Rising to The Top with OTT

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive home from a long day at work? For me, I get into comfy clothes and settle in to my couch for a night of watching the tube.

While this nightly ritual of watching television has not changed in America for decades, the type of content we’re watching, and how we’re watching it, has. Instead of just flipping on the television like in the “old days,” you now have a range of options to choose how and what you will be viewing them.

For example, you can use your smart TV for Netflix and binge watch “Stranger Things.” Or you can use your Roku to watch the newest episode of “Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu. And don’t forget about those segments on YouTube that you’ll be catching up on with your phone or tablet!

If you touch any portion of media in your job, then you likely have heard about the hype of OTT – Over-The-Top – media services, when video content is delivered through the Internet without requiring users to subscribe to paid TV services like cable or satellite. As an advertising agency, our buyers are inundated with new OTT options from media vendors daily. Whether it’s placing direct content through publishers or buying a broader range of content through digital programmatic platforms, the options are currently somewhat unlimited.

Nielsen reports that about two-thirds of all U.S. TV households have at least one device in the home that is capable of streaming content to a television. With this statistic, it’s important to consider OTT as a part of your media mix for video advertising. Here are a few things to keep top of mind when you’re deciding to purchase OTT media this year:

Target Audience

OTT provides the ability to reach a specific target, including features like zip code, demographics, lifestyle and interests. For effective results, your OTT partner needs to have the analytics tools available to ensure that you are targeting the right audience with the quality inventory that matches that audience.

Budget and Value

With TV expenditures traditionally carrying the biggest price tag within an overall media advertising budget, it can sometimes be beneficial to diversify with multiple tactics to reduce risk. OTT provides one affordable option to test added video advertising services. Since ratings for OTT aren’t available like with traditional TV, it’s important to evaluate other factors at play, including impressions, inventory and completion rates. Your OTT partner should provide full transparency and reputable real-time reporting so that you can effectively evaluate the dollars spent.

Political Landscape

With the midterm elections generating more attention, we could be gearing up for one of the highest political ad spends in recent years. While high political spending can often be a nuisance to media buyers, OTT advertising can provide an opportunity for both political and local advertisers in this climate. For political advertisers, OTT provides a resourceful option for media spend to include in their campaign. For local advertisers who are bumped from inventory due to political expenditures on traditional TV, OTT offers an additional platform to utilize video and reach more customers in the preferred type of content for the advertiser. Not to mention, these schedules do not run the risk of preemptions like in traditional broadcast media.

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