Wurl and Frequency, two vendors supporting clients in the free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) space, formed a strategic CTV partnership to leverage each other’s offerings for customers.
The partners are pairing Frequency’s channel creation and distribution platform with Wurl’s ad monetization and content discovery tools – with each vendor set to become the preferred partner of the other for their respective services.
According to the companies, customers can tap Frequency’s platform to provide scheduling and playout services for FAST channels, as well as utilize Wurl’s monetization tools. That includes a recently released Content Discovery platform, which focuses on pairing viewers to content they want to watch with targeted content marketing creatives – ultimately aiming to increase return on ad spend (ROAS) while delivering on KPIs such as acquisition, engagement, retention.
The two vendors are touting the combo as enabling content providers to easily access the best technology from each partner for their channel businesses, with the result of highly optimized workflows.
Craig Heiting, head of Corporate Strategy at Wurl, said in a statement that the company is thrilled to work with Frequency.
“By combining forces, we can offer more playout options and simplify workflows to address content distributors’ most pressing needs across playout, monetization and advertising and ultimately optimize their returns,” Heiting said.
Wurl and Frequency called out the following benefits for content publishers from pairing their offerings:
- Powerful channel creation platform
- Lowest total cost of channel operations
- Capabilities for media and content metadata to move between platforms without additional delivery
- Coordinated account management and customer support
- Increased value of ad inventory
- The ability to run optimized performance marketing campaigns to attract and retain viewers.
Jon Cohen, chief revenue officer at Frequency, noted Wurl’s key role in the development of the FAST ecosystem and the need for flexibility in choice of partners for content companies.
“With the rapid growth of FAST and the convergence with traditional TV, media companies need the freedom to choose the optimal partners for each part of their supply chain,” Cohen stated. “Frequency’s industry-leading scheduling and playout platform, combined with Wurl’s advertising monetization solution is exactly what this market needs.”
Wurl and Frequency teaming up is also notable as they each work to support content and media customers in the FAST space. They also could face more competition as Xumo Enterprise continues to make a name for itself – snagging high-profile wins to deliver FAST channels and tech for Google TV, and most recently smart TV maker TCL, the latter just disclosed Thursday as reported by Fierce. Xumo for its part is supporting FASTs with a two-pronged approach of tech and content.
In terms of Frequency and Wurl being competitors in the FAST space, Frequency’s Cohen emphasized to Fierce that the offerings brought together through the new partnership are complementary.
“Frequency is in a unique position as we made the decision from the onset to focus exclusively on developing the most advanced platform for channel creation and playout,” Cohen told Fierce via email, adding that this continues to be the vendor’s No. 1 priority, with today’s announcement reinforcing its approach to the market.
Meanwhile, Wurl’s AdPool and Content Discovery offerings are complementary and non-overlapping products, where Wurl’s made significant investments in those areas, he noted.
“We’ve had the belief for some time that the synergies between our companies were greater than the competitive aspects that we both offer,” Cohen continued. “The market will benefit greatly from hearing a unified voice from two industry leaders in their respective domains.
Cohen also confirmed that the vendors have plans to co-market their solutions to new customers.
Meanwhile, Wurl and Frequency are pooling their respective expertise at a time when consumers continue to turn to CTV for viewing. TVision’s The State of CTV Advertising report released in February found viewing on CTV was way up, increasing 55% from the start of 2022. In TVision’s monthly Singal report released in June the measurement company found ad-supported apps were leading the way for the future of CTV, finding that as of May over half of Time Spent Viewing CTV went to AVOD apps or those that offer a combo of premium subscription-only and ad-supported tiers. According to TVision, in May FASTs accounted for 11.1% of time viewing on CTV apps, including across MVPDs, vMVPD, SVOD, hybrid SVOD/AVOD and AVOD.
Still while CTV apps continue to attract viewers, TVision found most viewers (55%) watch a mix of both linear and CTV, while 27% watch CTV apps-only.
Article updated with additional commentary from Frequency CRO Jon Cohen.