OTT 101: Everything You Need to Know About OTT

Rhonda Pullen

Rhonda Pullen About The Author

Oct 12, 2020 9:15:00 AM



Finding your audience can be challenging. Where exactly do members of your target audience spend their time? How do they interact with social media, TV, and other devices? What type of content do they like to see? 

Reaching your audience on different platforms, rather than just one, can prove highly beneficial. Not only does utilizing multiple platforms make it easier for you to find your target audience, it can also help reinforce your ads and encourage higher levels of brand recognition. One advertising solution that brings all of these elements together is OTT. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

What Exactly is OTT?

OTT, or over-the-top, is a media consumption method that uses streaming services to allow consumers to choose what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. The average American household subscribes to at least three streaming services, which may include familiar platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Now. 

Unlike traditional television, OTT does not simply provide predetermined content that users can catch while it airs. Instead, it allows users to select specific programs based on their current media consumption desires and plans. Ads often appear less frequently than on traditional cable services, and have the opportunity to create a more powerful impact. OTT can be consumed from a variety of platforms, including smart TVs, phones, and tablets.

The Power of OTT

OTT allows you to easily reach several different demographics. On average, 3 out of 4 American households subscribe to at least one streaming service. Streaming service subscriptions have also risen significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 80% of households now subscribing to at least one streaming service--and those subscribers are watching significantly more content. It can be consumed anywhere, at any time. Many people choose to stream OTT content directly from their mobile devices, which means that OTT can take over their commutes, their leisure time, and even their time at the office. Screen Shot 2020-10-06 at 8-39-06 AM-png-1

OTT ads also do not run in specific time slots. Unlike TV ads, you aren't relying on consumers being glued to their devices at a specific time. Instead, you can cast a wide net that focuses more on the overall number of impressions than the specific time at which an ad gets viewed. 

The Benefits of Advertising on OTT Platforms

Advertising on OTT platforms can offer a number of advantages to your business. Through OTT ads, you can reach more people, including those who may have chosen to "cut the cord" to traditional streaming services. You also have a better chance of getting in front of the right people at the right time. OTT ads allow for a more targeted approach, which means that you can refine who sees them and see more results. 

OTT is also a highly cost-effective advertising medium. Often, OTT ads are less expensive than traditional television ads, while maintaining their potential to reach a wide audience and their customized approach. They also have a high overall ROI, which makes them a great place to put your marketing dollars. 

Additionally, OTT ads encourage immediate action. You can provide clickable CTAs that allow consumers to take immediate action when they view your ads, whether that means making a purchase, signing up for your mailing list, or viewing further content directly from your business. 

Many people watch OTT content on laptops, tablets, and smartphones, making that action easy. In fact, 65% of viewers use a second screen to look up info about a product while streaming content directly from a smart TV. The ability to respond quickly to those ads can allow you to see more immediate results from your advertising efforts. 

In addition to its other benefits, OTT allows for highly targeted advertising--and makes it possible for you to retarget consumers who may have seen your OTT ads. With OTT ads, you can more easily track both consumer engagement and their other online behaviors, so you can tailor your ads accordingly. 

Are You Ready to Get Started with OTT?

OTT has immense power to help you reach your target audience and learn more about their needs and responses. As part of an integrated advertising campaign, it can help increase brand recognition, improve consumer response, and encourage a deeper connection with your business. 

Working with a media partner can help make the entire process easier and increase your results. A media partner can help you create the right content for your platform, then provide critical advice about where and when to disperse it: the programs most often watched by your target audience, the times when they're most likely to watch that content, and even the types of OTT ads that drive the highest levels of response in your consumers. With more consumers than ever streaming content, it's time to shift your advertising plans to include OTT.

Topics: Streaming & OTT