OTT/CTV and Programmatic Ads

Over-the-top Media Service. What?

What is Over-the-top Media?

It is a way to watch your favorite TV shows without having to buy a cable package. You only need the internet service that allows you wifi in your home, and one of the many options to view it through your television. Through the eyes of many, it is a cheaper way to watch your shows, with less access to the ones that you never watch.

How is OTT delivered?

You can download OTT apps to smartphones and tablets Desktops and laptops access OTT content through  apps or web browsers. Smart TVs, Apple TVs, Playstation, Xbox, Firestick, and others are able to stream OTT content. 

Let’s say you are a cord-cutter, meaning you do not subscribe  to cable television. How do you consume your favorite shows? You may have subscribed to Disney+, and are accessing the app through your Smart TV. This is an example of going over-the-top of cable providers, and viewing content through OTT connected devices. 

After a year of paying for a cable package, a friend of mine noticed his cable bill increased by $75 per month. There were no extra services performed, and he didn’t get any additional channels than he already had. The rate increased simply because he was no longer eligible for the first-year package deal. That amount of money per month was just too much for him to pay, but he still wanted to be able to watch Fargo, his favorite show. After doing some research, he learned Hulu carried Fargo, and would only cost him $6 a month. Since he already had a Playstation 4 and was able to connect to Hulu, he canceled his expensive TV package and signed up for Hulu. Now, while he’s patiently waiting for season four, he’s binge-watching all the episodes. 

What about CTV?

CTV stands for “connected TV” and is any television used to stream video over the internet. This includes devices such as:

Smart TV – a TV with a built-in internet connection and media platform.

Connected Device – these devices plug directly into your TV and are connected to the internet.  Examples include Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, and Roku.

Gaming Console – PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch act as the connected device with built-in app stores for streaming video content to your television.

CTV is different from OTT in one way—the device you use to watch your content. OTT refers to the way video is streamed via the internet. CTV deals with content delivered specifically through a connected device,  whether that be a Smart TV, connected device, or gaming console. 

What are examples of OTT/CTV platforms?

Sling TV, Hulu, and YouTube TV are all examples. Users subscribe to a monthly service that delivers live TV channel bundles over the internet. There are also free live-stream televisions and on-demand video services like Pluto TV.

What are the benefits of OTT/CTV advertising?

Target Audience: You can deliver video content to a specific audience based on demographic, geographic, and behavioral segments.

Ad Completion: Viewers watch the entire ad, with an average completion rate of 98%.

Measurable Results: You can measure the results of your campaigns with digital and traditional metrics. Pause rate, mute rate, completion rate, along with keyword and location reporting to name a few.

OTT/CTV is a great marketing tool when a product or service is best illustrated through video content. We used OTT/CTV for a tree removal company. The video showcased their ability to remove a tree safely, without damaging surrounding buildings, as well as the professional cleanup afterward.

What does OTT/CTV look like in the next few years?

There will be nearly 2 billion active subscriptions to on-demand video services in 2025; a 65% increase over the end of 2020. The main contributor to this growth is from traditional broadcasters, who are turning to streaming services to extend their reach and compete with online video such as Netflix. Viewers continue to cut the cord, replacing traditional cable bundles with a self-curated mix of OTT, on-demand, and live streaming content. Pay-TV households will decline to 73.7 million in the US in 2021 and will be outnumbered by non-pay TV households by 2024.*

*Juniper Research: Ott Tv & Video Subscriptions To Reach 2 Billion Globally By 2025, Driven By Services From Traditional Broadcasters

What are the recommended OTT/CTV video specifications?

Dimensions: 1920x1200px and 1920x1080px

Audio Bitrate: 160 kbps or higher

Video Bitrate: 5.4 Mbps or higher

Preferred format: mp4

Max video file size: 10 MB with a max final load size of 200 MB

Ad slots are 15, 30, and 60 seconds. 

Should I use OTT/CTV in my marketing strategy?

It’s best to have a holistic marketing approach and fit the tools you need to reach your best customers. OTT/CTV is a great  tool, but it’s best to lead with a strategy-first mindset. 

We’d love to help you assemble that strategy!

Reach out and we’ll help you sort through all the marketing tools and prioritize which ones will get you the most bang for your buck. 

Author Bio:

Walter Scheuer
Walter Scheuer – Interactive and Campaign Manager

Walter Scheuer is an Interactive and Digital Campaign manager for Mid-West Family Madison. He started working for Mid-West Family as a Sales Assistant after completing his Bachelor degree in Marketing. He now has 3 years of Marketing experience, and enjoys the challenge of producing successful campaigns with measurable results. Outside of work, Walter can be found watching his favorite local sports teams, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Green Bay Packers. Go Pack Go.

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