• Sony Leak Reveals Snapchat Music Ambitions
    Snapchat's chief executive Evan Spiegel was in discussions with Sony to use the app to promote musicians in June. Emails sent by Dennis Kooker, president of global digital business at Sony Music Entertainment, after a half-hour meeting with Spiegel revealed that the Snapchat head was interested in launching a record label whose members would be promoted through the app to its dominantly teen user base.
  • Former Hulu Executives To Take On YouTube With Vessel Start-Up
    Web video startup Vessel has revealed its plans to take on YouTube in 2015, including striking "early access" exclusivity deals with some of the latter company's popular channels -- and it says YouTubers and media companies will be able to earn '20x' more revenues from its online subscription service. Vessel will launch early in 2015 as a two-tier service: a free ad-supported version, and a $2.99-a-month subscription tier promising fewer ads. It was founded by Hulu's former Chief Executive and CTO.
  • Pot Noodle Switches To Lucky Generals
    Lucky Generals is replacing Mother as Pot Noodle's main creative agency after a competitive pitch which the Unilever-owned snack brand ran directly. Mother has handled the account since 2006, when it won the business in a pitch against Fallon. The account was then backed by an annual media spend of GBP5 million. That figure is now believed to be about GBP3.5 million. Lucky Generals will be tasked with creating above-the-line campaigns that attract 16- to 24-year-olds to Pot Noodle.
  • IAB Admits 100% Viewability "Not Yet Possible"
    Achieving 100 percent viewability measurement is "not yet possible" according to a new study by The Interactive Advertising Bureau, which recommended that measured impressions should be held to a 70 percent viewability threshold. The State of Viewability Transaction 2015 report offers advice on billing, what to do if a campaign doesn't achieve the 70 percent threshold and advice around viewability of larger ad formats.
  • News UK Posts Loss, The Sun Profits Nearly Halved
    Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper and publishing division suffered an operating loss of GBP3.5m in the year up to June 2014 compared to a GBP51m profit the year before. The loss by News Corp UK & Ireland, which owns the "Times," "Sunday Times," the "Sun" and the book publisher HarperCollins, is revealed in accounts filed by the company, without fanfare, at Companies House. One standout feature was the plunge in the profitability of the "Sun," where operating profits were down to GBP35.6m from GBP62.1m in 2013.
  • Virgin Holidays Indroducing Google Cardboard VR Disney Tours
    Virgin Holidays is introducing Google Cardboard and Disney MyMagic+ tech into its physical stores, enabling prospective customers to take virtual tours to destinations including Barbados, Mexico and Walt Disney World. From 26 December, Google Cardboard software will power mobile devices installed into headsets, which will function similarly to virtual reality headsets. Consumers will also be able to experience Disney MyMagic+ technology from their own homes to plan their holiday and pre-book rides and character experiences.
  • BT Adds SkySports 1 and 2 To YouView
    BT has bolstered its YouView sport offering by adding both Sky Sports 1 and 2 to its content mix following a favourable ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The enhanced lineup adds to BT's existing offering of BT Sport, ESPN and the Eurosport channels, increasing the quantity of premiere League matches available to view and strengthening its hand in an increasingly fierce tussle with Sky. Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport, said: "This is a pivotal moment for our ambitions in TV."
  • BT Looks To Build A Quad-Play Future Through EE Purchase
    With the eventual purchase of EE, BT could join Virgin and TalkTalk in creating a full complement of communications services for the home, including broadband, TV, land line and mobile. The move enables BT to accelerate its existing mobility strategy. As well as possessing fibre broadband and WiFi services, the brand would inherit the UK's most advanced 4G network, which BT claims will help give it greater control with future investment and product innovation.
  • Dutch Switch Attention From Google To Privacy On Facebook
    The Dutch government-affiliated watchdog is probing changes in Facebook's privacy policy -- the latest skirmish in a wider fight over the commercial use of online personal data. The announcement came a day after the Hague-based Data Protection Agency (DPA) warned Google it was breaching data protection laws by using personal details for targeted advertising. Google faces a EUR15m fine if it doesn't fix the alleged breaches by the end of February, the DPA said.
  • Lidl Still Has To Work Hard To Change Customer Perceptions
    Lidl has launched several initiatives to convince people of the quality of its produce, including a pop-up restaurant in London. Marketing Director Arnd Pickhardt says there is still more work to be done to convince people that good quality doesn't have to be expensive. The pop-up restaurant was just one of a number of initiatives that Lidl has run aimed at "surprising" people with its products. Its original #LidlSurprises launched in August showed people trying products at a market that was selling Lidl goods, while its Christmas campaign focused around a Christmas dinner.
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