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CTV & OTT Advertising: 2022 Guide for Marketers

What is Connected TV (CTV) Advertising & Over-The-Top (OTT) Advertising? How should marketers be thinking about each platform? Read our 2022 Guide today!

The Rise of CTV and OTT Advertising

It’s been a time of immense growth and disruption for media, and television has seen some of the biggest changes of all. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ have forever altered how consumers watch TV, where they choose to watch, and when.

According to Nielsen, audiences now spend nearly 30% of their total TV time watching over-the-top video (OTT) content. EMarketer predicts that time spent with media consumed via connected devices like Connected TV (CTV) and internet-connected gaming consoles will continue to increase, thanks to the ongoing growth in popularity of OTT video streaming services.

As movie and TV viewing habits gravitate toward digital platforms, brands have an opportunity to activate targeted CTV and OTT video advertising at scale and at a lower cost than traditional linear TV advertising. What’s the benefit of shifting to streaming? Research shows that as of 2021, 78% of all US households now have a subscription to a video on-Demand (SVOD) service like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu.

This complete guide will answer all your questions about CTV and OTT advertising and get you started. Let’s start with the basics of understanding the differences between CTV and OTT.

CTV vs OTT

What is Connected TV (CTV) advertising and Over-the-top (OTT) advertising, and how should marketers be thinking about each platform? To help understand the differences and the benefits of each, we dive into both to help define how OTT and CTV can fit into marketers’ overall media mix and discuss the differences between CTV and OTT advertising.

What is OTT Advertising?

OTT stands for ‘over-the-top.’ It refers to TV content streamed over the internet without the need to be subscribed to a traditional cable box service.

OTT content is usually high-quality, long-form video. OTT content can be viewed on various device types – CTV, Mobile, Tablet, Desktop.

Over-the-top advertising, also known as OTT, is advertising directly to consumers over the internet to their devices – such as desktops, laptops, phones and tablets. OTT ads are delivered via streaming, and bypass TV providers. OTT digital advertising is advantageous because it allows companies to directly reach their audiences over a variety of devices.

What is CTV Advertising?

CTV is a subset of OTT and stands for ‘Connected TV.’ Essentially, we are talking about the type of device on which OTT content is viewed.

CTV includes: Smart TVs, a television with a built-in internet connection and media platform; and connected device, such as Roku, that plugs into a TV, and the internet to enable apps and video streaming regardless of whether the TV itself is “smart;” and game consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox.

Connected TV advertising, or CTV advertising, is a form of OTT advertising that is streamed directly to your television or other CTV devices.

What is the relationship between OTT and CTV?

Media content that is watched over an internet connection is known as over-the-top, or OTT. When OTT content is watched on the big screen, it’s known as CTV, or Connected TV. With GroundTruth’s OTT advertising, you can reach the right audience at the right time, on any platform. You can target audiences based on their behaviors, interests, demographics, and location. You can also trigger ads based on contextual information.

What are the benefits of streaming advertising?

There are many benefits to advertising over streaming content on the big screen. The main one is an enhanced consumer ad experience. Ads on the big screen can provide an interactive visual ad experience that no other medium can. Not only that, connected TV ads are non-skippable and are high quality, meaning that your audiences will likely sit through your entire ad.

You may be wondering if people are really watching ad-supported streaming content. The answer is yes! Not only are people watching ad-supported streaming TV, they prefer it! According to Deloitte’s latest Digital media trends, 65 percent of respondents said they’re comfortable watching ads to eliminate or reduce subscription costs—and that, given a choice, they prefer ad-supported options for watching streaming video services.

Benefits of OTT & CTV Advertising

Shifting your linear TV marketing spend to advance TV solutions such as OTT and CTV allows you to optimize your audience segmentation and targeting towards meaningful business outcomes like visits and sales.

Because OTT and CTV are digital platforms, marketers can plan their video campaigns the same way as their mobile and desktop initiatives. GroundTruth’s Ads Manager platform allows you to activate targeting capabilities that don’t exist with traditional linear TV ads. Video ads can be deployed across premium inventory — giving marketers the ability to extend the value of their campaigns — and measured via impressions, reach, video completion rate, and visits, all of which can be optimized for ongoing performance.

OTT and CTV advertising can also help you reach consumers who have moved from traditional linear TV to streaming services. Pew Research Center reports that 76% of surveyed consumers watched TV via cable or satellite in 2015 — but that number dropped to just 56% in 2021 as “cord-cutters” continue to realize they can access the content they’re interested in online.

Is ConnectedTV and OTT advertising the same as placing an ad on linear television?

Targeting on Connected TV is not about basing your ad campaigns on content alone and hoping that the right audience sees your ad, it’s much more targeted than that. It’s focused on reaching specific audiences that align with your customer base.

At GroundTruth we use intent data to identify relevant audiences that align with a brand’s business. For example, if a dealership is trying to reach auto intenders, placing their commercial on CNN, the Cooking Channel, or ESPN alone will likely yield very low ROI because there is no guarantee that a person who is in the market to buy a car sees your ad. However, targeting those who have recently visited a dealership through CTV/OTT can not only reach potential buyers, but drive them to your location using an omnichannel strategy.

Location + OTT & CTV = Business Growth

Offline behavior is one of the most accurate data signals a marketer can employ within their marketing strategies, regardless of the media channel they decide to use. That’s because it differentiates meaningful business-related outcomes from aspirational behavior.

Marketers who aren’t yet using offline behavioral-based marketing solutions could be wasting their ad spend on customers who aren’t far along enough in the buyer’s journey to become customers. Partnering with GroundTruth ensures that your marketing solutions — including CTV and OTT — are powered by location data insights.

With GroundTruth’s offline behavioral-based audiences, geographic targeting, and measurable results, you can reach consumers when and where they’re most likely to engage with your brand. As consumers continue to change their TV habits and shift toward OTT content, gaining more knowledge of this opportunity — along with a trusted ad partner — will be the key to long-term success.

So now you’re ready! After our brief introduction, you can start preparing your OTT and CTV ads today. Learn more about how GroundTruth connects you to your streaming audiences with GroundTruth’s OTT & CTV Platform.

Ruben Osorio
Director, Content & Communications Marketing - Sales Marketing