Today, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company (Nasdaq: CMCSA), announced that agencies using their Strata Platform’s ePort platform broke spend records in orders sent to local broadcasters and rep firms in the month of September. This is the first time in ePort’s 13-year history that it has processed such a large scale of orders in a single month – a milestone that points to the increasing importance of automation and the growth of local TV spend.
“Since early spring, proprietary FreeWheel data has shown record increases in viewership, including a 32% growth in ad views. However, advertising budgets were in decline as brands and agencies struggled with the pandemic,” said Michael McHugh, Vice President, Media eBusiness at FreeWheel. “Our latest data is a clear sign that these trends are reversing – and local advertising is coming back into balance. Consumers are increasingly turning to local programming to find out what’s happening in their communities, and the advertisers are following.”
A longtime leader in the industry, FreeWheel’s Strata platform has changed the way agencies plan, activate, optimize, and manage billing and financials across media types. The platform’s ePort system electronically delivers local broadcast TV orders to stations and rep firms, and acts as a barometer for the market’s interest and investment in local advertising. In September, over 500 different agencies sent orders for local TV advertising through the ePort system, more than ever previously seen by Strata. While political advertisers made up a portion of the increased spend in ePort in September, over half of the activity was among non-Political advertisers.
“Local advertising provides marketers with the ability to be more agile and targeted with their messaging and connect with communities, which is particularly important now as our country remains in various stages of re-opening, ” added McHugh.
Another factor in the growth of ePort activity is the increased adoption of automation among local agencies and broadcasters – a trend that has accelerated throughout 2020. With more media industry employees working remotely in 2020, and the increased need for efficiency across advertising budgets, many are embracing automated systems to simplify and streamline their processes.
“This has been a game-changing year for advertisers and broadcasters, and many are turning to automation to increase efficiency,” added McHugh. “This is a trend we’re seeing throughout the industry, and local agencies are no exception. We expect this kind of growth to continue as we close out 2020 – a year like no other.”
FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, 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 freewheel.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.