A+E Networks Joins FreeWheel Programmatic Pilot

Programmer Participates In ‘FourFronts’ Program
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FreeWheel, the online advertising tech company acquired by Comcast last year, said A+E Networks has become the latest programmer to join its “FourFronts” programmatic pilot, a program that enables advertisers and publishers to plan and reserve digital video inventory in advance using proprietary data.

The programmatic pilot enables matching of data in a protected escrow environment that lets publishers forecast and reserve against it, FreeWheel said, noting that publishers can use it to respond to buyer requests for audience targeted campaigns while still maintaining control of their inventory and protecting their current sales channels and rates.

The addition of A+E Networks follows earlier work pertaining to the ForeFronts test. Last year, FreeWheel announced it had integrated Adap.tv’s programmatic reserved technology into its FourFronts marketplace, also announcing then that Optimedia, Magna Global and Starcom MediaVest Group were expected to join the pilot program. ABC announced last year that it would also test programmatic-style advertising throughout the summer using FreeWheel’s new FourFronts solution.  FreeWheel noted that the pilot has also involved participation from TubeMogul, Allstate, IPG Mediabrands and Haworth Marketing & Media.

That activity enters play as automated, Web-style advertising starts to creep into the TV ecosystem, borrowing techniques and technologies from the digital video world.

“In addition to creating value for advertisers, A+E is using this to set a precedent for how premium digital video inventory should be transacted and reserved through programmatic channels,” said Jason DeMarco, director, yield optimization, A+E Networks, in a statement. “By placing the focus of programmatic on the use of automation while applying data, it is now possible to ensure shared value and risk to both sides.”

“Our goal is to provide solutions to the industry that maintain the fundamentals that matter most to the premium video market regardless of the screen or device where the content is viewed,” added James Rooke, FreeWheel’s general Manager, business solutions. “This includes the ability for both buyers and sellers to budget and plan in advance against specific audiences, a critical need in a world of scarce premium video, while still ensuring the proper inventory and data protections are in place.”

Programmatic TV will be a core topic at the Multichannel News/Broadcasting & CableAdvanced Advertising event in New York City on Wednesday, March 11.

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