Comcast’s FreeWheel teams with smart TV data company Inscape, rebrands media sales

Comcast’s ad tech division FreeWheel is partnering with Inscape, a smart TV data company owned by Vizio, to gain access to the company’s more than 10 million smart TVs in the U.S.

Per the terms of the deal, FreeWheel can use Inscape’s opt-in smart TV viewership data (which uses automated content recognition technology) for modeling representativeness for demographic and consumer audience segments used for selling national TV advertising. That model will cover U.S. TV viewing data in all 210 DMAs, for all major cable, satellite and telco pay TV distributors, and over-the-air TV households.

FreeWheel said it will use those models to help forecast national U.S. delivery of demographic and consumer-segment-specific ad impressions for its customers including NBCU, Fox, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom in the U.S.

“While FreeWheel sets the standard for so much of the broader TV economy, using Inscape viewing data will help to bolster the quality, speed and reliability of FreeWheel’s advanced TV advertising offerings and ability for marketers to reach consumers across the new TV landscape,” said Jodie McAfee, SVP of sales and marketing at Inscape.

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FreeWheel and Inscape’s new agreement arrives in the same week that FreeWheel was announced as one of the media partners for Inscape’s Project OAR (or Open Addressable Ready), a project aimed at developing an open standard for addressable ads on smart TVs.

During its nowfronts presentation, FreeWheel also announced the launch of rebranded FreeWheel Media sales team. FreeWheel has been operating a media sales business since its acquisition of StickyAds in 2016, which it consolidated with Strata, Adazzle, VisibleWorld and AudienceXpress under FreeWheel in 2017.

But the rebranding is intended to solidify its investment and offer the combined solutions to the TV and video marketplace for ease of transaction for the buy-side.