What is OTT Advertising?

ott commercial advertising

As users begin shifting more and more towards streaming and away from traditional television, the potential of OTT video advertising has grown massively.

OTT stands for “Over the Top” and refers to television, film, and other digital content that is delivered via a streaming service over the internet as opposed to by traditional cable or satellite TV.  OTT content delivery can take place on any device that can stream video via the internet such as computers, cell phones, tablets, Smart or connected TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV). 

Over the Top Video Advertising

OTT advertising is similar to television advertising but is delivered through streaming media platforms.  As users begin shifting more and more towards streaming and away from traditional television, the potential of OTT video advertising has grown massively.  Companies with comprehensive digital strategies are including OTT advertising as part of their overall marketing plan to take advantage of the powerful targeting potential and ever-widening variety of places to advertise through OTT.

Digital and Data-Driven

One of the differences between traditional television advertising and OTT video advertising is the multiple layers of audience targeting that are possible with OTT.  Depending on the OTT platform, your marketing strategy, and approach to ad buying, you can target your audience based on the provider’s user data, or in some cases, layering your own customer data.  Most of the larger OTT providers allow you to target:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Interests and Behaviors
  • Custom audiences (based on your 1st and 3rd party data sources)

OTT Streaming Platforms

While we won’t look at all of the OTT platforms available, we’ll briefly discuss some of the popular streaming service models and OTT channels.  There are basically three models that OTT services operate under Paid subscription, Ad-supported, or a hybrid mix of the two.

While Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney + are examples of OTT streaming services that operate on a paid subscription model with no ads, many OTT services operate under an (AVOD) ad-supported video-on-demand model.  Viewers can use AVOD platforms for free without paying for a subscription.  These platforms will show viewers ads at the beginning and throughout their content.  YouTube is the biggest of these types of streaming services. 

Gaining in popularity is a hybrid mix model that allows users to choose between an ad-free paid subscription or a free (or lower cost) ad-supported version of the OTT platform.  Hulu is a good example of a hybrid model in OTT advertising platforms.  Users can opt for a premium subscription to remove ads from their content.  Discovery + and Peacock are other streaming services that offer tiered packages that allow users to either pay for ad-free or ad-supported viewing.

OTT video ads can broadcast unique messages to individual viewers based on the data they generate using streaming platforms.  Many streaming services offer contracts to advertisers, who can then use multi-layered data to choose when and where to place their video ads.  Brands can use a wide range of performance indicators to measure their success.

Advertising through OTT gives your brand access to the living room, where families spend time together, often independent of what’s on at the moment.  Viewers, especially younger audiences, are shifting away from traditional media and spending increasing amounts of time watching content via streaming services, streaming devices, and OTT apps. 

For any brand, it’s important to quickly adapt to changes in the marketing landscape. OTT video advertising is quickly becoming an essential component of any advanced digital marketing strategy.  At Blend, our professional creative team in Los Angeles has the experience to produce high-quality OTT video ads that compel your target audience into action.  If you’re interested in incorporating video advertising on OTT into your digital marketing strategy we can help, contact Blend Today.