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.
Today is the 10th anniversary of FreeWheel. Back then, in the days before a new world of iPhones, iPads and binge-watching, we knew there was a huge opportunity to help viewers get to watch whatever they wanted whenever they wanted to. And we knew that the only way that would work is if the TV companies made money. Shortly thereafter, Diane signed on and we all shared a common dream of building a great company with amazing people that was fueled by a big vision.
There’s no denying that 2016 has been a unique 12 months in the premium video industry as trends in consumer viewing behavior shift and new platforms and technologies emerge. As we review these evolving trends in our Video Monetization Report: Q3 2016, we’re able to provide the insights the industry needs to move forward.
There is a clear emerging trend in the advertising industry that’s causing problems for everyone concerned – ad blocking. Regardless of whether it’s the advertiser, publisher or even the brand itself, consumers are making themselves heard by rejecting advertising. According to a recent eMarketer survey, one in five UK consumers now use ad blockers and that’s expected to rise to over one in four – 27% – in 2017. I recently attended VOD Professional’s VUIX Conference in London and discussed this topic of conversation as it affects all within premium video publishing, regardless of whether content is delivered via streaming, OTT or VOD.
We recently completed FreeWheel’s Second Annual Global Hackathon: a 24-hour marathon during which our people transcend geo and departmental borders to collaborate, incubate and innovate. This year’s hackathon was a record-breaking event for our company. More than 250 hackers in the US, China, France and the UK consumed record amounts of coffee and Red Bull while building 49 impressive projects that promote both innovation and efficiency in our operations. The demo phase of the hackathon was streamed globally to foster connection across the entire organization.
Like all mass media, the TV and premium video industry is in a time of transition: digital technology is impacting the way people choose to consume media which has far reaching consequences. Reports of TV’s death have been greatly exaggerated but there is no doubt that viewing habits are creating more complexity for the media owner, the brand advertiser, and everyone in between. The good news is that while linear TV viewing may be declining, total audience/viewing of video is up, affirming the need to re-aggregate these fragmented audiences to achieve scale across the array of new screens.
I recently had the opportunity to participate on a panel discussion at the Broadcasting & Cable Advanced Advertising Summit called, “Big Changes From Big Data,” along with big data experts from ABC, 4C Insights, Discovery Communications, and iSpot.tv. In a compelling conversation on a complex topic, one thing remains clear: it’s really not the lack of scale, variety, or richness of data that is holding the industry back, nor is it a result of deficient technology. The heart of the challenge we face is how the premium video economy can align on a shared context around the data and tap into it as an ecosystem. Here’s my current take on the state of big data in the industry.
The FreeWheel VMR: Q2 2016 Executive Summary Infographic provides an illustration of how we define three distinct example audience segments based on engagement with premium long-form video, coupled with some of the most important takeaways from the report.
As more video content becomes available for consumers to watch on their own terms—on the best screen available, at the time of their choosing—premium video providers have invested heavily in improving the user experience. There has been incredible innovation over the last few years, creating easier content discovery, better access to more extensive content catalogues, […]
As the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (FWC) celebrates its first year of serving the interests of today’s premium video publishers through industry leadership, a glance into the rearview mirror is a reflection of our significant undertakings. We’ve accomplished a great deal.
FreeWheel’s position at the center of the premium video economy gives us unique insight into the themes that are top of mind for the ecosystem. While there’s always noise around the ad tech topic du jour, improving user experience has been a persistent theme throughout 2016. Take a look inside the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q2 2016 which identifies opportunities for premium players to drive increased revenue by creating monetization strategies that consider how different user segments engage with a Publisher’s content.