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All OTT Videos are NOT Created Equal

While television and cable are both strong markets, it's evident that they've taken a hit over the last few years. One of the main catalysts? OTT ("over the top") content. OTT services have continued to grow in popularity, with millions of "cord-cutters" and "cord never's" turning to online-based providers for their news and entertainment needs. 

While many companies are jumping onboard the "OTT bandwagon," many are making the mistake of treating OTT advertising as a linear extension of standard television. True, such an approach may grant these businesses access to a bigger audience with different demographics. However, it fails to take advantage of the rich marketing data and targeting capabilities that OTT platforms can provide. 

Let's discuss the different OTT models today and why all OTT videos are not created equal. (Hint: data can make a huge difference.) 

There are Multiple Types of OTT 

Not all OTT services fit into one business model. There are several types of streaming services on the market today, each with its unique attributes. Three common OTT models include: 

  • SVOD (subscription-based video on demand) services. As the name suggests, these include premium paid services like Netflix and HBO Max. Users pay a monthly or yearly subscription and enjoy an ad-free experience in return. 
  • AVOD (ad-based video on demand) services. Many customers are more than happy to sit through a few ads during an OTT viewing session if it means they don't have to pay for a subscription. AVOD service providers leverage this desire by providing free content that includes occasional ads. Some examples of this type of OTT service include PlutoTV and Roku. 
  • MVPD (multi-channel video programming distributor) services. This type of service combines subscription, ad-based, and TV-on-demand models. It's almost like a "one-stop-shop" for OTT content. Examples include Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, etc. 

The Benefits of Advertising on OTT 

 Several benefits come from advertising on OTT channels. Here is just a brief sample of such benefits: 

  • Reach a unique customer group. OTT channels help you reach a unique group of consumers who aren’t found on traditional TV platforms. One survey found that over 90% of respondents aged 18-29 who don't have cable or satellite say it's because they access desired content online. Advertising on OTT channels can provide access to demographics that other mediums don't touch. 
  • Combines TV’s impact with digital targeting. OTT consumers are more likely to be "dedicated ad viewers" since most ads can't be skipped and are typically shorter than TV commercials while delivering the same impact. In addition, OTT platforms that offer ad targeting capabilities empower companies to deliver their messaging to the demographics most likely to be interested in their product or service. 
  • Allows you to place ads before and during content.  OTT ads can be placed as pre-roll or mid-roll during content available on connected devices or in-browser. Apps and browsers also offer geo-optimized targeting capabilities.  

Work with a Specialized Media Partner 

OTT services are more than a linear extension of TV advertising. However, working under that mindset can cause your company to lose out on the rich consumer data received from advertising on OTT platforms.  

For example, imagine a credit union expands its advertising efforts into OTT. What if they transfer their TV ad creative over to the new medium? Would their target audience respond as favorably to an OTT commercial initially developed for television as they would to an ad specifically designed for the channel in question? While the company's reach would undoubtedly grow, they could be leaving a golden opportunity on the table if they ignore the unique attributes and capabilities of the OTT model. 

In contrast, working with a media partner specializing in OTT advertising can be the "key" to unlocking the medium's full potential. A specialized agency that serves as a trustworthy partner for your brand can help you make the most of OTT-sourced data and grow your customer base accordingly. 

Grow Your Company with OTT Ads  

Though relatively new to the marketing world, OTT services are already demonstrating their worth as advertising channels. It's no exaggeration to say that OTT content could very well be the future of viewing and listening - and advertisers must continue to adapt to this new reality to achieve sustainable success.   

Done right, OTT advertising can help you to reach a targeted audience with more of your specific customers, allowing you to engage with them more effectively, and leverage data to target the right people, with the right message, at the right time. Of course, "doing OTT advertising right" is easier said than done. However, an experienced media partner can help you boost your marketing efforts in the OTT sector. They can create videos that reach the widest possible audience and make the greatest potential positive impact on your consumer base. 

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Lisa Sikkema

Written by Lisa Sikkema

Lisa Sikkema is the Director of New Business Development at Federated Digital Solution with over 25 years’ experience in sales & marketing and 13 of those years just focused on digital. Lisa’s passion for helping local businesses is what drives her to find and help as many local clients as possible. Lisa’s focus is to truly understand a clients business goals, challenges and expectations and then create customized strategies that will bring her clients the best ROI for their marketing dollars. Lisa loves when strategy meets technology to create measurable & consistent results.

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