Press release

FreeWheel Research Finds Line Between Linear TV and Premium Digital Video is Increasingly Disappearing

Sponsored by Businesswire

FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, today announces the launch of its fourth
quarter VMR. Formerly known as the Video Monetization Report (VMR), this
signature research report that is published four times a year will now
be known as the Video Marketplace Report beginning with this installment.

The new name underscores a key theme and finding in this quarter’s
report: Premium video is evolving and the industry, likewise, is also
changing. As such, the report’s new name reflects FreeWheel’s research
teams’ commitment and heightened focus on consumer and buy-side trends,
as well as the increasing convergence between linear TV and premium
digital video. 2018 marked a big year in the coming together of these
two worlds, as evidenced by viewership trends, which looked more similar
than ever before, and significant industry moves to unify advertising
across both sectors.

In 2018, two consumer viewership trends underscored and accelerated this
convergence: 40% of all ad views were delivered on a connected TV, which
indicates that people are “using this device to watch whatever they want
in the comfort of their living rooms,” said David Dworin, who heads
FreeWheel’s Advisory Services Team and was one of the report’s lead
authors. Live viewing, likewise, grew 86%, as “viewers watched video
content in real-time, wherever they wanted and on whatever device they

“Watching TV can now mean tuning into a program on linear TV, streaming
a favorite series on a connected TV, or following a live event on a
smartphone. It’s the content, not the pipes, that viewers see,” he

Premium video also saw strong overall growth (27%) for full year 2018,
continuing a multi-year trend of high growth. The key takeaways from
this quarter’s VMR, titled “Growth & Convergence: The Evolution of
Premium Video in 2018,” can be found below:

The View From The Buy-Side: Unified Buying is an Imperative*

  • 52% of advertisers and agencies are already combining the
    buying of digital video and linear TV today and 91% say they
    will by 2021.
  • 74% of advertisers say it is important or very important to
    have integrated digital video and linear TV data/technology solutions.

*Note: The data above is based on a FreeWheel / Advertiser
Perceptions Thought Leadership Survey of over 200 advertisers and

FreeWheel Video Marketplace 2018 Convergence Trends

  • Advertisers shared live moments with audiences using premium video. (2018
    was the year of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and the FIFA
    World Cup, among other major live, televised events.) As such, live
    content ad views grew 86% in 2018.
  • Premium video is both primetime and anytime.

    • While 23% of viewing occurs in the key 8 to 11 p.m.
      daypart, over 75% of viewing occurs outside of the
      traditional TV “primetime.”
    • 18% of desktop ad views come between 12 and 3 p.m. and the
      ease of click-through makes this an interesting platform for
      marketers looking to drive direct response outcomes.
  • Connected TVs offer a lean-back viewing experience.

    • Connected TV ad views grew 53% in 2018, which represented 40%
      of all ad views.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About FreeWheel

FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, 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,
and follow us on Twitter
and LinkedIn.