A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies plus trends from the wider media industry. This week, ad revenue gains continue in November, the "Star Wars" force is strong for Disney, and some big programmatic and data deals by Aol, GroupM, NBCU and Rubicon Project.
November Sees Strong U.S. Ad Revenue Gains, Digital and TV Best Performers
TV category witnessed a 17% gain for the month, digital media continued to show strong improvements and other media also showed strong increases including out-of-home (up 44%) and newspapers (up 22% (via MediaPost).
Publishers Embrace VR, But Question Its Advertising Potential
"This is a bit like the way the Web was in 1994: primitive, but promising" (via Digiday).
+ Reality Check: 2016 Won't Be the Year of VR (via AdAge).
Disney CEO: "Star Wars" One of the Best Moments in Company History
"We'll carry this momentum into a new year that promises to be our best yet" (via Variety).
+The Business of "Star Wars" Comes With a Huge Catch (via The Washington Post).
+ See the Most-Liked "Star Wars" Ads (via AdAge).
TV Still Gets Lion's Share of Ad Budget
Forbes Insights/Simulmedia survey finds brands still recognize that television remains a dependable means of delivering brand messaging (via MediaPost).
Ad Tech Firms and Publishers in Crosshairs of European Privacy Law
A new European digital privacy law could have serious consequences for online advertising in the region (via WSJ).
The Exchange Lab Becomes Part of GroupM
Programmatic firm's talent and proprietary tech, Proteus, will become a core component of Connect, part of GroupM, to expand its multi-platform (meta-DSP) approach (via PRNewswire).
+ Tencent Announces Partnership with GroupM for Joint Data Development (via PRNewswire).
Video Platform Dailymotion and Aol Platforms Expand Programmatic Deal
Deal gives advertisers direct access to Dailymotion's inventory, by way of Aol's One ad platform (via MediaPost).
iHeartMedia Brings Local Inventory To Mediaocean's Spectra Platform
Within Spectra, buyers can now manage, research and buy iHeartMedia's local digital audio available on desktop, mobile, in-car digital dashboard, tablets, gaming consoles and home entertainment systems (via MediaPost).
NBCU, TiVo Strike Olympics Data Deal
TiVo Research and RealityMine said they have inked a partnership with NBCUniversal to provide single-sourced, cross-platform measurement during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games (via Multichannel News).
Rubicon Project Beta Testing Header Bidding for Mobile Apps
Early results for the product, FastLane, saw CPM increases of up to 300% in test with 20 publishers; wider release planned in Q1 (via Ad Exchanger).
+ Rubicon Project Selected as Programmatic Platform for Digital Arm of Middle East's Largest Media Representatives (via BusinessWire).
Screenvision Forges Alliance to Offer Theaters Alternative Content
Screenvision is getting back into the business of providing movie theaters with non-Hollywood content, such as concerts and Broadway performances, to help fill seats on weekdays when attendance is low (via Deadline).
Hallmark's Feel-Good Diet Draws Viewers, Advertisers
Hallmark's audience has grown 3% this year in prime time, while Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is up 33% (via WSJ).
Booking.com Embraces Google's Dynamic Mobile Ad Unit Magic Banner
Largest advertising spender on Google is working intensively to test Google's mobile ad unit and will likely announce a deeper partnership with Google in the new year (via VentureBeat).
Cablevision Settles Set-Top Suit
The settlement reportedly obligates Cablevision to support certain third-party set-top boxes and work with third parties that want their boxes to operate on Cablevision systems (via Broadcasting & Cable).
Facebook Starts Letting Brands Live Stream
Facebook is expanding its live streaming service by rolling it out to verified pages, initially only through Facebook for iOS (via The Verge).
Hearst's David Carey Likens the Media Business to Asymmetric Warfare
The publishing bigwig has come a long way from selling classified ads to college sweethearts (via Observer).
Fox Fights Record Label to Keep "Empire" TV Series Title
Record label, Empire Distribution, has demanded millions of dollars for trademark infringement and tarnishment (via Billboard).
Podcasting is Getting Huge. Here's Why
About 17 percent of Americans 12 or older, about 46 million people, listened to a podcast in the past month, up from 12 percent in 2013 (via Vox).
People on the Move
A+E Networks has hired Jim Hoffman as Executive Vice President, Program Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives. Hoffman was formerly Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for NBC Entertainment (via TV Week).
Also at A+E Networks, former head of digital media and business development, Daniel Suratt, has been promoted to President, Corporate Development, Strategy and Investments, while Sean Cohan is adding digital media to his portfolio as President, International and Digital Media (via Stream Daily).
TV Ratings giant Nielsen has promoted Global President Steve Hasker to chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2016 (via The Wrap).
Havas has promoted Arena's Pedro Avery to global chief executive of its marketing arm Havas Sports & Entertainment. He replaces Lucien Boyer, who has joined the media giant Vivendi (via Campaign).
Ynon Kreiz, who helped build Maker Studios then sold the Web video network to Disney for more than $500 million in 2014, is stepping down as Maker's CEO. He'll be replaced by Courtney Holt, who had previously been Maker's chief operating officer (via Re/code).
GroupM's Rob Norman CES Preview: The Scope of "Immersive vs. Passive" Experiences (via BeetTV).
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