Why You Should Be Spending a Portion of Your Marketing Dollars in OTT

Why You Should Be Spending a Portion of Your Marketing Dollars in OTT

Are you down with OTT? Or, like the majority of us, have you heard this buzz term used before but aren’t quite sure what OTT is? In this article, we look to define OTT and identify why now is the time to include this medium in your marketing plans.

What is OTT?

In order to begin to really understand OTT, it is important to ensure you are starting with the right foundation. These two definitions1 from the IAB provide a great baseline:

  • Over the Top Device – A device that can connect to a TV (or functionality within the TV itself) to facilitate the delivery of Internet-based video content (Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV’s, game consoles, etc.)
  • Over the Top Video – Video content transported from a video provider to a connected device over the Internet outside the closed networks of telecom and cable providers

OTT content is delivered via applications on Connected TVs (CTV). This content consists of linear TV streaming services (ex: Sling, DirecTV Now), On-Demand Movie and TV content (ex: Popcornflix, Vudu), and digital content (Newsy, Buzzfeed).

When incorporating OTT into your marketing plan, your commercial will be served within this content either pre-roll (prior to the content), mid-roll (within the content), or post-roll (upon completion of the content).

Why Should You Move Marketing Dollars to OTT?

There will be nearly 200 millionunique OTT users this year! A large portion of the population is consuming OTT content on a regular basis and there is immense opportunity to reach this audience!

Delivering your commercial within OTT content allows you to extend the reach of your digital, and even your traditional, marketing campaigns in a highly engaging way. Your ad running on the big screen provides the impact of television advertising, with the one-to-one delivery model of digital. Not to mention, the big screen presents the opportunity of there being multiple viewers per one single impression!

What Type of Business is OTT Ideal for Right Now?

Any business that is currently running a traditional TV marketing campaign can also greatly benefit from an OTT campaign. While OTT does not yet offer the needle-in-the-haystack type targeting that other digital marketing mediums offer, it does allow for more advanced targeting than traditional television. For those businesses utilizing a traditional TV marketing campaign, pairing it with an OTT campaign can extend the reach of your campaign to CTV viewers and is a great way to maximize overall brand awareness!

Additional Things to Know Prior to Running Your First OTT Campaign

Transparency is crucial! OTT advertising campaigns are in their early stages so there is not an overwhelming amount of data that can be provided. However, there are some basics that your OTT campaign provider should be sharing with you.

Application Transparency

  • OTT is not yet capable of showcasing the exact content in which your ads are served. However, the applications in which your ad is served are available for report.
  • The OTT boom has given rise to a handful bogus applications that present no value to true marketing campaigns. Rigorous and regular scrubbing of all applications ensures that your ads are served appropriately in order to meet your business objectives. Look for a provider that is willing to showcase the top applications that your ads are serving to.

Completed View Rate

  • OTT ads are non-skippable and are played to the big screen. As such, there should be a completed view rate above 85% – 90% for your OTT campaign. If you are receiving completed view rates lower than this, your OTT provider should look to adjust this immediately, as there is something funky going on with your campaign.


  • This one is pretty standard, but if you are running an OTT campaign, it is important to know how many times your ad was seen!

While the items listed above are very important to see in your report, there are a few metrics that are not so important… Really there is one main metric that should not be applicable to OTT.


  • Being that OTT is a digital marketing medium, it is almost blasphemous to suggest that clicks are not an important metric, however, they simply are not for OTT.
  • As identified in this article, OTT ads are delivered to Connected TVs and very rarely, if ever, are these ads being “clicked on”. The CTR for an OTT campaign will likely be similar to the CTR for a traditional TV campaign: 0%.
  • If you do see a high CTR for your campaign, you should look into this – as it could be a warning sign that your ads are being served to mobile or desktop devices!

OTT advertising is a growing marketing medium and one that is tremendously impactful for the business already utilizing it. If you have not already, now is the time to consider including OTT as part of your marketing plan!



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