TV as a Platform: Quality Scale [FWC Video Series]
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James Rothwell
By James Rothwell,
VP, Global Agency, Brand & Industry Relations

We recently shared the first in a video series filmed at the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video’s Executive Board dinner last month. Decision-makers from ABC, Comcast, ESPN, NBC Universal and others discussed the key issues impacting the television industry as we head into the 2018 Upfronts season, and how TV is now acting like a unified platform to drive results. It shouldn’t be surprising that the conversation naturally turned to two of premium video’s most compelling attributes for advertisers: quality and scale.

Transparency and brand safety concerns plague the digital media industry, but TV and premium video continue to serve as a beacon of light for advertisers by providing consistently high-quality production, immersive video experiences and curated, trusted environments for brands to engage audiences.

Since the dawn of television advertising in the early 1940’s, TV has provided the scale for large brands to capitalize on as a means of building awareness and brand affinity. Today, through the use of anonymized data and addressability, advertisers can segment these premium audiences across platforms to drive large-scale subsets of the population down the purchase funnel.

Through improved technology, premium video providers are also able to re-aggregate scale of those audiences choosing to consume video on different digital-enabled screens, so brands can find those viewers regardless of the screen or device of choice.

TV as a Platform: Quality Scale from FreeWheel, A Comcast Company on Vimeo.

“The conversation around this Council when it started was feeling defensive that we needed to prove that we have quality content and quality video, and the fact now is that it has swung back to us, and now it feels like we are getting recognition for the things we’ve always done well, which is great content and really safe environments for brands,” said Laura Nelson, SVP, Audience Sales, Disney ABC.

There was further discussion about the need to be more scientific and precise about what is meant when describing something as premium, focusing on the quality aspect of content and environment, and the audiences viewing that content. Also, members of the FWC discussed the challenge of leveraging additional content that appears on other non-TV platforms where there are data and measurement restrictions.

Ultimately, the quality and understanding of audiences accessing premium video is where much of the value lies for marketers and TV companies are making investments to create a converged platform across linear and digital that enhances that value.

When considering first-party data, Vikram Somaya, SVP, Global Data Officer & Ad Platforms, ESPN, said, “We are going to use it, we are going to grow it, we are going to buy content around it and we are going to build infrastructure to enable it.”

Stay tuned for the next video in the Upfronts series which will take a deeper look at how TV and premium video is embracing data and intelligence to act more like a unified platform and drive results for marketers.

This video is part of an Upfronts series filmed in New York City in March 2018. Learn more about The FreeWheel Council

Watch Video One in the Series: TV as a Platform

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