A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies plus trends from the wider media industry. This week, more turbulence at Yahoo, acquisitions by some big ad agencies, native ads get more mainstream, the continuing stream of VR news, plus plenty of 2015 year-end data and 2016 forecasts.
Value of M&A Deals in Digital Media Increased 2.7% in 2015
There were a total of 2,285 deals, worth $238 billion, related to digital media, information and technology announced globally during 2015, up from 2,218 during 2014, according to investment bank Coady Diemar Partners (via Coady Diemar Partners).
Television Bureau of Advertising, Pearl TV Initiate Programmatic TV Guidelines
TVB and a Pearl TV-led working group provide open access to version 1.0 of the "Broadcast Linear Television Programmatic Guidelines and Best Practices" (via TV Technology).
Ad Tech Growth Hits Speed Bump
Starboard Value Calls for Shake-Up at Yahoo and Shift in Strategy
A prominent hedge fund that has long criticized Yahoo's management called for changes to the web pioneer's board and management to go along with a shift in the company's strategy, demanding that it spin off or sell its core search and display business (via NYT).
+ Yahoo Shutters Video Service Yahoo Screen (via Variety)
+ Yahoo Plans to Lay Off at Least 1000 Employees (via Variety)
BBDO Buys Majority Stake in Wednesday Agency Group
Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide is revving up its fashion expertise with the acquisition of a majority stake in luxury marketing powerhouse Wednesday Agency Group (via WSJ).
GroupM, Fullscreen Ink Deal to Form Influencer Marketing Program
Influencer marketing program called Playa that will coordinate exclusive deals between the agency's clients and Fullscreen's global roster of more than 75,000 digital celebrities (via AdAge).
21st Century Fox Buys Stake in an "Augmented Reality" Company
Entertainment giant bought an undisclosed stake in augmented-reality firm, Osterhout Design Group, to push "the film experience into the future" (via WSJ).
Dentsu Aegis buys Canadian advertising agency Grip
The 150-person agency, founded in 2002, will help Dentsu Aegis to expand its presence in Canada and will operate as a distinct shop (via The Globe and Mail).
iHeartMedia Announces Digital Expansion Into Canada in Partnership With Bell Media
Deal to bring iHeartRadio's digital radio and music streaming service to Canada will encompass everything from live and televised events to content on car dashboards, handheld devices and consumer electronics (via Billboard).
+ iHeartMedia and Universal Join Forces to Bring Concerts in Virtual Reality (via Business Wire).
Hearst Reports Record Profit and Revenue for 2015
Privately held company made record revenue of $10.7 billion in 2015, according to a letter CEO Steve Swartz sent to employees (via SF Examiner).
Fox News Holds Its Lead in a Year of Growth for Cable News
Viewership of the top 24-hour cable news channels went up in 2015, according to Nielsen. Fox News once again dominated, while CNN had significantly improved ratings and MSNBC had a slight bounce in viewers (via NYT).
Small Cable Operators Reach Deal with AMC Networks
AMC has agreed to a multi-year carriage deal with National Cable Television Cooperative that will allow the association's members to continue delivering all six AMC networks (via Bloomberg).
Facebook's Audience Network Reaches $1B Ad Spend Milestone
"In Q4 we reached a $1B annual run rate for advertising spend through the Audience Network, with the bulk of that value being passed to publishers, and the remainder being recorded as net revenue for Facebook" (via Facebook).
Why is Facebook So Sure That Virtual Reality is the Next Big Thing?
Virtual reality startup Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, began taking pre-orders Wednesday for its first consumer headset. Many companies are diving into VR, but perhaps none more seriously than Facebook (via NBC News)
+ OMD CEO Turns Her Attention to Virtual Reality as It Gets Closer to Being Mainstream (via Adweek)
+ Forget Facebook: World's First Mobile VR Social Network Lets You Meet Your Friends in Virtual Reality (via Daily Mail)
NBCU's Evan Shapiro Says Seeso is Just the Beginning — Upwards of Nine New SVOD Services Are Coming
"The three major aggregators in OTT right now bear a striking resemblance to the three major broadcasters around 1978… I think there's going to be a disruption in that status quo" (via Decider).
Spotify Isn't Laughing Off This Lawsuit
Lawsuit says Spotify's unlicensed streams could make the company liable for up to $150 million and the case could have ripple effects far beyond Spotify (via Bloomberg).
Turner Seeks to Become One Big Native Ad Platform
Instead of five to ten 30-second spots during a program, Turner will air long-form branded content that's two to three minutes long and produced by new native advertising unit (via Ad Age).
More Marketers Offer Incentives for Watching Ads
Delivering ads to people seeking rewards may help combat ad fraud and viewability challenges (via WSJ).
Video and Native Ads to Rule Mobile in 2016
Survey of clients and agency executives conducted by Advertiser Perceptions for Trusted Media Brands suggests video and native ads will surpass display banners as the top mobile formats in 2016 (via PR Newswire).
Five Key Themes for Media Companies in 2016
Industry analysts said media companies can succeed, as long as they get to grips with certain realities and try to better position themselves for success (via MarketWatch).
People on the Move
iHeartMedia announced that Kelly Kibler, previously Executive Vice President of Operations for the company's Texas Major Markets, has taken on a new role as Executive Vice President of Multi-Cultural Marketing for the iHeartMedia Markets Group (via Radio Ink).
Outfront Media named Cecilia Lang as Senior Vice President of Digital Sales. She will report to Outfront Media's Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Clive Punter (via PR Newswire).
Gannett Goes Deep with VR: Daily Show, Cardboard Viewer Distribution and Advertising (via BeetTV)
Why Google and Facebook Are Uniquely Positioned to Control How Marketing Evolves (via AdWeek)
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