How FreeWheel is Solving for Endpoint Unification

Geoff Wolinetz Vice President of Client Relationships

As the concept of television continues to evolve, audiences have more options than ever when it comes to viewing premium content. While the ability to connect with consumers across screens is immensely valuable for publishers and advertisers alike, it has also become increasingly complex to insert ads anywhere content appears. Particularly, it is difficult to account for ad insertion challenges, while also honoring the business rules of a deal and delivering an optimal user experience. Several forces are at play here:

  • Many endpoints have strict player requirements
  • Advertisers/agencies often have difficulty meeting these technical specifications
  • Premium publishers struggle to fill inventory requirements for multiple endpoints in a way that maximizes sell-through

These factors are costing buyers and sellers numerous ad dollars from missed revenue opportunities.

So what does this mean for the New TV Ecosystem and how do premium publishers ensure they do not leave money on the table? The ongoing device fragmentation has resulted in the need for advertising creative assets to be properly transcoded, managed, pitched, and hosted across an array of sales channels and endpoints. And, this needs to be done while maintaining the user experience standards, compliance needs, and technical integrations required within the premium video economy.

At FreeWheel, our goal has always been focused on developing innovative solutions to empower our clients to excel today and tomorrow. In my role, I partner closely with our Sales team to ensure we fully understand the pain points that our clients are facing to provide them with best-in-class solutions to tackle the ever-changing industry challenges. As such, I am excited to share with you FreeWheel’s approach to solving for endpoint unification with our creative management offering.

Endpoint Unification & Advanced Creative Management

As part of FreeWheel’s Endpoint Unification strategy, Advanced Creative Management (ACM) provides programmers and distributors with the ability to effectively manage video creatives across digital and traditional set-top box (STB) endpoints. ACM is an integral component of the toolkit offered by FreeWheel, helping customers to monetize inventory through both direct sold and third-party demand sources. Specifically, ACM enables creative transcoding for both digital and STB environments, and manages the complex nature of creative pitching and hosting for STB video on demand (VOD) services across a multitude of traditional TV distributors. The underlying value of ACM comes from its ability to drive the near real-time monetization of inventory while simplifying the once timely and complex workflow and technical process of delivering campaigns across digital and traditional TV screens.

The creative transcoding component of ACM enhances a publisher’s ability to convert and execute ad creatives while eliminating costly methods such as creative tagging or manual transcoding. In a recent custom research study which surveyed 250 agencies and marketers by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, Advancing the Ad Experience, 65% of respondents felt that improving transcoding capabilities would positively impact ad experience for consumers.

Source: Advancing the Ad Experience by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video

ACM also provides greater functionality for programmers when it comes to STB VOD content. Through an integration with FreeWheel’s ad server, the creative pitching component known as AdStor allows programmers to run campaigns across multiple MVPD footprints in a seamless manner. The AdStor integration not only simplifies programmers’ workflows for executing STB VOD campaigns but also results in faster delivery on distributor endpoints.

Creative Management Across Unified Demand

As programmatic transaction models become an increasingly larger part of the premium video economy, publishers need creative management solutions that extend beyond traditional direct sold campaigns. FreeWheel Markets is currently developing a set of capabilities that will be designed to work with demand sourced through FreeWheel’s SSP to give publishers greater control over how programmatic demand executes on their inventory. Available later this year, this offering will also ensure that the right asset serves safely and correctly, giving publishers the ability to unite their direct and programmatic demand while honoring compliance, creative quality, and user experience. With this additional functionality, premium publishers will be able to allocate supply across a diverse set of sales channels (direct-sold and third-party) and have the controls necessary to balance their revenue strategies and buyer requirements.

Why Does This Matter?

As an industry, if we can get this right, we can achieve our goal of increasing monetization, and hence revenue for buyers and sellers, without sacrificing business requirements or viewer experience. This means that publishers will be able to:

  1. Ensure every impression is available to be monetized at the time of playout across multiple endpoints.
  2. Reduce workflow friction by integrating delivery processes.
  3. Tap into new demand sources in a safe and compliant manner.
  4. Deliver a stronger and more seamless user experience.

Connect with our team to learn more about how FreeWheel’s creative management solutions can solve your ad insertion challenges and ensure you are not leaving money on the table.