‘The Evolution of Streaming’: What it Could Mean For Free-to-Air TV


Linear TV accounts for roughly two-thirds of all viewing, and its combination with streaming planning and buying can maximize reach and optimize frequency, particularly with the inclusion of first-party data.

That’s a key takeaway from a just-released report from Comcast-owned FreeWheel‘s “Council for Premium Video,” which is full of insights for advertisers “on a decade of chang and the future of OTT” — a subject every TV industry C-Suite executive should be well-versed in.

Over-the-top platforms are the focal point of the report.

“OTT is a huge area of opportunity for advertisers looking to incrementally reach more of their desired audience, but knowing its relative scale is important: 54% of streaming viewership is ad-supported (Nielsen), however at least 20% of that is not considered premium/high-quality,” FreeWheel concludes.

Of course, the report comes from a company that recently launched Peacock to ensure it has a place in a rapidly growing area of video consumption while protecting its legacy MVPD systems and its array of cable and broadcast TV networks and owned stations under the NBCUniversal banner.

What’s the key conclusion, as presented in this 17-page report?

“The whole advertising industry has some work to do in order to catch up with these ever-increasing streaming audiences,” FreeWheel notes.

“Alignment on audience unification, targeting capabilities, ad exposure data rights to enable frequency management, quality standards and an audience measurement framework will be instrumental to the future of advertising in this environment. Content is king, and as more consumers discover and engage with premium video across the streaming ecosystem, there will be increased demand from advertisers to reach those audiences where they show up. The quality and transparency of the ad experience matters a great deal and the verification and measurability of media is crucial at a time when accountability is essential. The world of streaming may be over a decade old, but with new entrants (both legitimate and otherwise), and viewing and advertising standards still evolving, this next decade is sure to be a fascinating journey for all stakeholders. TV will continue to be redefined in this decade but what is clear is that streaming will be central to its future.”