Using Pendo

Pendo Story: FreeWheel

Published Jan 5, 2016

FreeWheel logo

About FreeWheel

FreeWheel’s superior end-to-end technology, premium marketplace, and best in market advisory services power the advertising businesses of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world, including AOL, DIRECTV, Fox, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting System and Viacom in U.S., and Sky and Channel 4 in Europe. From our unique position at the center of the premium video economy, we enable our clients to unify audiences across desktop, mobile, OTT, and traditional STB devices, and profitably monetize their content.

Headquartered in San Mateo, with offices in New York, London, and Beijing, FreeWheel stands to advocate for the entire industry through the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. For more information please visit, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Challenge

FreeWheel needed robust data to illuminate exactly how users were interacting with their system. Facing the same difficulty many other software solutions encounter, they could not easily understand what features and functionality were being used and which were not. This lack of clarity made it difficult to prioritize investments and truly understand which features they could deprecate. Adding additional complexity to these challenges, FreeWheel also needed a solution that was robust enough to handle dozens of members of the product management team – each with different roles and user access permissions, while providing an easy to use interface.

The Solution

Pendo provided a robust solution that collected and clarified FreeWheel’s data and allowed them to quickly visualize and interpret how their customers were using their software.  At a high level, they used feature-level heatmaps to quickly see how often functionality was or was not being used.  They analyzed user funnels and paths to see exactly how users progressed through the system and accomplished goals.  The Pendo platform gave them the ability to focus and drill down into individual users’ timelines for further insights.

From a technical perspective, Pendo met the infrastructure requirements of the FreeWheel team and was quick and easy to install without requiring coding for instrumentation. Additionally, Pendo was able to support a large team with diverse, customized roles and provided a strong data security solution.

The Results

With the data collected through Pendo, FreeWheel clarified product management metrics, gauged failures and successes, and could clearly see how well they were facilitating product engagement. Product management then shared this data with the engineering team to make changes within their product. FreeWheel fortifies the “why” for its engineering team through data. Vishal Patel, product manager at FreeWheel describes it this way,

“Every engineering organization needs a compelling ‘why’ for product changes. For us, the ‘why’ is the data, and Pendo helps us show it.”

This combination of insights was important to FreeWheel. By implementing Pendo, Freewheel was able to easily see which features were heavily utilized and which features were under utilized. They were able to visualize how new feature launches were being adopted, and compare the usage and value of those features with the associated engineering and development costs – creating a feature-by-feature ROI analysis. Data allowed product management and engineering to have a collaborative conversation to improve the overall user experience.

Although FreeWheel initially focused solely on product analytics, they quickly discovered the value of adding guides to their application.  With Pendo Guides, FreeWheel was able to put new content in front of every user directly in the application without additional engineering assistance. This ensured that users were aware of new functionality and educated in the most efficient manner.  Using the guides in addition to email and forum announcements led to a significant increase in awareness and the adoption of the new features. FreeWheel’s utilization of both Pendo analytics and guides has allowed them to efficiently engage customers in new ways and improve the total FreeWheel experience.

To see how Pendo can help drive adoption of your product and increase customer engagement, sign up for a guided tour

About Pendo

Founded in 2013, Pendo is a data driven platform for product engagement that enables companies to improve on boarding, understand product usage and help retain customers.  Pendo combines enterprise guidance and user insights to enable product teams to understand and influence their customer’s experience. Pendo installs in minutes with no coding required.