FreeWheel, a global technology platform for the television advertising industry, and OrkaTV, a leading player in the streaming TV marketplace, have joined forces in a groundbreaking move. This partnership provides advertisers on the FreeWheel platform access to an extensive array of over 3,500 free-ad supported streaming television (FAST) channels available through OrkaTV. This collaboration not only expands the reach for marketers but also diversifies the pool of FAST ad inventory, responding to the evolving needs of the rapidly growing streaming sector.
The partnership is set against a backdrop where the television advertising landscape is undergoing dramatic shifts. With the growth of streaming services and changes in viewer preferences, traditional advertising models are being rethought. FreeWheel and OrkaTV’s venture addresses this changing dynamic by offering more accurate contextual advertising targeting abilities. This improvement is crucial in an era where metadata inconsistencies can hinder effective ad placement. The joint solution ensures consistent video contextual data, enabling advertisers to better target their desired audience segments.
This initiative comes at a crucial time. According to a report by Xumo and Comcast Advertising, an overwhelming 84% of advertisers plan to increase their spending in the FAST sector in 2024. Furthermore, the use of niche programming for targeting specific audiences is gaining traction, a tactic employed by 3 in 5 FAST buyers. This trend underscores the increasing complexity and fragmentation of viewer habits in today’s media landscape.
Emily Bromley, VP of Growth at FreeWheel, emphasizes that improving the viewer experience remains a top priority, and this partnership with OrkaTV is a significant step towards that goal. The integration allows advertisers to engage with their target audience more granularly, leveraging a new range of premium FAST channels.
OrkaTV’s Founder and CEO, Mike Woods, echoes this enthusiasm, noting the burgeoning opportunities in the FAST space. With new channels and a growing audience base, their aim is to empower advertisers to maximize the impact of their campaigns, bringing the scale and efficiency of traditional TV advertising to the FAST sector.
In parallel, the concept of Hybrid Video On Demand (HVOD) is gaining momentum. This model represents a blend of subscription-based and ad-supported platforms, reflecting the industry’s move towards a more integrated approach to content delivery and monetization. FreeWheel’s latest Video Marketplace Report for the first half of 2023 delves into these trends, highlighting the increased prevalence of HVOD services, the healthy growth in ad views across the United States and Europe, and the necessity of optimizing viewer experiences amidst a plethora of choices.
Interestingly, the report also notes significant differences in viewing habits and ad placement strategies between the U.S. and Europe. While large screen viewing dominates in the U.S., Europe shows a more balanced split between large and small screens. Additionally, the U.S. sees an 80% increase in audience-targeted ad placements, a trend less pronounced in Europe due to stricter data regulations.
This partnership also aligns with recent collaborations in the industry, like Roku’s expanded relationship with FreeWheel for enhanced data collaboration. Such alliances are reshaping the way ad inventory is managed and sold, addressing challenges like inventory fragmentation and ad repetition, which are prevalent in the connected TV (CTV) landscape.
The partnership between FreeWheel and OrkaTV is a strategic response to the evolving demands of the advertising industry, particularly within the burgeoning FAST sector. By leveraging each other’s strengths, they aim to redefine how advertisers connect with audiences, ensuring relevancy and impact in a rapidly changing digital landscape.