One of the main purposes of FreeWheel’s recent NOWFRONT event was to formally announce FreeWheel Media, its new media sales division. The “now” is a reference to educating the market on “what you can do today” in the advanced-television space,” says FreeWheel Markets GM Neil Smith.
While FreeWheel has long built and maintained a technology platform connecting its publisher customers—mainly TV programmers and MVPD’s—with media buyers, its media sales team will now give publishers access to additional demand for their inventory.
“We’ve been selling media for a few years, but we’re really looking to raise awareness that FreeWheel Markets has media sales division,” Smith says.
“We have two missions,” he explains in this Beet.TV interview. “First, building the marketplace platform for television where we can connect any buyer and seller to transact on premium video. Two, we also are a media sales organization that brings unique and differentiated media solutions to marketers.”
He notes that the media ecosystem has “a lot of entities that talk about future states” and “there’s still a long road to go,” but there’s plenty of value to be derived from the current state of advanced TV as it relates to reach, audience unification and media accountability.
“We’re very much a thought leader in thinking through some of the challenges of linear and digital convergence, audience measurement and attribution across all screens,” Smith says. “We want to showcase that and showcase some of the partners we’re working with to drive the leading innovative solutions in those areas.”
FreeWheel considers itself to be a “technology anchor” for premium TV and video. With its supply side platform, publishers can execute in a direct-sold, insertion-order manner and “also execute with a degree of automation” in programmatic mode.
With FreeWheel Media, those same publishers will have access to additional demand while having “the most amount of control as possible as to who’s able to monetize their inventory and under what conditions.”