CANNES — When you are trying to target and serve programmatic ads to TV, every millisecond counts.

Timed for NBC’s coverage of the upcoming Paris Olympics, ad-tech company FreeWheel is launching a new suite of programmatic software geared toward live delivery.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Mark McKee, EVP & GM, FreeWheel, explains why it is important.

Solving Live Complexity

According to its announcement, the suite includes the following features:

  • Expedite programmatic activation via creative pre-approvals and transcoding to minimize latency.
  • Expand advertiser diversity by increasing inventory opportunities for more advertisers.
  • Anticipate real time surges in live viewership to properly scale server capacity.
  • Adjust campaign pacing to account for high viewership to maintain seamless ad experience.

“Programmatic is one way to solve for the growing complexity of what streaming means”, McKee tells Beet.TV editorial director Lisa Granatstein.

But, whilst some premium streaming publishers have seen programmatic ad sales jump by up to 600% in four years, live sports is still a small fraction of programmatic spending.

To change that, McKee thinks “direct connections” between ad buyers and sellers is essential.

“In live (TV), milliseconds matter,” he says. “If a programmer or publisher is going to take their most prized asset or tentpole and allow it to be transacted in a more automated or a more dynamic way, then certainty between buyer and seller and the brands that are being represented needs to take shape.”

Challenge of Demand

A recent report from FreeWheel says live sports streaming can be powerful not just for reaching large audiences at scale, but for bringing people together.

“Fifty percent of people say they watch live sports with someone else,” says Mark McKee, EVP & GM of FreeWheel, in this video interview with Beet.TV. “Live sports specifically draw that communal aspect of the power of TV.”

As more consumers access live programming via streaming, advertisers and publishers are having to adapt.

“The industry is hurtling towards a more streaming-based model as it relates to distributing TV content, particularly live sports,” McKee says.

“Any one piece of content can be distributed across more than 400 endpoints for that consumer to watch it. That’s not easy for the publisher or the programmer that’s sending it out. That is very much challenging for the buyer or agency that’s trying to execute that campaign.”

For more videos from this series, please visit this page.