The over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) channels offer marketers welcome new possibilities at a time when adtech is going through seismic changes in how it manages user data privacy and gathers information about its audiences.

These are some of the most important marketing channels available right now, with enormous reach and substantial measurability for figuring out the customer journey.

OTT and CTV frequently work together but are also mixed up and used interchangeably. To be explicit, OTT content is that which streams online while eschewing cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms. It does this by “running over the top” of these gatekeepers. CTVs are gadgets for streaming services like Amazon Fire or Roku that can be plugged into a TV or are internet-enabled.

It’s exciting to see what’s possible when you can reach more people at any time in a precise way, using a traditional medium (TV) with digital advertising methods. I’ve heard some in adtech say that OTT and CTV are at the beginning of something huge, much like mobile was a decade ago.

Since there were more people at home this past year than in the year before the pandemic, OTT and CTV have seen an increase in appeal. According to a recent study by The Trade Desk, 27% of the consumers in their sample intend to sever their cable connections and search for free or inexpensive streaming TV. The results of the same poll showed that 68% of TV viewing is done through streaming services, which is additional evidence of how lucrative OTT and CTV are for marketers.

Furthermore, marketers can gauge users across devices and platforms thanks to the accessibility of content on connected devices. In comparison to conventional mobile marketing alone, where device identifiers are required and their use is restricted by new privacy laws, consumer identity graphs can be constructed for targeting, attribution, and incremental lift.

Related: The Global Over-The-Top (OTT) Services Market Size Is Expected To Grow From USD 202.5 Billion In 2022 To USD 434.5 Billion By 2027, At A Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) Of 16.5%

Connecting The Dots With Cross-Platform Measurement To Identify Audiences

For advertising to be successful and make the best use of funds, measurement skills are essential. Measurement in ads, particularly on television, hasn’t always been exact. In contrast to what the industry has observed with digital advertising measurement, traditional approaches are based on ratings that are primarily panel-based and are usually regarded as antiquated.

Cross-platform targeting and measurement are ultimately possible now that OTT and CTV are reliant on the internet. The problem is that although the activity is taking place on mobile devices, the exposure is taking place on television. It is feasible to trace actions from a mobile device back to an ad on CTV/OTT using cross-device graphs and the strength of digital signal via OTT and CTV.

The last year has seen tremendous development in the OTT and CTV industries. We now have new methods to target households based on characteristics from mobile devices, we can deduplicate audiences down to the household level, we can validate activity off the spend occurring on CTV, and more. For instance, instead of focusing on a household with a CTV device, marketers can focus on the devices in that household based on other characteristics. These additional characteristics can include places of interest, other apps on the devices, and other identifiers. Many of our brand clients who are moving into OTT and CTV have benefited from this.

However, OTT and CTV are not entirely exempt from the growing data privacy rules. There can be no mergers or data transfers between businesses without a view on that, according to Apple. With these two channels, you don’t need a static identifier, and brand-new identity-related methods are constantly being developed. Even though there isn’t one identity graph that “rules them all,” we can map a brand’s identity graph as a data collection in a traceable and privacy-safe manner.

Related: Paramount To Raise Streaming Prices After Ad Revenue Slumps

CTV And Incrementality Testing

Marketers can assess the effect of advertising campaigns by performing incrementality testing to ascertain lift. An identity graph can be used to create a forensic control (holdout) group, allowing the advertiser to serve advertisements to their complete audience rather than just a portion of it. Campaign data can be matched using the same identity graph to help marketers understand their customers and the messages that have the greatest impact on them.

OTT ads may also contain QR codes that have a deep link embedded in them. Marketers can track how customers move through the funnel after scanning the code, which directs them to content on their mobile device. It’s a wonderful way to capitalize on the second screen trend and track users’ movements from the living room screen to the handheld screen.

A New Era of Streaming Content and Advanced Television

With the ability to reach more viewers on streaming services and connected devices, television advertising has a bright and exciting future. Consumers have access to a staggering quantity of original content via OTT and CTV. By enabling marketers to track these efforts and link their audiences to subsequent events, they have revitalized TV for advertisers.


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