2019: A Pivotal Year for Premium Video

James Rothwell VP, Marketing, Comcast Advertising

Here at FreeWheel, we are in a privileged position to operate at the center of the industry, working with most publishers, agencies and advertisers to deliver video advertising within premium content at scale.

2018 was a year of progress towards a number of initiatives to drive the premium video ecosystem forward, with ongoing refinements against the ad experiencescaling of advanced TV and attribution that provides proof of full funnel results.

FreeWheel’s role in partnering with the value chain on workflow and trading practices gives us a holistic view of the market and in Europe, we have developed our own set of predictions for 2019. We also wanted to tap into others’ perspectives in the US market. As part of our efforts to bring consistency and value to the industry, the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (an advocacy group consisting of 25 premium publishers) came together in December and we asked board members and guests the question: “what will be the key themes to propel the premium video ecosystem forward in 2019?

Key Themes That Will Propel Premium Video Forward in 2019 from FreeWheel, A Comcast Company on Vimeo.

Two major themes emerged from these conversations:

  1. TV as a platform: TV content is now available in more places than ever and the industry is beginning to mobilize—acting more like a unified platform—not only in terms of linear plus digital, but also creating more scale, consistency and collaborative opportunities for marketers.

 “We’ll continue to see premium video providers put more content out in terms of volume and hours on platforms outside of the linear screen. They’ll continue to push forward into connected devices, and they’ll make it really easy for their fans to find their content.”

Jill Steinhauser, SVP, Advertising sales, Planning and Operations, Discovery

2. Measurement and attribution: there is a renewed optimism in terms of the largest barrier to cross-screen measurement starting to break down: verification practices have become more consistent and prevalent, measurement initiatives like C-flight are addressing cross-screen currencies and attribution is maturing toassign appropriate value to TV and premium video.

“Once you shine a light on it, you’re going to see that television performs a lot better than the rest of the media mix.”

David Levy, EVP, Strategy & Operations, Fox


What is clear is that further work is required in 2019 across the ecosystem for TV to act like a platform and for the challenge of multi-screen video measurement to be solved.

There is no question that there is a healthy appetite for premium video companies and their partners to work on initiatives that drive towards these goals. It is time to move from talk to action and 2019 looks like it will be a pivotal year for some of these efforts to bear real fruit.

For 2019 predictions in the European market, click here.