Comcast, Charter Piloting New FreeWheel Addressable Cross-Platform Technology

FreeWheel, Comcast’s advertising technology company, said its new audience addressable system enables advertisers to reach targeted viewers using both linear TV and digital video from a single decisioning point.


(Image credit: FreeWheel)

The technology is being piloted by Comcast and Charter Communications and will be available to other multichannel video programming distributors later this year.

“This offers the opportunity for MVPDs to do addressable video advertising across platforms, that’s digital and the traditional linear set-top box QAM endpoints, using FreeWheel's central decisioning platform, which is known as MRM [Monetization Rights Management],” said Sara Wallace, senior director of product management at FreeWheel.

“That means that there's a single campaign that can actually deliver across all these endpoints,” Wallace said. “And that you’ve got an advertiser with a unified budget and unified targeting that's able to be planned, executed and reported on in the system.” 

FreeWheel’s audience addressable system is able to split impressions from a single ad availability within a linear program among several advertisers, send the right commercials to the right set-top boxes. FreeWheel’s MRM platform combines those impressions in real time with impressions from digital platforms to create multi-platform campaigns, taking into account business rules and yield considerations.

“This is a true, addressable linear solution that makes TV advertising more targetable and more measurable, while simultaneously opening up the scale of available addressable impressions,” FreeWheel general manager Dave Clark said. “This capability will change the way both sellers and buyers approach integrated TV and video advertising.” 

Previously, addressable TV campaigns would only use a portion of targeted impressions from a given ad avail and the remainder would generally be used for promotional spots, PSAs or direct-response advertising. In some cases, the unused impressions could be scheduled for another advertiser if they fit the desired criteria.

“This new solution delivers addressable, cross-platform campaigns on both digital and linear screens, fulfilling true video unification,” said David Kline, executive VP at Charter Communications and president of Spectrum Reach. “It’s what TV buyers and sellers alike have been striving for over the past several years, and now it’s here.”

For MVPDs like Comcast and Charter, FreeWheel’s addressable technology provides the ability to deliver deduplicated reach to advertisers and opens up additional impressions for possible use in other addressable campaigns.

“This solution will enhance our ability to deliver target audiences in a more unified fashion across linear and streaming TV,” said James Rooke, general manager of Effectv, Comcast Cable’s advertising sales arm. “We know that addressability is an important tactic in terms of being able to deliver more efficient incremental reach and improved overall campaign performance. We look forward to now scaling this capability as part of our broader focus on deploying audience-based, multiscreen marketing solutions for our clients.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.