FreeWheel’s New Roster of Tools Intended to Simplify the OTT Buying Process

Company is offering 3 new 'tiers' for partners looking to purchase

"This is really the first time that there's been an OTT programmatic platform designed by buyers, for buyers," Rubin said. - Credit by Freewheel

Buying OTT inventory can be a headache—but FreeWheel is here to help.

Today, the Comcast-owned company announced a new roster of tools to simplify the OTT buying process for the 1,200-plus agency partners using its advertising platform.

Specifically, explained Judd Rubin, svp of revenue and marketing for FreeWheel Advertisers, this means offering three new “tiers” for the partners looking to buy OTT inventory through the FreeWheel marketplace, which will offer rosters of inventory covering different slices of the CTV, OTT and digital landscape. Buyers operating on the first tier will buy strictly CTV inventory, those on the second tier are offered a combination of CTV and mobile inventory and those on the third tier can buy desktop and mobile inventory.

Advertisers can simply click one of the three tiers, “and just like that, I’m a local TV buyer who’s buying OTT programmatically,” Rubin said.

Though the new capabilities will be available for all of FreeWheel’s partners, the company emphasized their importance for smaller or independent agencies, which might not have the manpower—or money—to handle most of the OTT buying options on the ground today.

According to Rubin, the decision to shift to this tiered system was made following roughly six months of discussions with agency partners about “what was holding them back” from buying OTT. More often than not, it boiled down to the high minimums and the disjointed buying process, which can involve talking to multiple sellers, each offering up their own branch of inventory with “no easy way” to judge pricing between those options.

“Until now, you had all of these agencies inundated by sellers knocking on their doors, and they weren’t sure who to trust,” Rubin explained. “This is really the first time that there’s been an OTT programmatic platform designed by buyers, for buyers.”

These FreeWheel OTT buys will be transacted through an integration with Simpli.fi, a demand-side platform built to boil down the OTT buying process and fuse it with a buyer’s typical media-buying workflow. FreeWheel is also setting itself apart by barring the typical “minimum spend” floor enforced by most DSPs (which some of these agencies aren’t able to meet), while also working to make their entire supply chain more transparent overall.


@swodinsky shoshana.wodinsky@adweek.com Shoshana Wodinsky is Adweek's platforms reporter, where she covers the financial and societal impacts of major social networks. She was previously a tech reporter for The Verge and NBC News.
Publish date: May 14, 2019 https://dev.adweek.com/programmatic/freewheels-new-roster-of-tools-intended-to-simplify-the-ott-buying-process/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT