Premium video body launches in Europe

Premium TVA premium video advocacy body is launching in Europe with the backing of numerous major broadcasters.

The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video Europe (FWCE) formed this month following the creation of a US parent in 2015. It is aimed at keeping advertisers keen to spend their cash on premium video – whether that is high-end drama, entertainment or factual programming.

At launch, the FWCE will have 13 members, namely Canal+ Régie, Channel 4, Discovery Networks International, Medialaan, MTG, Nelonen, Proximus, RTÉ, SBS Broadcasting, SFR Régie, Sky UK and Germany, and TF1 Publicité.

The original FreeWheel Council has 30 members, including AOL, DirecTV, Fox, NBCUniversal, Turner Broadcasting System, and Viacom.

NBCU parent Comcast owns FreeWheel, the San Mateo-based advertising technology company that leads the groups.

The European division will promote and serve “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 UK broadcaster Channel 4.

A paper launched today to mark the FWCE’s establishment, made a number of claims supporting premium video.

According to Premium Video Matters for Advertisers: a European Perspective, premium video is set apart from other forms due to its “capacity to elicit engagement”.

It also claimed measuring premium video by the standards of other formats such as viewer numbers ignored how it was able to connect and engage with audiences.

The paper also claimed advertisers were guaranteed ‘brand safety’, as fraud was “virtually non-existent”, meaning advertisers can use premium video to “reach real humans, engaged with the content they have chose to watch”.

“To flourish, the premium video ecosystem needs to work together,” said Emmanuel Josserand, who works in brand, agency and industry relations for FreeWheel and spearheaded the European launch.

“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.”

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