FreeWheel Is Helping MVPDs Break Up The Linear TV Ad Spot

addressable Linear TVIf addressability and cross-platform are the two most important TV buzzwords today, FreeWheel’s latest pilot is killing two birds with one stone.

Comcast and Charter are using FreeWheel tech to chop up linear TV ad spots to make it “audience addressable,” across both linear and digital. Instead of the same ad being shown to all households, different ads will serve depending on who is seeing the ad. With one campaign, advertisers can buy both “audience addressable” on linear TV and addressable digital ad impressions.

“An advertiser can have a single budget with unified targeting that can deliver across platforms in a scalable and optimized way,” said Sara Wallace, FreeWheel senior director of product management.

Comcast and Charter started testing unified campaigns across digital and linear in December with media and entertainment clients. FreeWheel will open its test to other multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) later this year, Wallace said. Content owners could also potentially use this tech.

Being able to buy across linear and digital in a single campaign confers a number of benefits.

It saves time, and ad budgets can move nimbly between ads served through cable set-top boxes and online full-episode players. Advertisers can target across both linear and digital, set frequency caps, and cohesively perform campaign optimization and measurement.

“It’s seamless to execute across digital and linear,” Wallace said.

Bringing digital and linear TV ad inventory into a single campaign also ensures scale, so advertisers can easily adopt as digital ad avails grow and linear ad avails shrink.

Though the solution isn’t programmatic, the ads will be delivered in each platform via real-time decisioning, Wallace said. And the tech is designed to maximize yield for the MVPDs – an important consideration once an ad spot starts being broken up.

FreeWheel’s pilot is a move toward – you guessed it – TV addressability and cross-platform buying. “This is a journey we’ve been on as an industry,” Wallace said. “It’s not something that happens overnight. Having a single campaign delivering across digital and linear endpoints is an exciting milestone for us.”

“This is unlocking a simplification and scalability that is needed for cross-platform addressability,” Wallace said – now advertisers, more MVPDs and programmers need to walk through that open door.

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