This upfront season, a number of media conglomerates flirted with programmatic TV. ABC, for instance, is beta testing data-driven ad sales via video ad server FreeWheel’s new FourFronts Programmatic tool. Likewise, NBCUniversal’s ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino has spoken of opening up portions of premium network inventory to programmatic sales.
As marketer and media company interest accelerates, Jon Heller, cofounder and co-CEO of FreeWheel, spoke with AdExchanger about the realities of programmatic in TV and where FreeWheel now stands in light of the Comcast acquisition.
AdExchanger: Can you give an update on Comcast and whether your current partnerships (such as Amazon) will continue?
JON HELLER: There’s no change because we’re still FreeWheel, we have the same people running the company and will be for some time. The whole reason we thought the deal with Comcast made sense is because television is a supply chain. There’s sports leagues and music labels who need to work with programmers or studios to curate and source content and then they syndicate it and distribute it across MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributor) and Web portals and then there are seven [or so] companies that bring you the Oscars or NBA basketball and they all have to play very well together, which means the vendors inside the supply chain have to play together.
If you make things work really well across that whole supply chain like we’re doing with our programmatic initiative and buying technology, then the whole sea rises and it brings up all ships. There is no change in what we’re trying to do.