Press Release

Direct Digital Holdings Partners with FreeWheel

February 28, 2024

Integration Between Holding Group’s Colossus SSP and FreeWheel to Provide Enhanced Connections to Demand to Increase Ability for Advertisers to Reach Audiences at Scale on CTV

Direct Digital Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRCT) (“Direct Digital Holdings” or the “Company”), a leading advertising and marketing technology platform operating through its companies Colossus Media, LLC (“Colossus SSP”), Huddled Masses LLC (“Huddled Masses”) and Orange 142, LLC (“Orange 142”), announced a new partnership with FreeWheel, a global technology platform for the television advertising industry.

The agreement builds on Direct Digital Holdings’ buy- and sell-side relationship with Beeswax, FreeWheel’s programmatic buying platform.

This new deal will allow the holding group’s Colossus SSP to directly connect to FreeWheel’s premium CTV inventory and server technology. Colossus SSP provides brands with access to a truly inclusive audience, tapping into a range of multicultural/diverse publishers and general market media – and this partnership will open pathways to top-tier CTV inventory for both. The partnership will bring together expertise, resources, cutting-edge technology, and robust content to drive demand from top advertisers.

“This agreement will significantly grow the high-quality CTV inventory available through Colossus SSP,” said Mark D. Walker, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman at Direct Digital Holdings. “FreeWheel is able to unify all demand channels into one optimal ad decision to maximize the end-viewer experience. Their capabilities complement the performance, efficiencies and transparency that brands and media buyers have come to value at Colossus SSP.”

“Today’s TV ad marketplace is very fragmented and complex, and so, one of our key focus areas is to continually find new ways to simplify and streamline the ad buying process,” said Katy Loria, Chief Revenue Officer, FreeWheel. “We recognize today’s consumers increasingly gravitate towards CTV and our audiences are becoming more diverse. It is our hope that, by teaming up with Colossus SSP, we can help connect publishers to multicultural audiences – at scale – on premium content.”

“We have worked collaboratively with both Colossus SSP and FreeWheel, and we’re excited to tap into their new partnership as they continue to diversify and scale their collective offerings.” said Michael Piner, EVP, Advanced Advertising, Mediahub. “High-quality CTV inventory is a top priority for our clients, and this partnership will deliver that while expanding our ability to reach robust, diverse audiences through a diverse-owned partner.”

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and which are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties.

As used below, “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to Direct Digital Holdings. We use words such as “could,” “would,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “expect,” “likely,” “believe,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project” and other similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements, but not all forward-looking statements include these words. All statements contained in this release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements.

All of our forward-looking statements involve estimates and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that we have made in light of our industry experience and our perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors we believe are appropriate under the circumstances. Although we believe that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, many factors could affect our actual operating and financial performance and cause our performance to differ materially from the performance expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: our dependence on the overall demand for advertising, which could be influenced by economic downturns; any slow-down or unanticipated development in the market for programmatic advertising campaigns; the effects of health epidemics, such as the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic; operational and performance issues with our platform, whether real or perceived, including a failure to respond to technological changes or to upgrade our technology systems; any significant inadvertent disclosure or breach of confidential and/or personal information we hold, or of the security of our or our customers’, suppliers’ or other partners’ computer systems; any unavailability or non-performance of the non-proprietary technology, software, products and services that we use; unfavorable publicity and negative public perception about our industry, particularly concerns regarding data privacy and security relating to our industry’s technology and practices, and any perceived failure to comply with laws and industry self-regulation; restrictions on the use of third-party “cookies,” mobile device IDs or other tracking technologies, which could diminish our platform’s effectiveness; any inability to compete in our intensely competitive market; any significant fluctuations caused by our high customer concentration; any violation of legal and regulatory requirements or any misconduct by our employees, subcontractors, agents or business partners; any strain on our resources, diversion of our management’s attention or impact on our ability to attract and retain qualified board members as a result of being a public company; our dependence, as a holding company, of receiving distributions from Direct Digital Holdings, LLC to pay our taxes, expenses and dividends; and other factors and assumptions discussed in the “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations” and other sections of our filings with the SEC that we make from time to time. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should any of these assumptions prove to be incorrect, our actual operating and financial performance may vary in material respects from the performance projected in these forward-looking statements. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this release to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which it is made or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances, and we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

About Direct Digital Holdings
Direct Digital Holdings (Nasdaq: DRCT), owner of operating companies Colossus SSP, Huddled Masses, and Orange 142, brings state-of-the-art sell- and buy-side advertising platforms together under one umbrella company. Direct Digital Holdings’ sell-side platform, Colossus SSP, offers advertisers of all sizes extensive reach within general market and multicultural media properties. The Company’s subsidiaries Huddled Masses and Orange142 deliver significant ROI for middle market advertisers by providing data-optimized programmatic solutions at scale for businesses in sectors that range from energy to healthcare to travel to financial services. Direct Digital Holdings’ sell- and buy-side solutions manage on average over 125,000 clients monthly, generating over 300 billion impressions per month across display, CTV, in-app and other media channels.

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About FreeWheel
FreeWheel empowers all segments of The New TV Ecosystem. We are structured to provide the full breadth of solutions the advertising industry needs to achieve their goals. We provide the technology, data enablement and convergent marketplaces required to ensure buyers and sellers can transact across all screens, across all data types, and all sales channels, in order to ensure the ultimate goal – results for marketers. With offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Paris, Beijing, and across the globe, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, stands to advocate for the entire industry through the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. For more information, please visit, and follow us on X and LinkedIn.


Elaine Wong

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