OTT/CTV Advertising


What is connected TV advertising?

OTT/CTV Advertising FAQs

What is OTT/CTV Advertising?

OTT (over-the-top) advertising is television advertising delivered directly to viewers through internet streaming devices such as connected TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets, rather than through cable or satellite TV. The content consists of full-length TV shows, movies, live sports, news and events. The consumer ad viewing experience is just like traditional TV, where 0:15 or 0:30 second non-skippable ads appear during content breaks, requiring the audience to watch ads before continuing with the content, creating advertiser brand awareness.

OTT (“over-the-top”) comes from the ability to bypass traditional TV providers that control media distribution, typically via cable services, giving advertisers the ability to reach audiences directly.

CTV (“Connected TV”) refers to the primary screen on which streaming content is viewed, typically the large screen in the living room. Approximately 85% of all streaming TV viewing happens on CTV, with the other 12% on phones & tablets and 3% on laptops.

What are the benefits of OTT/CTV Advertising?

OTT/CTV advertising combines the branding power and scale of traditional TV with the targetability and measurability of digital advertising. Benefits include:

  • Power of TV Branding: Build impactful brand awareness via a full-screen, non-skippable instream TV advertising experience on premium content.
  • Pinpointed Targeting & Measurability of Digital: Leverage consumer data to reach precise audience segments…. targeting that enhances relevance and eliminates the waste of traditional broad demo-based TV buys
  • Broad Scale & Incremental Reach: Incremental reach beyond linear TV – it’s the only way to reach cord-cutters and cord-nevers, which make up 27% of households in 2021, 35% by 2024
  • Low Cost of Entry: Lower cost of entry than traditional TV

What questions should buyers ask when making a OTT/CTV buy?

  • How do I best target my audience? What targeting segments should I be using?
  • How do I control and measure reach and frequency across the campaign?
  • Do I know what streaming apps I’m running on for every delivered impression? Do I have complete transparency on my placements?
  • Is the content true full-length shows & movies or is short-form content mixed in?
  • Do I know what technology platform I’m running on? Does my vendor own the platform or are they reselling someone else’s platform? Do they really understand the platform?
  • How can I make mid-campaign changes and how fast is the turnaround?
  • Do I have a direct working relationship with my campaign manager and are they responsive?
  • Is my reporting in real-time or do I have to wait until reports are created manually?
  • Do I get impression-level reporting for auditing purposes?
  • If it’s a geo-targeted campaign, do I know what zip codes I’m running in?
  • How competitive are my CPMs?
  • Is there a minimum spend?

How much scale does OTT/CTV advertising have?

Streaming TV went mainstream in 2020. With almost 70% of U.S. consumers streaming television on a regular basis (comScore – April 2020), the scale of CTV/OTT advertising is significant, and it is the only way to reach the 53 million “streaming-only” TV viewers who have already cut their cable/satellite cords. OTT is quickly becoming mainstream, as 52% of U.S. adults (18+) use at least one OTT service, while almost a third of Americans 55+ watch OTT content.

Looking for recent articles on why OTT is so hot?  You’ll find a few here:

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