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Streaming Video Ads in Television

OTT (over the top) streaming refers to any streaming service that delivers content over the internet with Netflix being the most known example of such a service. The streaming service acts is independent from the internet cable provider who has no possibility to control what a user is viewing. With other words OTT services act like a platform “over” the standard cable provider and end user, therefore the name “over the top”.


This means, viewers do not need to subscribe to a traditional TV network provider (cable or satellite) to be able to watch television content via OTT. Instead of this, with OTT programming viewers can watch all content that can be streamed over the public internet. With a device like a mobile phone or smart TV, OTT streaming can be done at any time over the internet and with completely skipping TV providers.


The benefits of OTT can be applied to general marketing and video marketing. In short, the crucial difference between traditional TV advertising and OTT advertising is who is controlling the advertising. In traditional TV, the television networks and corporations were fully controlling the advertisement and its contents across specific geographic regions.

On the contrary with OTT marketers have now a tool to reach target audiences directly and to bypass traditional TV networks. This can be done by running video ads (video ads streaming) in the form of interruptions, banner ads, sponsored contents and more.


Following the above-said, OTT can be described as the method of delivering video content which differs from the question on which device it is delivered. As mentioned above, all kind of internet-connected devices can be used for OTT streaming. In terms of TV devices this means that smart TVs (such as Google TV), set-up boxes (such as Nvidia Schield) and gaming consoles (such as PlayStation & Xbox) can also be connected. These devices are commonly referred to as CTV devices (connected TV devices) and watching from them is called streaming OTT over CTV while watching from a mobile device would simply be called streaming OTT.


Streaming video ads over CTV compared to streaming OTT is not only a question of what type of device is being used in a technical sense. From a marketing point of view, advertising with CTV and mobile devices happens through different marketing channels and naturally the question arises which of both is more promising. The CTV market has seen considerable growth in 2021 with more and more household cutting off contracts with traditional TV network providers, giving marketers tremendous opportunities to step in and to reach an ever-growing audience.


Another advantage of CTV video streaming is the possibility to do metric measurements of marketing campaigns. Evidently, CTV advertising is also much more cost-effective and provides access to the internet which allows enhanced targeting and the constant adjustment of marketing strategies as in other online campaigns, including segmentation and retargeting of leads or prospects. Marketers can carefully choose when and where to place their advertisements, which is an advantage to both, traditional TV campaigns and offline advertising. Already at this stage most households are possessing a CTV device and this rate is expected to reach more than 90% by the year 2025.



A final thought about TV respectively CTV advertisements in comparison with other digital marketing tools. Various research has shown that TV ads - in an average ad second - draw twice the attention YouTube and 15 times that of Facebook. In this context the coverage, which escribes the proportion of the screen that the ad covers, is of particular importance. Coverage could also be described as the grade of visibility of an advertisement. In studies the latter was not only defined by the viewer’s interaction with a certain marketing channel, but also by the nature of a used device. For example, it was found out that view mobile phone users are watching video advertisements in full-screen mode. On average, in terms of coverage respectively visibility, Facebook achieved about 10% of the screen compared to YouTube which is about 30%. By comparison, TV always displays 100% pixels, 100% coverage, 100% of the time.

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