With more consumers choosing to cut the cord, digital platforms offer a convenient and customizable way to watch television. Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have experienced huge surges in viewership over the last few years and show no signs of slowing. Television networks have also taken advantage of the evolving digital landscape, offering their own streaming services and apps. Over the Top (OTT) advertising is a way to get your message in front of these tech-savvy television watchers. It delivers ads to television viewers through:
- Desktop and iOS devices
- Smart TVs
- Gaming consoles
- And more
What makes Over The Top (OTT) advertising so appealing?
OTT platforms allow advertisers to blur the line between traditional and nontraditional advertising. They allow brands to reach audiences through a digital platform while they are engaging with traditional television content. The value of OTT ads is that due to the nature of the platform, there are not nearly as many commercials as there are in the traditional television environment. Because many of these channels are “on demand” or subscription-based services, they offer far less commercials in an effort to improve user experience. Thus, a video ad shown on these channels has far less to compete with. They also are unskippable, have 100% share of voice and do not give viewers the chance to simply change the channel. And since most of these services require the viewer to log in, there is also a highly reduced risk of fraud or bot traffic.
While the above characteristics of OTT advertising typically lead to a higher cost per impression than videos on standard online platforms, the benefits may outweigh the increased costs. According to a recent FreeWheel study, video ads on OTT devices have an average completion rate of 98%. Clearly, video ads on these platforms are being watched.
Who’s doing the watching?
Consumers who have access to OTT devices tend to skew slightly younger and more affluent than their more traditional television-watching counterparts. These consumers tend to have purchasing power. Millennials, a much-desired audience segment, are highly engaged with OTT devices. It is becoming more common for millennials to access their television through these channels instead of through cable or broadcast TV. Some of the most popular networks viewed through OTT devices include ESPN, MTV, Bravo, HGTV, MSNBC and Food Network. With OTT viewership quickly growing, it is likely that advertisers will continue to jump into this ad space in the future.