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FreeWheel Introduces Programmatic Ad Buying to the 2024 Upfronts with Industry-First, Allocation Module Solution

This new solution enables marketers to manage the totality of their ad commitments and unlock biddable TV opportunities for billions of upfront dollars.

With this launch, advertisers and publishers now have a new way to manage the sum total of their upfront video ad spend commitments across direct sold, programmatic guaranteed and, for the first time, biddable programmatic deals.

FreeWheel, a global technology platform for the television advertising industry, today announced the launch of a new solution that will change the way marketers plan and execute their programmatic TV ad buying.

The company is introducing this new industry offering, called Allocation Module, ahead of the 2024 upfront and NewFront season.

FreeWheel’s Allocation Module provides publishers with a holistic view of spending against upfront commitments, and offers demand side platforms a better way to gauge whether or not they are bidding enough, in real time, to meet their clients’ ad spend commitments. This new industry solution provides another key benefit: Marketers now have a way to better manage their committed ad spend across various ad channels.

FreeWheel is utilizing its buy-side platform, Beeswax, to enable the offering in time for execution during the 2024-25 industry upfront season, with plans to expand to additional DSPs in the future.

Allocation Module provides three core benefits, including:

  • helping buyers and sellers holistically manage and pace their committed ad spend budgets across all transaction types, spanning direct, programmatic guaranteed and now biddable.
  • expediting the shifting of premium, connected television ad dollars from direct to biddable ad transactions while maintaining dual sided guarantees
  • empowering buyers via a DSP-agnostic application programming interface to streamline reporting and fulfillment of upfront ad spend.

FreeWheel is launching this new solution in response to several current industry challenges, including the need for a simpler and more direct and efficient path to access TV ad inventory, and the operational burden of managing complex upfront agreements across multiple transaction types.

With this launch, advertisers and publishers now have a new method to manage the totality of their upfront video ad spend commitments across various transaction types, including, for the first time, biddable programmatic deals.

The latter is noteworthy and timely as advertisers increasingly want more flexibility in how they activate their upfront commitments. Similarly, publishers want guarantees that their valuable inventory will be monetized, regardless of the transaction method.

Prior to this solution, upfront or committed ad dollars allocated to biddable executions through private marketplaces (PMPs) between buyers and sellers could not be tracked or enforced, so it was more difficult to use as a part of upfront commitments.

“Existing systems have been holding back the modern day upfront. There has been an inherent conflict between the concept of upfront commitments and programmatic bidding, which happens in real time,” said David Dworin, Chief Product Officer, FreeWheel. “This new solution bridges that gap and has the potential to turbocharge the shift to programmatic as part of the next upfront.”

This solution benefits buyers and sellers alike. Publishers will be able to better track and manage upfront spend fulfillment from advertisers across delivery of all deal types. Advertisers will have improved transparency, communication and fulfillment of committed spend. They will also have increased availability of inventory for programmatic activation as publishers will have more confidence in that fulfillment.

“As a content company that shifted years ago to a programmatic-first approach to buying across our digital inventory, and now our linear networks as well, a solution like this will allow us to better manage upfront deals and offer more flexibility and cross-platform reach to our clients,” said Evan Adlman, EVP of commercial sales and revenue operations, AMC Networks. “Since so much viewership is now on connected devices within streaming platforms, programmatic buying has never been more important. FreeWheel has been a great partner in driving technological advances in our industry, and Allocation Module will now make it easier for advertisers to reach audiences programmatically across all environments, at scale.”

“Programmatic trading plays an important role in our advertising partners’ TV strategies, particularly as viewers are spending more time with streaming content and platforms,” said Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Ad Sales Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery. “We need to make sure that no matter how our inventory is purchased, it is managed in a holistic manner that extracts the most value for the advertiser and provides the best experience for viewers. We look forward to working with FreeWheel to take holistic inventory management to the next level in time for this year’s TV upfronts rollout.”

AMC Networks, NBCUniversal and WarnerBros. Discovery have signed on as an initial development partners and will begin testing this new solution ahead of the 2024-25 TV upfront season.

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, 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, and follow us on X and LinkedIn.


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