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.
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.
As the concept of television continues to evolve, audiences have more options than ever when it comes to viewing premium content. While the ability to connect with consumers across screens is immensely valuable for publishers and advertisers alike, it has also become increasingly complex to insert ads anywhere content appears. Particularly, it is difficult to account for ad insertion challenges, while also honoring the business rules of a deal and delivering an optimal user experience. Several forces are at play here: (1) many endpoints have strict player requirements, (2) advertisers/agencies often have difficulty meeting these technical specifications, and (3) premium publishers struggle to fill inventory requirements for multiple endpoints in a way that maximizes sell-through. These factors are costing buyers and sellers numerous ad dollars from missed revenue opportunities.
Thanks a million to ExchangeWire for yet another exciting event: ATS Paris! This full-day event brings a full range of key players across the industry to discuss the challenges and future trends in the programmatic advertising and marketing technology industry. It’s always great to connect with the extended programmatic family. Here are my brief takeaways from this year’s edition.
Have you scrolled through Twitter, read your favorite industry trade, or dug into your morning news check recently? Then you know the digital ecosystem has become increasingly challenging for brands to navigate. We see advertiser after advertiser making tough choices to ensure their brand messages are appearing where they should – environments that are fit for their blue-chip brands. It’s a great reminder that, now more than ever, quality matters, and premium video represents a beacon of light that brands can rely on to safely find the audiences they are after.
With audience buying and cross-screen TV executions ready to play a much larger role in this year’s TV Upfront market narrative, advancing the advertising experience is a crucial topic for both buyers and sellers of premium video. Today the ad experience in digital video is far from perfect. Whether it is too many or poor […]
In the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2016 (VMR) we observed first-hand the tremendous growth of over-the-top (OTT) devices over the past two years. These connected devices have evolved from just 8% share of premium video ad views two years ago in Q4 2014 to a solid 27% in Q4 2016. The message from consumers to publishers aiming to increase viewership and buyers hoping to reach an engaged audience is clear: video will always have a home on the big screen.
On International Women’s Day, I highlighted meaningful conversations with several fabulous women from FreeWheel. The heartwarming response to the candor and wisdom these ladies shared was amazing! Building on that momentum we continue celebrating Women’s History Month by expanding the conversation to include five amazing leaders across other functions within Comcast’s advanced advertising business. Below, we showcase their responses behind the sources of inspiration in their career journey, their definitions of success and the importance of women supporting each other across our expanding global organization.
The FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2016 (VMR) launched on March 21st. The VMR takes a full-year look at 2016 as a whole, as well as quarter-specific trends, through the lens of general trends and themes that speak to the value of premium content and environments. For the 24th consecutive quarter, the upward trends in video continue, with no sign of slowing down. While our data highlights the opportunity in premium video, it also shines a light on just how complex managing a digital video business is today.