FreeWheel Launches Tools for OTT, VOD Ad Inventory

FreeWheel said it has launched Drive, a suite of advanced advertising tools designed to help marketers reach consumers across new forms of TV including over-the-top, set-top-box, on demand and digital video.

A unit of Comcast, FreeWheel said Drive offers advertisers access to a lot of traditional TV programming on new platforms and provides them with measurement metrics similar to linear TV.

“Advertisers need to reach consumers across the new TV viewing options, but they have been thwarted by both operational and technical hurdles,” said David Clark, executive VP and general manager of FreeWheel. “We recognized that FreeWheel, powering nearly every major publisher’s and MVPD’s digital video advertising, was in a unique position to solve these challenges for the industry. That is the goal of FreeWheel’s Drive. We listened, and we created a solution for TV’s future.”

Drive builds on FreeWheels agreement to work with Nielsen on measurement of OTT and connected TV inventory. It will offer the ability to measure audiences using Nielsen digital Ad Ratings.

FreeWheel said Drive has been endorsed by media buyers at Interpublic Group.

“The changing consumption pattern of premium video is undeniable and we are very excited at the acceleration of progress in the OTT space,” said David Cohen, president N.A., Magna, a division of IPG Mediabrands. “The explosion of viewing options makes it difficult to aggregate scale. FreeWheel’s Drive gives us the opportunity to optimize video investments across some of the most premium content producers in the industry. It’s a great step forward and a hint of what’s to come in the evolving video ecosystem.

Several major programmers are have been pushing data-driven audience-based ad sales as a way to better target advertising and increase the value of advertising inventory.

“By removing the barriers holding back advertisers from fully embracing new forms of inventory, the value of that inventory will increase for buyers and sellers alike,” said Noah Levine, senior VP, advertising data and technology solutions, Fox Networks Group. “Drive is a great example of using technology to create opportunities that will complement existing advertising streams and raise the bar for the industry.” 

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.