Are You Down With OTT?

By Steven Barr • May 12, 2022

I spent part of the week speaking to experts in OTT advertising, and frankly I was amazed how much this has grown in the last two years. OTT advertising is an internet-based, non-skippable, immersive, video-on-demand content format that allows advertisers to engage with a unique audience that is committed to the content it is consuming.

OTT stands for Over-the-Top-Television, which originally referred to the devices that go “over” a cable box to provide the user access to TV content such as Roku or AppleTV.
OTT ads are considered the same as CTV advertising because OTT just refers to a larger platform. “CTV” or Connected TV means a television set connected to the internet. In comparison, OTT programming can be played on Connected TVs, but can also be streamed via mobile devices, tablets, or desktops.

OTT ads allow for superior targeting, much more so than linear television ads. Linear television ads are network and cable TV commercials. Linear TV spot pricing options are set at a premium. In comparison, OTT advertising is often available through auctions with a set budget determining the ideal placement. Advertisers can know ahead of time the exact audiences who will be viewing their ads.

Much like with original TV advertising, companies can purchase over-the-top advertising via a guaranteed media buy or real-time programmatic bidding. A guaranteed media buy offers the advertiser fixed pricing and impression numbers based on the audience reach and ad frequency.

We spoke briefly with Gary Mittman of Kerv Interactive about what is going on in the industry.

What’s the coolest thing about OTT advertising?
IN the OTT / CTV space it is offering the opportunity to think outside the box of traditional interstitial/interruptive TV ads. We are in an environment where the content owners can create formats and concepts that can provide the viewer a user curated experience and give the advertiser an optin user with true intent. 

How did the Pandemic Affect OTT Advertising?
With the advent of people being stuck at home and the expanding of the streaming channels we have begun to see subscription fatigue. Consumers are getting entertainment and content from multiple sources. This includes Social, OTT, CTV, Broadcast, Internet Streamers etc. This has caused networks like Netflix to see a decline in subscribers. As we have seen in the press they are now talking about AVOD or ad driven free content. We are at a convergence point of consumers trained to enjoy ad free content and the networks needing to  supplement with alternative and creative methods while keeping the viewers interested.

What type of first party data is being used to track?
In the CTV space it is a data driven process, in the OTT space the networks have the user viewing preference data. The question is can the registration data be used for other applications and maintain privacy boundaries.

What is a great way to target locally?
With CTV it is a standard process, but with the OTT networks they have detail on where the user is and can target the ad opportunities with the residence details. IF the user is on a digital device away from that location you have the IP address for now that can assist but there is question if that is going away in the future.

What is KERV offering that is different?
KERV provides a real-time visual analysis with sophisticated AI to understand, like the natural eye, what the viewer is seeing, this is converted into visual metadata and or contextual relevance.  WIth these data points KERV can provide a few paths of advertising applications; 1. Contextual data for programmatic relevant ad buys, 2. Creating object specific interactive experiences across all platforms and devices with our Automated ad creation platform. We are thinking out of the box to generate new and interactive experiences for both content and advertising alike. 

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