FreeWheel this week announced its “FourFronts” programmatic marketplace has expanded overseas and into the UK through a partnership with Channel 4. Channel 4 is the first UK broadcaster to join the FourtFronts marketplace, which lauchned as a pilot program earlier this year and has U.S. participants including ABC, Discovery Communications, Adap.tv, TubeMogul, Allstate, Magna Global, Starcom MediaVest Group, Optimedia and more.
“The pilot is the first step in ensuring scalable value for both buyers and sellers in today’s evolving, unified television advertising marketplace,” said James Rooke, general manager of business solutions at FreeWheel. “Leading media companies are coming together to define the rules of engagement and set a precedent on how to transact programmatically using data and automation at scale, on reserved premium media buys.”
The FourFronts marketplace is designed in the mold of a “programmatic direct” ad platform -- that is, where marketers can target custom audiences using first-party data while working directly with a publisher, or in the case of Channel 4, a broadcaster. There is no real-time bidding (RTB) within the FourFronts marketplace, but it does automate parts of the trading process and allows marketers to target specific audiences when buying and reserving digital video advertisements.
Advertisers can upload their data into a “blinded escrow,” per a FreeWheel representative, which publishers can then forecast against to predetermine which inventory they have matches what the advertiser is looking for. From there, the publishers and advertisers can negotiate directly to flesh out remaining details.
FreeWheel -- and the DSP partners it works with -- act as “technology pipes only,” per a rep.