FreeWheel, a Comcast company, has announced that its FreeWheel Advertisers division has launched enhancements to its Strata platform that will bring additional automation to the local TV advertising process. These enhancements aim to bring greater efficiencies to many of the tasks associated with buying local TV advertising for both agencies and local broadcasters. The new automated capabilities will be made available to the 1,200 agencies that already use the Strata platform and all US TV stations.
“FreeWheel is dedicated to improving the Strata platform to reduce the friction associated with TV buying and provide time savings. With this latest round of enhancements, we’ve accomplished these goals,” said Joy Baer, General Manager, FreeWheel Advertisers. “When you consider that these new automation enhancements are available within the same system that local TV buyers and sellers currently use, the solution is clearly unique in the industry. The word that our clients are using is ‘game-changing.’”
Zimmerman Advertising (part of Omnicom Group) is one of the agencies currently piloting the software and their buyers have already seen some positive results.
“The automation capabilities within the Strata platform allow our buyers to accomplish what used to take a full day in less than a minute,” said Adam Herman, EVP, Chief Integrated Media Director, Zimmerman Advertising. “This is a huge benefit to our clients, as our buyers’ time can be better spent on more strategic activities rather than on mundane tasks that are best automated. We congratulate FreeWheel on automating these tasks so accurately and reliably.”
FreeWheel expects the software to be available to all agencies later in Q2. Local broadcasters who are already Strata platform users can connect with agencies using their current tools. Other sell-side users can access web-based software to connect with those agencies who are utilising the new capabilities.
“Anything that we can do to make local TV advertising easier to buy is a benefit to the entire ecosystem,” said Brett Jenkins, EVP, Chief Technology Officer, Nexstar Media Group. “The work that FreeWheel has done on automating some of the more time-intensive activities is a win for the industry, and very much in line with the goals of the Television Interface Practices (TIP) Initiative. We look forward to working with FreeWheel on the roll out of its new capabilities.”