FreeWheel Narrows The Addressable Linear/Digital Divide

This week brought some notably good news on the cross-platform addressable front.

Comcast SSP FreeWheel announced a pilot of new technology that allows sellers to offer more linear addressable video advertising inventory, coupled with inventory on digital video platforms — which should enable advertisers to extend targeted audience reach while managing frequency.

Comcast began piloting the technology with entertainment and media clients in December. The plan calls for expanding testing to other MVPDs later in 2021.

Up to now, addressable TV campaigns have used only a portion of targeted impressions from a given avail, with the remainder usually used for promotional spots, PSAs, or direct response advertising.

With the new technology, advertisers will be able to execute more addressable campaigns on a traditional linear set-top box using real-time ad decisioning, opening up opportunities on a broader range of platforms.

The platform has a unified decisioning engine that incorporates a campaign’s account yield and business rules, which should maximize yield for inventory owners, as well as enhance advertisers' campaign results.



Advertisers can set frequency caps, as well as target, optimize and measure across addressable linear and digital inventory.

The ability to deliver addressable campaigns on both digital and linear screens “is what TV buyers and sellers alike have been striving for over the past several years, and now it’s here,” enthused David Kline, executive vice president at Charter Communications and President of Spectrum Reach.   

Based on FreeWheel’s description of the solution, it’s “just what the doctor ordered to help facilitate the next phase of expanding addressable TV advertising capabilities beyond local MVPD avails to smart TVs and national linear TV inventory,” agrees Mitch Oscar, director of advanced TV strategy for USIM, who's been probing players about progress on cross-platform addressable for years now.

Oscar adds, however, that the media community “will also need to develop accurate reportage of measurement of viewership of linear TV commercial delivery from which the addressable viewing impressions were peeled off. No impression should be left unreported.”

As FreeWheel’s capability and smart-TV initiatives like Vizio’s Project OAR and Roku’s AVA progress, the media community will need “to migrate and evolve measurement from panel-based metrics to census-level, in an equation that specifically accounts for addressable-viewed impressions and linear-served national viewership," he says.

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