2019: A Pivotal Year for Premium Video


By James Rothwell

2018 was a year of progress towards a number of initiatives to drive the premium video ecosystem forward, with ongoing refinements against the ad experience, scaling of advanced TV and attribution that provides proof of full funnel results.

As part of our efforts to align the industry, the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (an advocacy group consisting of 25 premium publishers) came together in December and we asked board members and guests the question: “what will be the key themes to propel the premium video ecosystem forward in 2019?

Two major themes emerged from these conversations:

1.  TV as a platform:  TV content is now available in more places than ever and the industry is beginning to mobilize—acting more like a unified platform—not only in terms of linear plus digital, but also creating more scale, consistency and collaborative opportunities for marketers.  “We’ll continue to see premium video providers put more content out in terms of volume and hours on platforms outside of the linear screen. They’ll continue to push forward into connected devices, and they’ll make it really easy for their fans to find their content.” Jill Steinhauser, SVP, Advertising sales, Planning and Operations, Discovery 

2.  Measurement & Attribution:  There is a renewed optimism in terms of the largest barrier to cross-screen measurement starting to break down: verification practices have become more consistent and prevalent, measurement initiatives like C-flight are addressing cross-screen currencies and attribution is maturing to assign appropriate value to TV and premium video.  “Once you shine a light on it, you’re going to see that television performs a lot better than the rest of the media mix.” David Levy, EVP, Strategy & Operations, Fox

What is clear is that further collaboration in 2019 is required. For TV to act like a platform and for the challenge of multi-screen video measurement to be solved, it will take an unprecedented amount of partnership and coordination.

But there is no question that there is a healthy appetite for premium video companies and their partners to align on initiatives that drive towards these goals. 2019 looks like it will be a pivotal year for some of these efforts to bear real fruit.

For 2019 predictions in the European market, click here.

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