NBCU and FreeWheel Take First Steps Toward Combined Linear and Digital Ad Buying

Media conglomerate will turn over linear 'decisioning' to its advanced advertising sibling
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NBCUniversal and its sibling advanced advertising unit, FreeWheel, said they’ve taken the first step towards unifying ad purchasing across linear and digital platforms.

NBCU handing over “decisioning” for its linear advertising inventory to fellow Comcast unit FreeWheel, bringing both digital and linear under the control of the latter.

“Linear has been the missing piece in the one order, one report solution that marketers need,” said FreeWheel General Manager Dave Clark, in a statement. “The results of the work on linear schedule optimization using our digital ad decisioning capabilities were extremely encouraging and an important first proof point of the value of connecting NBCU’s linear and digital systems. What we’re most excited about is the long-term implications for both publishers and advertisers, and what it means to the ultimate vision of a unified video strategy across all screens.”

FreeWheel and NBCU will deploy their unified capabilities across NBCU channels throughout 2019, the announcement said. The two companies are also working toward enabling delivery based on additional criteria chosen by the advertisers, such as delivery against a particular data segment, or delivery of a specific KPI.

Further down the road, the next stage of the unification initiative, the companies said, will focus on the ability to optimize campaigns that are in progress across linear and digital platforms,

“When an advertiser places a schedule with us across any of our video properties, it needs to be easy to execute and seamless to measure consistently across platforms. The success of our recent work on optimized linear scheduling brings us one step closer to that goal,” said Krishan Bhatia, executive VP of business operations and strategy, advertising for NBCUniversal. “Every solution we create should make the advertising ecosystem more accessible to any advertiser. Buying on television should be as simple as turning on your television.” 

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