Hearst Television’s Hearst Anyscreen OTT offering is adding scale through an integration with FreeWheel’s Monetization and Revenue Management platform. It’s a first step toward also enhancing the value of its local broadcast inventory.

“They’ll be putting demand into our marketplace and doing audience extension to find their audiences on other premium content in service of their advertisers and their advertisers’ goals,” says Geoff Wolinetz, SVP Client Relationships, FreeWheel.

“This fits in very, very nicely with FreeWheel’s strategy of television as a platform,” Wolinetz adds in this interview with Beet.TV.

OTT represents the plurality of adds that FreeWheel serves at any given time. The impact for Hearst is a sign that it, too, is committed to TV as a platform, according to Wolinetz.

“They want to expand their reach in any way that they possibly can also while adjusting to where the users are actively consuming the content. What they get to through us is leverage our ad server and our ad decisioning technology to find the right audience, in the right supply, for their demand, at any given time.”

Hearst gains access to “the universe of FreeWheel programmers” that participate in its marketplace from the supply side. “Your premium broadcasters, cable companies, distributors, folks that have inventory and have premium audiences that Hearst can leverage on their end to use their demand to fill,” Wolinetz says.

According to a news release from FreeWheel and Hearst, the new integration enables “an improved connection to premium inventory from natural partners such as A+E Networks,” which is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst. In addition, it’s the first step designed to enhance the value of local broadcast inventory, with next stages focusing on “the co-development of initiatives to further the unification of digital video and linear TV inventory, an area of focus for both companies.”

From the Hearst perspective, “I think they’re realizing that they can find their audiences in a lot of different places. Not just on their live linear broadcasts but also on over the top devices,” says Wolinetz.

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