Now that OTT devices are responsible for the lion’s share of premium video viewing, there’s no shortage of content on the publisher side. What is lacking is a deep understanding of how best to buy and sell OTT inventory, which FreeWheel is addressing with its new research track called Signature Insights.
The first installment of Signature Insights is titled The Power of OTT: Audiences & Engagement and is devoted to all things OTT.
“OTT in general is something that publishers have been investing a lot in. But I think there’s still a lot of opportunity and it’s sort of being undervalued in the market today,” Ying Wang, Director, Advisory Services, FreeWheel says in this interview with Beet.TV.
The overarching goal of the new research is to showcase the value of OTT, why advertisers should be buying it, how publishers should discuss it in the marketplace and to provide them with “more tools to be able to build value from that inventory,” says Wang.
While most people are familiar with OTT devices like Roku, Apple TV, game consoles and smart television sets, “I think a lot of the people who are buying digital are confused with OTT,” Wang adds.
Given uncertainty about how to buy, measure and transact on OTT ad inventory, there’s hesitation on budget allocation.
“I think that’s driving a lot of the issues in making OTT a bigger platform than it is today,” says Wang.
On the sell-side, FreeWheel’s clients are seeking more data to enlighten them on how they should be transacting OTT. “Right now, a lot of OTT is still flowing through direct sales channels, but there’s a lot of interest in trying to sell it programmatically.”
Thus the initial installment of Signature Insights will provide a complete understanding of the tools FreeWheel offers its clients so they can open up OTT to new demand sources in a safe manner.
When asked what’s next for FreeWheel’s new research track in 2017 Wang notes, “the theme of this year for FreeWheel and our research is unification; the lines between different screens are blurring.” FreeWheel’s new research track will explore ways in which publishers and advertisers can take advantage of the evolving landscape by studying activities like changing selling patterns, and how measurement is enabling cross-screen buys.
Then there is the user experience, which “continues to be something that’s a priority for our clients.” In addition to determining the optimal ad load and controlling creative repetition, “how do you get users coming back to your content is something that we want to look more into as well.”
This interview was recorded in Manhattan as part of the Comcast/FreeWheel 2017 U.S. Client Summit “Unifying The New TV Ecosystem.” This series of videos from the summit is presented by FreeWheel.