CANNES – Expanding its premium video advocacy footprint beyond North America, FreeWheel debuted the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Europe (FWCE) at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Right out of the gate, the FWCE garnered the support of the some of the biggest TV programmers and operators across the region.

Initial FWCE members include Canal+, Channel 4, Discovery International, Medialaan, MTG, Nelonen, Proximus, RTE, SBS, SFR, Sky Germany, Sky UK and TF1. In conjunction with the launch, the FWCE published its first position paper, titled Why Premium Video Matters for Advertisers: a European Perspective. The document provides a definition of premium video, an overview of how premium content differentiates itself from the digital fray and what the industry in Europe needs to do to effectively evaluate and leverage its engaging, brand-safe environments.

“We’re really excited to replicate the success we’ve had in the U.S.” with the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, James Rothwell, FreeWheel’s VP, Global Agency, Brand & Relations, says in this interview with Beet.TV.

The FWCE held its first board meeting with its members at Cannes, after which it curated the panel session Television Evolved: The Rise of the Dynamic Living Room, in conjunction with The Drum.

Publishers share many of the same interests and needs across the Atlantic, according to Rothwell. “U.S. TV programmers and operators look very similar in many ways to their European counterparts,” he says.

Nonetheless, there are differences from market to market. “So understanding those differences and obviously creating a unified voice and a unified perspective on how we move the industry forward across the region while thinking about the nuances for each different country is very important,” Rothwell adds.

Here are three takeaways from the initial FWCE position paper.

1) What sets premium video apart is its capacity to elicit engagement with both publisher content and the advertising that appears alongside it.

2) All too often the industry is trying to measure premium video by the standards of other formats, pinning its worth on metrics like viewability alone, without recognizing its potential to engage the consumer.

3) In TV-like environments, brand-safety is assured and fraud is virtually non-existent and advertisers can reach real humans, engaged with the content they have chosen to watch.

This video is from The New TV Ecosystem Leadership Forum at Cannes Lions 2017, presented by FreeWheel. For more from the series, please visit this page.