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