Disney/ABC and FreewheelABC have announced they are to launch a programmatic sales initiative that will allow marketers use their own data and make automated buys in a new private marketplace. The broadcaster will be the launch partner for a new programmatic initiative from FreeWheel, ‘FourFronts Programmatic’, which will see their FourFronts marketplace opened up to programmatic demand.

ABC’s summer trial will include digital video ad inventory across ABC Entertainment and News programming.  Sister cable network ABC Family will also be participating in the trial, making video inventory available across its digital portfolio of shows.  Neither network will include linear TV inventory in the trial at this time.

This first foray into programmatic offerings will be limited to reserved inventory, so advertisers will need to commit to spend levels in advance over a defined time period.

Launched last year at the AOL Digital Content Newfront, FreeWheel’s FourFronts is a private marketplace for premium digital television inventory that provides access to National, Local, and now DSP demand (see VAN’s interview with FreeWheel co-CEO Jonathan Heller from last year).

FreeWheel say the pilot ‘is the ‘first step in ensuring scalable value for both buyers and sellers in today’s evolving, unified television advertising marketplace’.

Buyers can choose thier own media buying platform and proprietary data, while FreeWheel’s FourFronts will act as ‘a trusted third party’, publishers can transact against advertiser data without directly sharing it, and advertisers can be assured that their data will remain proprietary, yet they can deploy it against premium digital TV inventory.

The use of automation and data can be a welcome innovation to the industry but it’s crucial for both buyers and sellers that they can transact at TV scale in a manner that ensures reliable delivery for both and maintains the value of premium inventory for both,” said Jon Heller, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, FreeWheel.  “Increasing efficiency of transaction through automation is clearly useful.  Doing so in a way that also ensures buyers media plans succeed and sellers get value for every impression means it can grow from a trial to a material segment of the TV business.”

New TV Frontiers, London, June 10th


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