What is OTT?

Alexandra McMahon

Alexandra McMahon About The Author

May 26, 2021 2:43:00 PM

What is OTT?

One growing platform that more and more advertisers are using today is OTT, which involves advertising on streaming platforms of all types. Today, over 52% of adults in the US use a minimum of one OTT service and almost a third of people ages 55 and older watch content through OTT services. Using OTT advertising can be a great way to connect with audiences who aren't watching traditional TV and increase ad spend. Still wondering, "What is OTT advertising?" Here we'll review how these services work and how to utilize OTT platforms for advertising.  

OTT, which stands for "over-the-top," is a type of media service that people can view or listen to through the internet. One key fact you should know about OTT is that it's exclusively online, differentiating it from traditional media. While many people still watch traditional TV, the versatility of online OTT services is making them increasingly popular among consumers. People can watch their favorite movies and TV shows or listen to songs and podcasts using these services. 

What Platforms Are OTT? 

Screen Shot 2021-05-13 at 2.45.49 PMOTT platforms are certain streaming services, not to be confused with CTV or connected TV. While a connected TV is a type of TV that allows for internet connectivity and streaming apps, OTT platforms are the channels and applications used for streaming.  

Depending on the service, there are many types of OTT platforms available to advertisers. For video streaming, platforms include Hulu, YouTube, and other video-on-demand services and subscription TV channels such as HBO Max. It's also possible to stream audio on platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud for music and podcast networks.  

In addition to CTVs, i.e., smart TVs, other devices commonly used for streaming OTT content include Roku devices, Apple TVs, Chromecast, Amazon Firesticks, and gaming consoles. 

Are OTT Ads Worth It? 

OTT ads give you access to demographics that are otherwise more challenging for advertisers to reach. Additionally, OTT ads can connect with people who also watch traditional TV along with streaming services. Regardless of whom you want to target, OTT media enables you to reach nearly any audience.  

A growing number of people are streaming OTT content, with around 80% of American adults streaming content on their mobile devices every week. Considering the fact that so many people are streaming regularly, this medium gives you plenty of opportunities to expand your reach with digital ads. You'll especially get more mileage out of your video ads, including repurposed TV commercials. If you can combine TV and digital marketing with OTT in the mix, you'll be able to boost your brand awareness, sales, and ROI significantly. 

What Are OTT's Advertising Opportunities? 

OTT is a continually growing platform, giving you the chance to connect with millions of consumers who might not be as easy to target elsewhere. At the same time, many changes occur with OTT today, most notably with the recent launches of Disney's and NBC's streaming services. If you're unsure about the kinds of options available with OTT, there will only be more methods of utilizing OTT platforms. 

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One of the critical advantages of OTT compared to other marketing channels is the ability to hyper-target people within specific niches. While TV ads and other digital advertising allow you to target people based on general interests, you can get even more specific with OTT services.   

For example, you can appeal to movie and TV show-lovers of all genres with services such as Hulu and Tubi. If you want to connect with people who enjoy documentaries exclusively, Curiosity Stream is another option. Through Pandora and Spotify, you can target avid music-listeners, and many podcast apps feature a growing number of hyper-specific topics.   

There's no shortage of opportunities available to advertisers with the right OTT platform. You can target nearly anyone of any demographic, with the chance to reach people through almost any channel imaginable. As a result, you can be confident that your ad creative connects with potential customers on the platforms they use the most. This will help ensure that people recognize your brand with repeat exposure and attract more customers. 

Reap the Benefits of OTT Advertising with a Far-Reaching Strategy 

If you want to make sure you reach your audiences with ads that resonate, OTT is an invaluable tool to have as an advertiser. With growing audiences and the chance to connect with people who might not see you as easily on other platforms, you'll be able to see great results through these platforms. Whether you advertise on video streaming platforms or place your ads on music streaming or podcast applications, the opportunities are numerous. When used in conjunction with other types of ads, OTT can gear your business for long-term success.