Is it a targeted TV ad, swapped-out in a slot carved out for addressability, or is it a traditional linear TV ad, the same one that was always destined to be played out?

Thanks to a new technology that brings control to how commercial breaks are constructed, the answer could be either.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, FreeWheel’s Sara Wallace explains how her company’s new technology works.

Split avails

According to the company’s announcement: “(It) allows sellers to dynamically ‘split’ (ad) impressions from a single linear TV spot in real-time across multiple advertisers, improving efficiency and opening up scale for advertisers”.

That means “a single linear TV advertising avail can be utilized by different advertisers, a form of advertising known as audience addressable”, it says.

The technology works across traditional linear set-top boxes.

FreeWheel parent Comcast and Charter are the first inventory owners to offer this technology to their buyers, with plans to make it available to other MVPDs later this year.

Evolving media

“The industry has truly been on a journey to make cross-platform addressability a reality,” Wallace explains. “This is that next step of that – really unlocking centralised real-time decisioning across both linear and digital.

“It has been an evolution, but we’re really excited to be here from a cross-platform addressability standpoint and being able to do that across the MVPD footprint.

“We are piloting this with Comcast and charter and working closely with them as they work through their pilot success criteria and move into scale.

“We are also really excited about looking at this as a building block to offering this capability to other MVPs, as well as programmers and national inventory in the future.”

Across the funnel

For Wallace, the development means publishers can offer ad buyers capabilities that span different ad tactics – from brand exposure through to performance and attribution.

“When you think about addressability as part of a full marketing approach, you think of that full-funnel brand building through to engagement to sales activation, addressability plays a role in that full funnel activation,” she says.

“And what’s really exciting about today’s news is that that cross-platform capability really making sure that traditional linear endpoints are able to adhere to the needs of addressable campaigns and have the optimization and performance measurement that’s long been associated with digital and really be a full participant in that-full funnel advertising approach.”