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Blogs

Using Over-the-Top Ads to Reach Audiences

Blogs

By Bonnie Wohler
Digital Advertising Sales Strategist

Read time: 3 minutes 

Most U.S. households (72%) are now reachable by programmatic over-the-top (OTT) or connected TV (CTV) advertising.1 Streaming usage is continually growing – and advertisers are ready to get a piece of the pie. 

How do I know? Local OTT ad spending is expected to grow by 21.4% by 2024.2  

But to many, OTT is a mystery. What is it? What are the benefits? It’s not just another cool acronym, but a really powerful tool in your media mix.  

What is OTT advertising?  

Over-the-top ads are commercials served to users streaming content (shows, movies, etc.) through an internet or Wi-Fi connection, without traditional TV service. The term itself refers to how the content is delivered or consumed – and is device agnostic. Think TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops – all your connected screens.  

When you hear OTT, you may think of one of the most popular services – Roku. The Amazon Fire Stick is another prevalent streaming option.  

Why does OTT advertising work?  

  • Reaches customers at home or on the go with placements on TVs and mobile devices. 
  • Uses premium content and full-length episodic inventory. 
  • Has competitive pricing with a broader device mix. 
  • Targets down to the zip code level. 
  • Uses non-skippable inventory. 

Comparing OTT to Other Video Ad Types  

Video is king! People love consuming their favorite content in video form – they just can’t get enough. But with so many mediums, how do they all compare?  

Quick Defintions

Over-the-Top: Over-the-top delivers streaming content through an internet connection, without a traditional TV service. 

Connected TV: CTV refers to the specific device used to consume the content and consists of only large-screen, long-format content. 

Pre-Roll: Short videos that play before online videos. 

  OTT CTV Pre-Roll
Content
  • 15-seconds
  • 30-seconds
  • Non-skippable
  • 15-seconds 
  • 30-seconds
  • Non-skippable
  • 15-seconds
  • Skippable or non-skippable 
Devices
  • Smart TVs
  • Internet-connected TVs
  • Desktop 
  • Mobile 
  • Tablet
  • Smart TVs
  • Internet-connected TVs via gaming consoles or streaming devices
  • Desktop
  • Mobile 
  • Tablet
Performance (Video Completion Rate)3 80%+ 90%+ 60%+
Networks/Content
  • Mostly long-form, premium content
  • Additional short-form content and networks
  • Mostly long-form, premium content 
  • Known networks such as ESPN, TBS, TNT, HGTV, etc. 
  • Websites and apps with video player capability
Targeting Zip codes  Zip codes 
  • Zip codes 
  • Demographics
  • Interest-based 

 

Best Practices for OTT Ads

When it comes to creating your video, I asked my friends on Midco’s Creative Services team to provide a couple tips. Here’s what they came up with:  

Short and Sweet  

Explaining your business in 30-seconds or less may seem daunting, but it’s a must for today’s average audience. Stay focused and to the point to captivate viewers right away.  

Format Across Devices  

From big TV screens to small smartphone screens, format your commercial for all types of devices – since OTT reaches everything.  

Create for Your Audience  

Take time to get to know your audience. Who are you trying to reach? How will they react when seeing your ad? Audience-centric advertising should always be top of mind.  

Recommended next: A Culture of Creativity Makes for Innovative Production Team

Get in on the ground floor.

If you’re ready to expand your audience targeting through over-the-top advertising, we’re ready to explore your targeting and placement options.  

 Request a Consultation  Find a Consultant  Call 1.800.888.1300

About Bonnie Wohler

Bonnie WohlerDigital Advertising Sales Strategist Bonnie Wohler has more than 15 years of experience in the advertising industry. In her role, she helps launch and train on new digital offerings, provides tools and resources for Midco advertising sales consultants, supports consultants in talking digital to clients and strategizes next steps. Wohler earned her bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Kansas. 

About Bonnie Wohler

Bonnie WohlerDigital Advertising Sales Strategist Bonnie Wohler has more than 15 years of experience in the advertising industry. In her role, she helps launch and train on new digital offerings, provides tools and resources for Midco advertising sales consultants, supports consultants in talking digital to clients and strategizes next steps. Wohler earned her bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Kansas. 

This material includes references to other products, services and/or equipment not manufactured by Midco. The respective companies retain trademark and registered trademark ownership for those referenced items. 
1 State of Connected TV/OTT: Ad Supply Trends Report, Q32020 
2 BIA 
3 Video completion rates are based on cumulative Midco campaign performance and do not guarantee results. 

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