LONDON, UK — Ad exchange operator Index Exchange is broadening its access to streaming TV ad inventory in a new direct integration with TV ad-tech platform FreeWheel.

The tie-up is seen as enhancing ad buyers’ access to premium inventory and diversifying demand sources for media owners.

Speaking with me at The Future of TV Advertising Global conference in London today, Alex Gardner, Chief Revenue Officer, Index Exchange, explained the rationale.

More liquidity, more value

“(It) allows us to access premium publishers that are using FreeWheel as their primary ad server,” Gardner said. “We’ve, through this connection, now gained access to those particular publishers in a really highly efficient, highly optimized approach.

“The integration – in particular, through programmatic modules – is quite sophisticated. It gives us the opportunity to start to explore higher standards, if you will, through testing of OpenRTB 2.6, as an example.”

OpenRTB 2.6 is seen as helping construct better ad break pods in connected TV.

“I think we share a mutual obligation to our customers, between us and FreeWheel, to drive as much value as we possibly can to the publisher,” Gardner added.

“Bringing more liquidity to the marketplace … allows for, certainly, maximizing the value of every impression, every available slot within the (ad) pods, (while) maintaining, of course, the standards of quality and advertising.”

Progress and politics stream in 2024

Heading in to 2024, Gardner thinks: “There’s never been a better time to be in streaming.”

Streaming hit 38.7% of US TV viewing in July 2023, according to Nielsen, and is forecast by TVREV to hit 68% of TV ad revenue by 2027.

With 2024 being a US election year, streaming TV – with its ability to target audiences – is expected to gain a growing portion of political ad spend.

“The expectation is somewhere in the order of, I believe, the number is $11 billion in total, roughly 15 to 20% of which is going to programmatic, so somewhere in the order of about $1.8 billion,” Gardner said. “That infusion of net new incremental dollars, I think into the channel is particularly interesting.”

You’re watching Beet.TV coverage of The Future of TV Advertising Global 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.