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FreeWheel Launches The Viewer Experience Lab in Partnership with MediaScience to Help the TV Industry Improve the Ad Environment for Users Across All Video Platforms

Components include the new State of TV Advertising Viewer Experience (VX) Report, a commitment to ongoing VX research, and continued innovation in FreeWheel’s growing suite of VX products.

Advisors include major programmers and streaming-first companies from the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, including A+E Networks, AMC, FOX, Paramount, Warner Brothers Discovery and NBCUniversal.

Today, FreeWheel, a global technology platform for the television advertising industry, announced that it is spearheading a new initiative, The Viewer Experience Lab, in partnership with MediaScience, a leader in media and advertising innovation, research and technology. The goal of the project is to help media companies ensure a quality experience for viewers across the growing array of traditional and emerging advertising channels that support their premium content.

“Over the past few years, the ability for media companies to provide a uniform, quality experience across all of the diverse platforms into which they now serve advertising has grown exponentially harder,” said Mark McKee, General Manager, FreeWheel. “Couple this with the reality that protecting their relationship with viewers has become paramount in an increasingly competitive ad marketplace, and you can see why we’re committed to helping our clients solve this complex challenge.”

The added intricacy in dynamically serving advertising outside of the traditional linear ad environment, whether on AVOD, FAST or other streaming platforms, can result in problems such as latency, ad repetition, the showing of slate and other unwanted consequences. As a result, both the viewing experience and advertising effectiveness can suffer.

To help address these issues, the goal of FreeWheel’s Viewer Experience Lab is two-fold:

  • Conduct quantifiable research to help advertising buyers and sellers understand the impact of different ad experiences on viewer experience and performance, including viewer response to new and evolving ad formats;
  • Develop solutions and interoperable technologies fueled by these new insights that allow video content providers to implement best practices and provide seamless ad viewing experiences in a multi-platform, premium video ecosystem.

FreeWheel chose MediaScience as an inaugural research partner to provide bespoke research for The Viewer Experience Lab. MediaScience has one of the strongest track records in the industry for testing new media innovations.

“We have completed extensive research into viewing experience, especially as it relates to the impact on advertising performance, but as the media world changes, our research needs to keep on evolving,” said Dr. Duane Varan, CEO, MediaScience. “We are thrilled that FreeWheel, with the support of its council of leading media companies, has chosen us to spearhead this important initiative.”

As its first output, The Viewer Experience Lab today released a new State of TV Advertising Viewer Experience Report, which is a comprehensive analysis of viewer experience today and an exploration of how our industry should define and approach this important subject.

FreeWheel today provides publishers with many capabilities to enhance the viewer experience, including a system for dynamically adjusting the ad load based on time spent viewing, a dynamic ad scheduler for connected TV (CTV) environments, and the ability to frequency cap across devices within the same household. Moving forward, as part of The Viewer Experience Lab, FreeWheel will use emerging insights and recommendations to enhance and build new products within its VX suite.

Companies supporting the new initiative through their work with the FreeWheel Council for Video Excellence represent the full spectrum of viewing platforms and distribution channels, including A+E Networks, AMC, FOX, NBCUniversal, Warner Brothers Discovery and Paramount.

“Our viewer relationships are at the center of everything we do as a media company and the unique value we are able to deliver to our advertising clients. These relationships are rooted in a viewer-first strategy across a broad, ad-supported distribution ecosystem that spans linear networks, streaming services and emerging, connected TV/FAST platforms,” said Evan Adlman, executive vice president of commercial sales and revenue operations for AMC Networks. “We are focused on offering the best data targeting capabilities across all of our inventories, so having insights into the consumer experience that allow us to deliver the best products is invaluable in this dynamic and changing environment. We are thrilled to partner with FreeWheel in this new and novel effort.”

In addition to launching the State of TV Advertising Viewer Experience Report, FreeWheel and MediaScience have begun work on a custom analysis into viewing experience that will analyze consumers’ responses to viewer experience stimuli in a lab environment and provide best practices for the industry. Initial findings are expected to be released in January 2024.

For additional VX information and access to all VX research, visit https://www.freewheel.com/viewerexperiencelab.

About FreeWheel

FreeWheel empowers all segments of The New TV Ecosystem. We are structured to provide the full breadth of solutions the advertising industry needs to achieve their goals. We provide the technology, data enablement and convergent marketplaces required to ensure buyers and sellers can transact across all screens, across all data types, and all sales channels, in order to ensure the ultimate goal – results for marketers. With offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Paris, Beijing, and across the globe, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, stands to advocate for the entire industry through the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. For more information, please visit freewheel.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About MediaScience

MediaScience is the leading provider of lab-based audience research, incorporating a range of technology and tools to measure human emotion directly, through neurometrics, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, EEG, and more. With state-of-the-art labs in New York, Chicago, and Austin - MediaScience is discovering key insights in advertising, emerging digital technology, media, and consumer trends.

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