LONDON – If anyone in the premium video business doubted the logic behind FreeWheel’s acquisition of StickyADs.tv, French media giant Canal+ dispelled it by choosing the combined entity to optimize and manage its advertising inventory across all screens.
“So now we can safely say we have a presence as FreeWheel at very single broadcaster in France, which is quite a significant milestone for us,” Thomas Bremond, European Managing Director of FreeWheel, says in an interview with Beet.tv at the recent Future of TV Advertising Forum.
Combined with other deals by FreeWheel in 2016, “People are starting to see the value and benefit of the two component companies coming together,” says Bremond.
Canal+ Régie, which is the sales unit for Canal+, will use FreeWheel’s Monetization Rights Management solution and SSP platform, which was created via the StickyADS.tv acquisition last May. The full-stack solution will enable Canal+ Régie to better manage video inventory across all screens for both live streams and on-demand programming.
According to Bremond, European broadcasters have similar concerns to their U.S. counterparts about trying to adopt addressable TV advertising, namely the pricing of their inventory. He says broadcasters, particularly those that routinely sell out their ad inventory at healthy CPM’s—all ask the same question: “Why would I piecemeal my inventory if there is no local market per se, which is the case in most countries in Europe, to try to satisfy the needs of addressable TV?”
FreeWheel’s response is that because the TV landscape has changed, broadcasters need to understand and plan their priorities accordingly, starting with cross-screen viewing on non-linear platforms.
“There’s significant upside and you should as a broadcaster take advantage of those opportunities before you go and try to solve linear,” Bremond says. “At the end of the day, linear addressability will happen, but there’s a few things that need to happen first.”
Asked about viewing measurement currencies, Bremond acknowledges the role that panels have helped to grow the TV business while citing new data sets emerging from IP-delivered content. FreeWheel believes they should be combined.
“We think that no one, at least in the foreseeable future, is going to come up with a currency that solves it all,” Bremond says.