FreeWheel Council for Premium Video expands into Europe

Thursday, June 29th, 2017
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FreeWheel Council for Premium Video expands into Europe to advance the premium video ecosystem

  • Advocacy group featuring 13 major European broadcasters and operators launches with release of paper on why premium video matters for advertisers

LONDON, UK — Following on the success of the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video (FWC) in North America, the FWC announced its European launch, extending its remit to champion the premium video industry on an international level. The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Europe (FWCE) is an advocacy group consisting, at launch, of 13 members, including major European broadcasters and operators. It is committed to serving the shared interests of those in the premium video industry through leadership positions, research and advocacy to promote the premium video economy.

“The launch of the FreeWheel Council in Europe will allow us to highlight the importance and value of premium video to a wider audience,” commented Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovations at Channel 4 and FWCE member. “It will provide a voice for those invested in the premium video economy and share insights that will benefit the advertising, marketing and media industries. It is a privilege to be part of the group and we’re excited to advance the industry in this fast-paced world of premium video advertising.”

To mark the creation of the FWCE the group has published its first position paper, ‘Why Premium Video Matters for Advertisers: a European Perspective’. The paper represents the first collective output for the FWCE and is built on shared market-leading insights. It provides a definition of premium video and an overview of how it differentiates itself from the digital fray.

The key takeaways from the paper are:

  1. What sets premium video apart is its capacity to elicit engagement with both publisher content and the advertising that appears alongside it.
  2. All too often the industry is trying to measure premium video by the standards of other formats, pinning its worth on metrics like viewability alone, without recognising its potential to engage the consumer.
  3. In TV-like environments, brand-safety is assured and fraud is virtually non-existent and advertisers can reach real humans, engaged with content they have chosen to watch.

Thomas Bremond, Managing Director International of FreeWheel said: “We are delighted to build on the success of the FreeWheel Council in North America by offering its advocacy and thought leadership to a whole new audience in Europe. We are looking forward to addressing the unique issues impacting the region.”

To commemorate the launch, the FWCE also designed and sponsored a panel session at Cannes Lions Festival in partnership with The Drum, titled Television Evolved: The Rise of the Dynamic Living Room. Jamie West of Sky Media, Philippe Boscher of TF1 Publicité, Hossein Houssaini of Havas and Elise Dupaty of Halfords Media (Pokerstars) led a dynamic discussion on the new age of video consumption and the position of premium video advertising in viewers’ daily lives.

Emmanuel Josserand, Brand, Agency and Industry Relations at FreeWheel and spearheading the European launch added: “To flourish, the premium video ecosystem needs to work together. While advocating for premium video providers, the FWCE will share compelling research and viewpoints drawn on the vast experience and knowledge of its members and beyond. We aim to work with all premium video stakeholders including the buy-side and industry bodies so we drive the industry forward together”.

About the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, Europe (FWCE)

The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Europe (FWCE) was formed in June 2017 to serve the interest of those in the premium video industry through leadership positions, research and advocacy. Aligned to the FWC formed in North America in 2015 (which has 30 members) the FWCE, at launch, consists of 13 members: Canal+ Régie, Channel 4, Discovery Networks International, Medialaan, MTG, Nelonen, Proximus, RTÉ, SBS Broadcasting, SFR Régie, Sky Media UK, Sky Media Germany and TF1 Publicité. The FWC operates as an educational and organisational resource to assist marketers to reach desired audiences in premium video environments, conduct research documenting the benefits of premium video and represent the interests of member publishers and the market.