The basics of OTT (Over-The-Top) and CTV (Connected TV) advertising, the new way to advertise on televisions. As the viewing habits of consumers continue to shift away from traditional television and towards the use of subscription streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, it’s becoming more and more important for marketers to take notice – and take advantage of this shift by targeting users with OTT and CTV ads.
The world of television advertising is changing – and there are more ways than ever for advertisers to reach customers, even those who are eschewing cable and network TV for subscription services. Let’s discuss the basics of OTT and CTV advertising – and the opportunities they present for marketing professionals.
OTT Advertising – Over-The-Top
The acronym “OTT” stands for “over-the-top,” and it refers to a service that offers TV-like video content that is streamable over the internet, but does not require a subscription to a distributor – such as a cable or satellite company.
Instead, the content skips the distributor and goes directly “over the top” of the distributor, and directly to the consumer. Netflix, for example, is a provider of OTT TV – all you need is a subscription and an internet connection.
Some traditional networks are also using OTT TV. CBS All Access is an OTT service from CBS, which offers live TV and archived past seasons delivered over the internet – without the need for an antenna or a cable/satellite subscription.
OTT TV has multiple business models. Netflix, the above example, does not have ads. But some competitors, like Hulu, do include ads – and savvy advertisers can use this to their advantage. OTT advertising is typically cheaper than traditional TV ads, and can be more easily targeted to individual users, boosting their effectiveness.
CTV – Connected TV
The term CTV refers to “connected TV,” which is the method by which most OTT content is sent to users. This term is used to refer to any TV-connected device which connects to the internet, and delivers OTT content to users.
Devices like Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku, as well as gaming consoles and Smart TVs from manufacturers like Samsung and LG all count as CTV devices.
CTV ads can often be integrated into OTT content as pre-roll ads. And, in some cases, CTV ads are placed directly on the main menu and home screens of CTV devices, similar to banner ads on a website. Roku, for example, has a native advertising platform built into its devices.
CTV And OTT Advertising Are Distinct, But Related – Understand The Difference!
OTT refers to the content that is distributed directly to consumers, while CTV refers to its method of distribution. These types of advertising are distinct – but they are both important, and we highly recommend that you explore how your marketing campaigns can benefit by integrating CTV and OTT advertising.