What is OTT Advertising and Why Should Your Brand Care?

3 mins read

What is OTT?

OTT or Over the Top is a term that refers to any device that has the capability to receive or stream digital content to a TV or devices such as phones, tablets or laptops.

Typical OTT devices include:

  • Streaming boxes i.e.: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Allshare Cast
  • Smart TV (connecting via in-TV apps such as Netflix or HBO)
  • HDMI sticks i.e.: Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Roku
  • Game consoles
  • Internet enabled smart DVD/ blue ray players
  • DVR boxes

OTT advertising

OTT advertising is advertising delivered on OTT platforms or devices through streaming media.

If you have watched a Netflix programme recently, chances are you have participated in an advertising opportunity that ran during a brief break in the programme or one that scrolled at the edge of the screen while the programme was in progress. This is currently the in-thing in advertising and marketing and a lot of forward thinking organisations are already taking advantage of it.

You may have noticed that cable television is declining. This industry is steadily losing its appeal to streaming media, especially in terms of convenience and reach. This has opened up a goldmine of opportunities for companies looking to reach the wider audience captured by streaming media. In fact, video ads on OTT devices grew by a whopping 44 percent in the third quarter of 2017 with the potential for more growth.

This trend shows that streaming content is now the new television and that OTT may well take over as the go-to platform for advertising in place of traditional television commercials. Therefore, it is vital that you consider how OTT can fit into your marketing plan and understand how the system can help connect with the emotions of your customers especially in this age where people are constantly consuming content via mobile on the go.


How can OTT advertising help your brand?

OTT enables marketers place relevant ads directly in front of old and potential customers across their devices. The relevant ads can be sandwiched between streaming TV shows, YouTube videos, social media apps, games and messaging. But OTT is more than just the opportunity to insert ads in front of users. Here are some of the possibilities in OTT advertising that will show why your brand to consider it.

  • A novel and unspoilt system –

The OTT territory is relatively uncharted and completely unspoilt. For now, the system is completely free of ad fraud because streaming platforms are controlled systems. For this reason, people watching OTT ads cannot simply decide to close the advertisement or switch to another browser tab or even install an ad blocker to restrict ads. What this means is that your message is passed correctly all the time. Typical industry parameters such as click through rates (CTR) are irrelevant with OTT and while there is currently a set of guidelines for video, web and mobile advertisement, there is as yet none for OTT, leaving the system completely pure and unspoiled.

  • Focus on the customer’s journey –

A recent study discovered that more than 60% of people watch TV shows on streaming services via OTT devices. This is a huge pool of users providing data that can help get a holistic understanding of the customer. An understanding that could reveal what the customer does on their devices, the shows they watch, browsing history and shopping preferences. This information helps create targeted ads that are better suited to the individual. Marketers who stay ahead of the game are those who focus on placing the customer at the centre of the marketing effort, and when you use OTT, you are not just getting new leads and growing conversion rates, you are reaching a higher level of engagement.

  • A viable alternative to traditional TV ads –

It is obvious that the exodus from cable TV to streaming media has commenced–this exodus will continue unabated. Whether or not we mourn the slow demise of the cable TV, the fact remains that there is need for an alternative ad system that would serve for streaming media and from all indications, OTT is the best candidate to serve as an alternative. This system offers a lot of the benefits marketers have been used to in online ads. And even though more of these technologies are yet to be implemented in OTT advertising, it is only a matter of time before more efficient replacements are discovered.

The opportunities in OTT advertising, though relatively limited today, show great potential as an alternative to TV ads and offer advertisers and marketers new and better ways to reach their audiences. Considering the technological advancement that is bound to happen with streaming media in the nearest future, it is vital that marketers consider how OTT can help their brand gain the competitive edge and get on board immediately.

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