Since the late 2010s, traditional broadcast and cable television have been on the decline. Why? The growing popularity of internet-connected TVs (CTV) and the platforms that provide over-the-top (OTT) delivery of streaming and video on demand (VOD) content.
Since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, this trend has absolutely skyrocketed with people turning away from broadcast and cable viewing to watch OTT platforms such as Netflix on their CTV devices.
Numerous studies have confirmed that a massive paradigm shift to CTV and OTT is, indeed, in full swing. Forbes Magazine has reported on many of these studies including a Leichtman Research Group survey that found more than 80 percent of television households have least one CTV device. This penetration rate is higher than those for cable-connected TVs. Forbes also quotes a study by CTV device manufacturer Vizio, which reports that only roughly one-third of all television viewing is now broadcast- or cable-based. This represents a nearly 28 percent decrease from just two years ago.
So, as the world continues to turn away from traditional television viewing to the CTV/OTT model, businesses and the marketers who represent them have been forced to keep pace. To stay ahead of the competitive curve, your company should take a serious look at connected advertising today — beginning with a firm understanding of CTV, OTT, and the distinction between them.
CTV and OTT Defined
Although they are often confused with each other, over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) are actually different elements of content delivery that work together to provide news and entertainment programming.
The term CTV refers to an electronic device that connects to or is embedded within a television to support streaming and VOD content. Popular consumer CTV brands include Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation, and Xbox.
The term OTT refers to the online content delivery platforms that are accessible through a CTV device. Whether they are subscription-based, on-demand, or free of charge, these platforms are typically available on other devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, and desktops) in addition to connected TVs. Popular consumer OTT brands include Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.
CTV Ads Rise to Prominence
The rise of CTV and OTT is an integral part of the trend known as “cord-cutting” (abandoning traditional broadcast and/or cable in favor of streaming and/or VOD). Although the cord-cutting phenomenon is most widespread among younger millennial and Gen-Z viewers, it is becoming universally more popular across all age groups and demographics.
As they have been doing for well over a century, marketers are keen to follow audiences to the media formats and outlets that they value the most. In short, you must place your advertising where people’s eyes and ears are!
In recent years, this has meant a massive shift to CTV advertising on popular OTT platforms. Ad spend in the CTV sector has grown so fast that even the top forecasters in the media sector simply can’t keep up. For example, Insider Intelligence was forced to boost its 2022 US CTV ad spend forecast from $17.44 billion to $19.10 billion.
The Benefits of CTV Advertising
As people continue to turn to CTV viewing in record numbers, marketers have learned that they cannot only reach more people through CTV devices, but they can more effectively reach the target audience that is most valuable to them. By strategically placing ads on the platforms and programming that is most likely to generate high-quality sales leads, countless companies have been able to maximize return-on-investment (ROI) for their marketing dollar.
In fact, this cost-effective specificity has even allowed business-to-business (B2B) marketers to enter the television advertising arena in a major way. The broad, general preview of traditional broadcasting and cable formerly made B2B TV commercials a waste of money, to say the least.
Other key benefits of CTV adverting include its consumer tracking and data gathering capabilities, its strong support of interactive ads, and its cost per metric purchasing options. The cost per completed view (CPCV), for example, allows companies to pay for only fully viewed ads.
Take the Next Step
How can a business prepare for the opportunity to advertise in the CTV/OTT space? Seek the answer from a skilled digital marketer with an intimate understanding of your specific wants and needs.