“There’s a need to give programmers the capability to target those households within our inventory on our own platform,” says Larry Allen, VP and general manager of addressable enablement for Comcast Advertising. “We’ve taken the best of two worlds where they were able to dynamically insert and make the inventory programmatically available and combine that with the addressability that we’ve been doing on a direct-sold basis, and in the backend brought those two capabilities together.”
Fox can now go to a client using The Trade Desk and send pre-targeted inventory based on the segment a client wants to reach. The client can now transact on that inventory within the DSP. Allen says the solution offers a programmatic guaranteed deal that mirrors the capability of a direct sold campaign, except transacted through FreeWheel.
Historically, ad requests sent to DSPs did not contain information that could match audiences with targeting criteria. To solve the problem, Comcast worked with The Trade Desk to make it clear the inventory was pre-qualified based on what the advertiser wanted, and that the FreeWheel requests were qualified and matched to the advertiser's criteria.
Both Fox and Comcast say worries about cord cutters are overblown, at least for the time being. “We still see linear and set-top box-style consumption as around 65 percent of our Fox entertainment viewership, says Dan Callahan, senior VP, data strategy and sales innovation, Fox. “I do think there is a longer runway on that traditional linear style of connection.
Allen says FreeWheel is engaging with other DSPs, set-top box footprints and guarantees to hopefully increase this functionality beyond the Comcast environment. The capability is currently available to advertisers and marketers.
“Consumers are raising their hands to opt-into this content, and it’s been relatively underserved,” says Allen. “Now we are unifying and taking the best of addressable TV and making it available to marketers through a transaction they are comfortable with.”