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The number of “Over-the-Air” homes, or homes that have cut the literal cord and ditched cable for streaming services, has increased significantly in the past decade, with more than 16 million households and growing using nothing but streaming media in their homes. Unlike traditional TV advertising, OTA advertising is done in different formats because it has the unique ability to target audiences based on specific interests, videos, and content targeting.

While the blanket approach to marketing via watchable media is still used by some, it’s not the only choice and it may not even be the best choice anymore. Before you can capitalize on the advertising power of this new type of programming, though, you have to understand how it works. The biggest confusion for most is the discussion of CTV and OTT. While both are a type of Over-the-Air service, their source is what makes them different.

OTT: Over the Top, or any video content streamed from the Internet on a computer or mobile device. This includes Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, and similar services.

CTV: Connected TV, or devices that are connected to the Internet to stream media. Examples of CTV include Roku TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast.

Why Does It Matter?

The most fundamental difference between CTV and OTT is exactly why it matters. CTV advertising plays on the device directly, allowing marketers to connect with viewers despite the content they are watching. OTT advertising is similar to the ads you see on a site like YouTube. An ad will be shown before, during, and/or after a piece of content, which can generally be skipped after a few seconds. The ad selected is based on the content chosen, not the streaming service or device being used.

CTV, on the other hand, allows you to select the publishers where you want your ads displayed from a private marketplace, which gives you the chance to display advertising right next to premium content on various platforms and hardware. This allows marketers to increase viewer engagement by focusing more precisely on niche audiences based on things like:

  • Persona
  • Age and gender
  • Income level
  • Intent
  • Household information

Other Benefits of CTV Ads

CTV is beneficial in so many ways. In addition to using first- and third-party data to find the ideal audience on ALL screens, it also utilizes data and analytics that provide more accurate targeting and tracking, improving campaigns on several levels. While access to a wider audience is definitely a huge perk for this type of advertising, the one thing that makes it stand out is the unique retargeting market.

Double dipping, or even triple-dipping, is totally possible and makes retargeting even more effective when you choose CTV ads. The average person has multiple CTV devices in their home. Just think for a minute– how often are you watching TV while using your mobile device, or scrolling through video clips on your tablet while your spouse watches their favorite show? The more devices viewers have, the more likely it is that they’ll come across CTV ads.

Plus, you can use CTV in tandem with your OTT ads, so that people who might skip your ads on YouTube or Netflix may still run into them again on their Roku TV or when watching shows on their Fire Stick. Not only is your targeting more accurate, but you’re getting more chances for people to come across your ads, too. You can build relationships across devices, reach back out to people who may have forgotten about you, and even allow people to transition between devices when engaging with your ads or going from your ad to your website.

People Are Tired of Ads

Today’s consumer is exhausted from all of the advertising that runs rampant on the Internet and in the world around us. In fact, most people tune out the majority of passive advertising simply because it’s such a “normal” part of daily life. If you are going to get viewers engaged, let alone increase that engagement, you really have to work to reach the most viewers and to reach them in as many ways as you can.

That’s exactly what CTV ads do. They’re addressing all of the concerns of old school advertising and helping brands find the right people at the right time, no matter what website, device, or streaming platform they might be using. When combined as a part of your overall advertising strategy, it may prove to be one of your most profitable marketing efforts.

It’s Not Either/Or: The CTV and OTT Overlap

Technically speaking, CTV ads are a small offshoot of traditional OTT advertising. Thus, it’s not about choosing one or the other for your marketing needs, but about combining the two in an effective strategy to get the best return on your investment. When you set up a successful digital advertising campaign, you will want to employ the best aspects of both OTT ads and CTV ads to maximize your reach and increase lead generation.

Digital advertising is tricky, but it’s not something that you have to do on your own. Contact the team at REIN for a dedicated solution to take your ads to the next level. Our holistic, experiential marketing agency is all about changing the way you target to get results, and right now the market is hot for CTV advertising.

We’ll work with you to come up with a solid strategy for video advertising that includes CTV and OTT ads targeted at specific segments and audiences across various content and devices. Diversity and reach are critical factors for marketing success, and this new solution for advertising to the growing market of OTA customers encompasses that and so much more. Call us now to learn more and get started.


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