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Comcast’s FreeWheel Launches Live Events Tools

Comcast’s FreeWheel Launches Live Events Tools

FreeWheel, Comcast’s advertising management platform that enables clients to manage and monetize premium video ad inventory, has unveiled the launch of new tools for programmatic ad transactions for live streaming events, including the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The news of the expanded capabilities comes during the Cannes Lions 2024 event that brings ad and creative industry people together. It also comes at a time when sports events and other big live events have increasingly moved to streaming platforms.

FreeWheel said they will provide users with “increased reliability and confidence that ads will run as planned,” boost ad fill rates, expand the diversity of advertisers using programmatic ads, and ensure a “more personalized ad experience for viewers with fewer repetitive ads.” Among other things, the upgrades help “anticipate real-time surges in live viewership to properly scale server capacity,” the firm said. Programmatic advertising is the practice of automating media buying and digital ad creation via technology.

“As more major events move to streaming, sometimes as the sole distribution platform, publishers can serve a more customized ad experience to viewers, and that ability increases with the use of real-time programmatic capabilities,” FreeWheel said. “At the same time, however, the magnitude and complexity of digital ad serving escalates, due to concurrent viewing spikes, making pacing and latency control even more critical.”

FreeWheel also released a new report, entitled “It’s Only Live Once: How TV Advertisers Can Capture Audiences in the Moment… and How Streaming Is Changing the Game.” Among its conclusions for the streaming age is that advertisers’ messages are being delivered “into a dynamic environment with millions of simultaneous views, with little room for failure or errors.”

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With its new tools, FreeWheel is hoping to provide more marketers with more confidence in programmatic buying. “Streaming opened the path for publishers to transact programmatically within their highly valuable live inventory. But most programmers, understandably, took a walk, jog, run approach,” said Mark McKee, general manager of FreeWheel.

“As our industry shifts to an always-on marketplace, we have been able to bring in advertisers of all sizes
to our content across our entire ecosystem through programmatic, especially to the highly coveted
sports and live events programming we air,” concluded Mark Marshall, chairman, global advertising &
partnerships at Comcast‘s NBCUniversal. “This allows for a greater diversity of marketers to access our premier content, while also enhancing targeting and engagement with the right audiences.”

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