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What is CTV?

A Connected TV (CTV) is a device that connects to a television to support video content streaming from the web. Different types of CTVs include Xbox, PlayStation, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and more. CTV also connects to the internet and broadcasts internet content through the tv using the device as the intermediary.

What is OTT?

Over the Top TV (OTT) is named because of its delivery of programming beyond the even most expanive cable TV offerings. OTT services enable viewers to choose and stream exactly the type of content they want: TV shows, movies, video games, and more. Furthermore, viewers can consume what they want, when they want. OTT includes platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. 

Programs on OTT platforms can be streamed through any device, including a connected TV, but are not limited to TV. They can also be streamed through mobile devices, laptops, phones, and tablets. Most OTT content is viewed via CTV. 

The pandemic saw a rise in households using CTVs and OTT over regular television programming. It is expected that the use of CTV will only continue to grow. With more than 182 million subscribers to OTT services in the United States alone and more than 820 million connected devices, that’s a large market share, and advertisers are paying attention.  

What Makes CTV/OTT Advertising Different from Traditional TV?

CTV advertising services enables brands to connect to their audience through their CTVs and OTT devices. CTV offers brands the possibility to connect with their target audience. Ads can be tailored and markets segmented to target individuals not just specific OTT content. CTV further allows advertisers to reach audiences with more interactive ads, which creates opportunities for data collection and more detailed target marketing. Ads can be targeted not just to a particular TV show, but to a specific set of users. 

OTT Advertising vs. CTV Advertising

So what’s the difference between CTV ads and those appearing in OTT? 

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CTV advertising allows users to connect more directly with users in ways that parallel social media. Users who fit a target market segment can be reached directly. Behavioral targeting is made easier through the interactive nature of many ads and through data regarding which programs are being watched and at what times of the day. 

OTT ads, on the other hand, are usually aired prior to specific TV shows or content. They can be customized to fit a specific audience based on the content, but there’s less data available about user’s behavior and therefore less ability to customize. 

As you can see, there is a difference between the two with CTV providing brands more opportunities to connect with specific users and greater odds of success. 

The Future of CTV Advertising

Because of its ability to accurately connect with users, brands are investing heavily in CTV and OTT. According to Insider Intelligence, US upfront CTV video ad spending will increase by 49.5% this year to $4.51 billion. It is now expected that more than $30 billion will be spent on CTV ads by 2025. 

How to Determine Which Channel is Best for Your Marketing Efforts

Both CTV and OTT advertising opens the door to a large demographic of users who are no longer accessible on traditional or cable television channels. So which method is best for your business? It will of course depend on how you want users to interact with your brand. While both CTV and OTT are exciting advertising frontiers with great potential and growth expected, any advertising decision should be made with research and data. Consider the following factors:

  1. Know Your Audience

Decide who your target audience is, first and foremost. If your audience is broad, then OTT advertising, which is more akin to traditional television advertising, might be an ideal outlet. Ads can be positioned in front of certain programs, this casts a wider net and will alert a larger base of your brand. 

If you already know exactly who your audience is and want to tap into a specific, niche audience, then CTV would better suit your objectives, especially if you are targeting an audience that has already interacted with your content in other ways. 

  1. What Type of Content Does Your Audience Use? 

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Another data point to consider is the type of content your audience engages with most frequently. Does your audience watch a specific type of entertainment such as TV murder mysteries, or stand-up comedy programs, or do they exclusively play video games? This type of information will help decide which advertising platform would be most effective. 

  1. What Types of Media Does Your Audience Consume? 

Another factor to consider is what other types of media your audience consumes. Perhaps they spend lots of time on Instagram or another social media channel, as well as using CTV. Using a multifold approach to connect with users in more than one platform often yields outstanding results. The media consumed by your audience will influence whether you opt for CTV or OTT within the digital programming sphere. 

If you’re unsure which type of advertising would best suit your audience and your needs, getting in touch with a trusted media partner is a good idea. 

About Pixel506

Pixel506 is a nearshore agency that offers affordable ways to market your business through innovative technologies, strategic advisory services, and creative digital marketing campaigns. We provide end-to-end digital marketing solutions including research and analytics, branding, user experience design, software development, SEO, SEM, and more.

Founded in 2009, Pixel506 has over a decade of experience helping U.S.-based companies succeed in the digital world. Regardless of your industry, sector or size, we can work with your budget, and help you decide what types of advertising are worth the investment. Our skilled professionals are more than happy to help you evaluate if CTV/OTT advertising is for you. Contact us today to set up an online meeting to discuss your specific needs.

Key Takeaways

  • CTV advertising enables brands to connect to their audience through their Connected TV (CTV) and Over The Top (OTT) devices. 
  • CTV offers brands the possibility to connect with their target audience. Ads can be tailored and markets segmented to target individuals not just specific OTT content.
  • CTV advertising allows users to connect more directly with users in ways that parallel social media.
  • OTT ads, on the other hand, are usually aired prior to specific tv shows or content.
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