FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Expands into Europe
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Emmanuel Josserand
By Emmanuel Josserand,
Brand, Agency and Industry Relations

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) debuts with 13 members including some of Europe’s largest Broadcasters and Operators, namely: Canal+ Régie, Channel 4, Discovery Networks International, Medialaan, MTG, Nelonen, Proximus, RTÉ, SBS Broadcasting, SFR Régie, Sky Media UK, Sky Media Germany and TF1 Publicité.

The FWC is committed to serving the shared interests of those in the premium video industry through leadership positions, research and advocacy to promote the premium video economy.

To kick off the launch of the FWCE, we held our first board meeting with our members in Cannes, during the Lions Festival on June 22. We had a very promising first meeting, where a number of key industry topics and plans for the remainder of 2017 were discussed. We’re looking forward to sharing more details in good time.

FWCE board meeting in Cannes on June 22, 2017

Following the board meeting, and in partnership with The Drum, one of Europe’s most recognised media publication, the FWCE curated a panel session entitled Television Evolved: The Rise of the Dynamic Living Room moderated by The Drum’s Justin Pearse. Jamie West (Sky Media), Philippe Boscher (TF1 Publicité), Hossein Houssaini (Havas) and Elise Dupaty (Halfords Media/Pokerstars) led a dynamic discussion on the new age of video consumption and the position of premium video advertising in viewers’ daily lives.

Left to right: Justin Pearse, Hossein Houssaini, Elise Dupaty, Philippe Boscher and Jaime West

It was interesting to hear that all agreed on the power and delivery of TV:

“TV guarantees brand safety, delivers positive ROI and ad campaigns reach real humans,” expressed Jamie West.

Elise Dupaty from PokerStars, raised concerns about some video sources: “When I buy on the open market, I find viewability very low. It’s best to do deals with suppliers who are transparent,” to which Hossein Houssaini from Havas added, “We need to bring all the parties to the table to create better ad experiences.”

On the topic of ad experience, Philippe Boscher shared some interesting insights based on changes they have made at TF1, “We have cut 30% of pre-rolls because that’s where the bad experience is. Mid-rolls give more of a chance to tell a brand story.”

It was clear from the debate that TV and premium video offer advertisers the safest, most engaging marketing channel to build brands and drive positive outcomes. As West concluded, “Look at the experience you get from the premium platforms– years of experience creating brilliant content from live sports to movies.”

To officially mark our launch of the FWCE, the group has published its first position paper, Why Premium Video Matters for Advertisers: a European Perspective. It represents the first collective output for the European arm of the Council, built on shared market-leading insights. The paper provides a definition of premium video, an overview of how premium content differentiates itself from the digital fray, and what we should do as an industry to effectively evaluate and leverage its engaging, brand-safe environments.

Three takeaways from the paper:

1)  What sets premium video apart is its capacity to elicit engagement with both publisher content and the advertising that appears alongside it.

2)  All too often the industry is trying to measure premium video by the standards of other formats, pinning its worth on metrics like viewability alone, without recognising its potential to engage the consumer.

3)  In TV-like environments, brand-safety is assured and fraud is virtually non-existent and advertisers can reach real humans, engaged with the content they have chosen to watch.

Download the paper to access the complete perspective.

We are looking forward to expanding the FWC’s scope across the European region, advocating to the buy-side and industry bodies to help advertisers understand the true value of premium video and help all boats rise. Stay tuned for more.



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