Welcome to the FreeWheel Blog. Our presence at the center of the New TV Ecosystem provides us with a unique point of view on the many issues facing the industry. The purpose of the FreeWheel blog is to share our perspective on industry opportunities, news and stories, including a look behind the scenes at how we power the advertising businesses of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world, while enabling them to scale their business and maximize value from their content.
Over the past two weeks since returning from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the stellar opportunities afforded by this truly unique global event. After all, Cannes Lions doesn’t just play host to the largest gathering to worldwide advertising professionals but also to 15,000 marketing and media executives— a collective intersection of advertising, entertainment, media, and technology unlike any other. South of France setting aside, is there a better setting for our global teams to bring industry leaders together to strategically drive the industry forward?
Following on the success of the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (FWC) in North America, we’re excited to announce that the FWC has launched in Europe, extending its remit to champion the premium video industry on an international level. The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Europe (FWCE) has 13 members at launch, including some of Europe’s largest Broadcasters and Operators.
As we turned the corner into 2017, one thing became clear: the industry has never been closer to true unification in premium video than it is now. The FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q1 2017 highlights how the boundaries between what we consider “traditional TV” and digital video are dissolving, and that at the end of the day, it’s all just video. Live and full-episode TV-quality content grew at double-digit rates across the board and nearly half of all digital video consumption occurs on the big screen. New MVPD subscription models are emerging. Viewers have high expectations around all components of the premium content experience, and publishers and advertisers alike are recognizing that cooperation will be crucial in driving the industry forward. Here are a few trends we observed in this quarter’s report to highlight.
First thing’s first: I love the candor of AdMonsters conferences; nothing to be gained by blowing smoke up each other’s supply chains. Last week was no different and key learnings abounded. I was honored to moderate a panel at AdMonsters Ops NYC where I was joined by Eyal Ebel, SVP, Programmatic Revenue at Univision; Diego Sanchez, Head of Digital Partnerships and Programmatic Revenue at Rodale; and Adam Heimlich, SVP, Programmatic at Horizon Media, to discuss the evolution of video content and monetization.
The phrase “Advanced TV” is everywhere these days – in the trades, on social media, and in industry-related conversations – and it’s commonplace to encounter a different definition of Advanced TV in each setting. Some think it’s as simple as an internet connected television. Others believe it’s a far off, future concept. And still more equate Advanced TV with “programmatic,” a term in itself so confusing that the IAB recently called to abolish the term. One thing we can all agree on is that the current definition of Advanced TV is vague at best. It’s time to set the record straight.
“Bring Your Kid to Work Day” (BYKTWD) is a much-anticipated tradition at our office, an opportunity for parents to bring their children (and in some cases, nieces and nephews) for a day of fun and educational activities to learn about our business and enjoy meeting their parents’ “work family.” This year’s event was nothing short […]
As an advocate for premium video, defined as professionally-produced content in brand-safe, curated environments, the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video is focused on insights that help drive a broader understanding of the New TV Ecosystem and industry-wide collaboration. What is the market share of premium video in relation to the whole video ecosystem? This is a […]
Viewership across “over-the-top” (OTT) devices—defined as an internet-enabled viewing device for your TV, including Apple TVs, Amazon Fire Sticks, Rokus, gaming consoles, and smart TVs—has been steadily increasing year-over-year. Just two years ago, OTT represented only 8% of digital video ad views. Now it represents 32%, according to the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q1 2017, launching on June 14, 2017. Despite this growth, advertisers and agencies have been cautious about doubling down on OTT investments. In this post, I address the top five challenges surrounding OTT and explain why these don’t need to be major blockers for advertisers looking to reach audiences across premium OTT content. I also highlight the distinctive advantages unique to the OTT market.
At Variety’s recent Entertainment & Technology conference in NYC, ad experience resurfaced as a hot topic. During a panel on, “The Future of TV Advertising,” it was clear that leaders from both publishers and agencies agreed that consumers should be at the center of the ad experience. There was a consensus that more experimentation was necessary and that the dialogue around ads needs to evolve from “commercial interruption” to “commercial enhancement.”
There remains a seemingly perennial theme present in the Upfronts: unification and the ability to help advertisers reach their audience regardless of their device or platform. As more of this premium video is consumed across different screens, the quantity of unified transactions that occur across linear and digital TV has increased. With every year that passes, this theme grows ever more pronounced as the aggregation of audiences and execution of unified campaigns creates complexity for buyers and sellers who are often native to one side of the premium video world.