A+E, FreeWheel launch pilot for unified ad decisioning engine

Direct-to-consumer ads
FreeWheel said it plans to expand its unified programmatic pilot program to other clients throughout 2019. (Getty/FS-Stock)

Comcast-owned FreeWheel and A+E Networks, home of channels including A&E and Lifetime, today announced plans to pilot a unified ad decisioning engine.

The trials are looking to alleviate the need for separate tech platforms for managing a publisher’s direct sold inventory and for a supply-side platform to handle programmatic demand from open exchanges and demand-side platforms. The companies said that having two sales channels can result in pricing conflicts, TV-compliance issues and negative user experience impacts.

A unified decision engine provides a look at the full pool of demand, including direct sold buys, so video ad decisions can be determined on highest bid price and other compliance parameters including competitive and category separation requirements and user experience considerations like ad repetition and relevance.

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FreeWheel said it plans to expand its unified programmatic pilot program to other clients throughout 2019.

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“Holistic decisioning across sales channels helps buyers, sellers and the industry as a whole by reducing marketplace friction,” said Dave Clark, general manager of FreeWheel, in a statement. “Our pioneering work with A+E Networks focuses on uniting their various video sales channels to help them make the best choices for all advertisers, regardless of how the ads are purchased. This work parallels and enhances FreeWheel’s overarching efforts to offer holistic, cross-screen ad management across all video, from digital and OTT, to linear TV.”

“We are focused on two key priorities: creating and maintaining a viewer experience that leads to loyalty within our consumers, and delivering an optimal ad experience for our advertising clients and partners,” said Jason DeMarco, vice president of programmatic and audience solutions at A+E Networks, in a statement. “FreeWheel’s Unified Ad Management allows A+E Networks to maximize both of these efforts within our digital footprint by improving ad frequency and combining the benefits of programmatic buying with the assurances of compliance and standards of quality.”

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