Over the Top Ads: What are They and do They Work?

Video streaming has become one of the most popular, effective, and efficient means of reaching trendy viewers. It has become the best option for brands to engage their targeted audience during the discovery marketing phase.

As video streaming viewership continues to grow over time, stats show that 80% of United States adults use websites and mobile apps to view content online regularly. And some of these video streams are done through over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Disney plus, Hulu, HBO Max, and other streaming platforms.

These OTT advertising platforms have allowed marketers and brands to reach a wide range of audiences. However, most businesses still need to learn about what OTT advertising entails. This article will teach you everything about OTT advertising and how it works.

What are Over-The-Top Ads?

Over-the-top refers to services streaming digital content to a mobile device or TV. Some of the instruments classified as OTT are:

  • Gaming consoles
  • DVR set-top boxes
  • Smart TVs
  • Streaming boxes (Android TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV)
  • HDMI sticks
  • Smart Blu-Ray/DVD player with internet access.

Over-the-top advertising is like ads on TV. It is a form of streaming advertising for companies and brands in between videos on OTT platforms. OTT ads are streamed through the internet on an OTT platform. This form of advertising benefits marketers and brands because ads are shown to interested audiences, increasing conversion rate, unlike the broad targeting of traditional TV commercials. And with high TV viewership statistics of over 80% of U.S adults, it’s the best option for SMEs and Fortune 500 businesses.

How Does OTT Advertising Work?

Video streaming platforms allow viewers to watch movies, TV shows, videos, and more by paying a subscription fee or for free. These platforms allow marketers and brands to advertise their products or services to subscribers.

When you use OTT ads, your ad will be shown when a viewer watches content (movie or TV show) on a video streaming platform. You can display a short ad 15 seconds before a video or during a commercial break.

Once you use the right advertising strategy for your brand or client, you can use OTT ads to boost your brand publicity. You can reach more of your target audience to increase your revenue through boosted sales.

How are Over-The-Top Ads Delivered?

There are specific steps to take when delivering an advertisement on an OTT platform. The method of ad delivery differs based on the ad protocol, its compatibility with an OTT device, and its relevance to the platform. The steps to deliver an ad include the following:

  • The first step involves grouping the audience to suit the requirement of the ad campaign. The audience list is extracted from the platform database, and qualitative metrics are used to filter the list.
  • After the audience grouping, the OTT ad supporter will link the list to a specific subscriber listing on various OTT platforms before launching the ad.
  • The next step is to play the ad to the audience. Tags are instructions for the media player to advertise to the viewers.
  • The final steps involve submitting reports to the advertisers regarding the result of the ad campaign.

Benefits of Over-The-Top Advertising

Marketers and brands who have used OTT advertising can attest to the success of their ad campaigns. Here are a few benefits of OTT platforms for advertising from the marketers/brand view.

  • Reduces Ad Cost: Through audience grouping and targeting, OTT ads can widen your brand reach and reduce your ad cost. OTT ads are structured so that they are only shown to interested viewers.
  • Targeting: Over-the-top advertising helps group the targeted audience for your ad, boost the specificity levels in advertising the content, and keep the ad short for viewers.
  • Ad Runs Flexibly: The places and time of video ads can be changed, as OTT platforms make options for it, primarily on-demand and live streaming.
  • Reports Analysis: One of the main objectives of advertising with OTT platforms is to reach respective audiences and gain engagement with the business content. The ad report obtained after the conclusion of the ad campaign is then used to measure the ad’s impact using measurable metrics and KPIs.

Over-The-Top Video Content

Over-the-top video content can be distributed across various platforms and viewed on numerous devices. Examples of OTT videos include:

  • Video on demand.
  • In-line videos on a site.
  • Videos on social media.

As time progresses, OTT platforms keep increasing their options for advertisers. Some of which include:

  • Online Video (OLV): These ads are shown in the context of an article posted on social media platforms (YouTube, TikTok) which can be user-generated.
  • Video on demand: This option can take various formats, but the most common feature is that consumers are in charge of when they view the content/ad. Instead of being forced to adhere to a schedule. Types of VOD include:
    • Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD): These ads involve free platforms like Freevee, Tubi, and Peacock.
    • Subscription-based Video on Demand (SVOD): This involves paid platforms like BritBox, Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+, where viewers are given access to the platform’s video library free of advertisement for a small fee.
    • AVOD-SVOD: These platforms offer many price points, allowing subscribers to pay an increased subscription fee to remove ads from their viewing experience. An example of such a platform is Hulu.
  • Pay-Per-View (PPV): Some OTT platforms make premium content available for their subscribers for a specific time frame for a fee. A recent example was the early release of Encanto on Disney+.

Conclusion

With OTT viewership skyrocketing, opportunities become endless for advertisers to adopt OTT ads to boost their sales. With this innovation, you can stay ahead of your competitors and obtain an enormous market share of your product or service.

Several companies of different sizes have leveraged OTT ads to reach their audience creatively and uniquely. As a marketer or business owner, consider adding OTT advertising as part of your marketing strategy to engage your targeted audience in relevant ways.

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