For all the talk of ‘moving TV money online’, it seems odd that TV media buying hasn’t already been combined into a single buying platform – but now AOL, FreeWheel, and Mediaocean have done just that. Marketers working with AOL for their existing television buying workflow/systems will also be able to buy ‘MRC accredited, TV quality digital video inventory’. The announcement was made today by AOL, FreeWheel and Mediaocean at AOL’s Digital Content NewFront in New York City.
The hybrid buying is made possible by a new product called ‘FourFronts’, a solution launched by FreeWheel and Mediaocean that enables publishers to sell to TV media buying agencies through existing workflow and systems. Both companies are well positioned for such a partnership — FreeWheel helps make revenue decisions for 15 of the top 20 top-rated primetime broadcast and cable networks in the US, as well as a growing number of TV and digital video distributors; while Mediaocean processes more than $130 billion in media spend every year.
“The device on which consumers view video no longer defines the type of content they’re watching; it’s purely a screen,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL. “But until now, buyers have not had an apples-to-apples comparison when it comes to buying video on the Web and TV. The industry needs to adopt standards between traditional broadcasting and video streams on the Web to create more opportunities in the buying market. FourFronts addresses a pressing need in our industry and will place AOL at the forefront of this shifting tide, getting us one step closer to bridging the gap between premium digital video and TV.”
AOL will also be the first digital video publisher to directly manage relationships with TV buyers and execute transactions through FourFronts, such as TV upfront and scatter market buying, audience guarantees, gross and target audience buying, and TV invoicing against digital inventory.
“Large, cross-screen buying has been largely held back by the cumbersome process in which TV advertisers have had to find their audiences in a world of fragmented screens,” said John Bauschard, President of Mediaocean. “FourFronts, with its integration into Mediaocean systems, will allow advertisers to reacquire the reach of TV and engage with their audiences without having to reinvent the media planning and buying wheel every time a new device or platform is introduced into the market.”
In a statement FreeWheel said FourFronts utilizes existing, well-established infrastructure from the company’s Monetization Rights Management and Revenue and Payments Management technologies that integrates tightly into Mediaocean’s PRISMA and SPECTRA systems.