Programmers Weary Of Programmatic Deals For Premium Video

Big TV programmers remain resistant to offering ad inventory of their premium digital video content through automated/programming platforms.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Comcast’s FreeWheel says the ad view share of automated/programmatic transactions grew slowly -- now at a 7% share -- up from 5% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 3% in the fourth quarter 2013 from TV programmer-controlled platforms.

Digital pure-play platforms for video grew at a higher level during the period -- 27% in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 17% in fourth quarter of 2015 and 9% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

While this is an important reality, Freewheel says: “There remains a disparity in how much premium programmers are transacting through automated channels relative to digital pure-plays, whose content is dominated by clips.”

TV programmers want to control their prized inventory. FreeWheel says: “While there is an appetite from programmers to execute more data-informed, automated deals, many are still wary of exposing their most valuable inventory to the brand safety and compliance risks that are more common with open exchanges.”



Growth will continue, but FreeWheel believes more deals will come with caution. “We expect the trend of more programmer deals flowing through automated channels via private marketplace transactions to continue.”

FreeWheel is a premium video ad management platform, acquired by Comcast in 2014 for $320 million.

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