who has been named Creative Director, had previously headed up digital originals for Endemol. Together, Brewster and Mustafa will oversee Keshet Digital Studio’s programming agenda.
Actor Jon Hamm has appeared in two Netflix series. (Well, technically he appeared in one of the two shows before it had become a Netflix original.) What are the two series? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Hulu’s first TV ad, which ran during the 2009 Super Bowl, described the service as an “evil plot to destroy the world.” What well-known actor starred in the ad? Answer: Alec Baldwin. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Luke Watson-Roker Labs/NY, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Jaime Brand-Fullscreen/NY, And Lorrie Shilling/CA

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Gotta hand it to them: The New York Times did a pretty decent job of compressing a 36-hour visit to Tokyo into an experience lasting less than two minutes. 360-degree video can work wonders. Check it out here.

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