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Over-the-top (OTT) and Connected TV (CTV) are two of the most popular ways to access TV and video content but are commonly confused with each other. Linear TV, also known as traditional TV, is still a popular method for consumers to watch their favorite shows.

At Higher Images, we have put together a guide for the differences between the two and the tips for how you can use CTV and OTT to assemble an effective advertising strategy.

Connected TV and What You Need to Know

Connected TV (CTV) is a device connected to or embedded in a TV from which you access the content. This means you need the device to consume the content streamed into an internet-connected app on a Smart TV or similar device. The Amazon Fire TV and Roku plugged into a smart TV are both great examples of CTV. CTV has created the trend of cord-cutting, meaning that many customers are canceling their traditional cable and satellite subscriptions and replacing them with different types of CTVs such as Apple TV and PlayStation. CTV devices can be used to stream OTT content, but they are two different terms.

Over the Top (OTT) Television

How Over-the-Top (OTT) Works

With OTT, the TV and video content are directly delivered from the internet, over top of the infrastructure providers. OTT content can be watched on a variety of devices such as phones, TVs, and tablets. The content is delivered in a video-on-demand (VOD) or a streaming format. Examples of OTT include Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.

Linear TV: The Traditional System

Linear TV is the traditional system that many of us are already familiar with. This is where you watch your TV programs when they are broadcast on their original channel. While linear TV still has a large market, the advertising reach is disjointed due to the competitive landscape of TV advertising.

How Can OTT and CTV Advertising Benefit My Business?

If you are looking for a way to reach your target audience beyond the reaches of linear TV such as cable or satellite TV, OTT and CTV can help you do that. With OTT and CTV, you reach a whole new audience of consumers who do not use cable or satellite TV services, also known as cord-cutters. CTV advertising is going up 59% in 2021 and will provide your business with more impactful ways to engage your audience. OTT is also on the rise, and each of these types of advertising will allow you to serve ads to the target audience at the right time. This will allow you to combine both the precision targeting of digital advertising with the major impact that TV viewership makes.

Pros of Connected TV and Over-the-Top TV The pros of incorporating Connected TV and Over-the-Top TV into your advertising plan:

  • With user-controlled viewing experiences, you can get your brand message in front of the right audience at the right time.
  • You can utilize user registration data to perform cross-screen targeting. This method allows you to deliver your ads to your target audience across their devices.
  • With Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), which is the delivery of TV content over the Internet Protocol (IP) networks, you can use 1st and third-party data of subscriber-based telecommunication networks to target homes with audiences who are watching ad-supported CTV devices and OTT content.

Cons of Connected TV and Over-the-Top TV While there are multiple benefits to using Connected TV and Over-the-Top TV for your advertising, there are also some challenges which include:

  • CTV has not yet entered the same number of homes as cable and broadcast have.
  • Some people share accounts which can lead to fragmentation of your advertising.
  • There is strong competition among companies that build and sell CTV devices and those that distribute content.
  • Your scale of inventory for IP-based targeting audience targeting can be limited because many available platforms and data providers are unable to match mobile ad IDs or cookies to the IP.

Pros of Linear/Traditional TV  The pros of linear TV include:

  • Linear TV offers the largest advertising market.
  • 1st and 3rd party data can be applied to your advertising to help you purchase linear TV inventory more accurately for your marketing.
  • You can purchase advertising spots on nice TV networks that can help you be more cost-efficient while expanding your reach rather than just your frequency.

Cons of Linear/Traditional TV The cons of Linear/Traditional TV include:

  • With outdated policies and currencies, your audience targeting may be hindered.
  • With an increasingly competitive and advanced TV space, your reach can be fragmented.
  • Even with the data you can collect, your targeting will be broader than the data provided by OTT and CTV.
Ready to Add Television Advertising to Your Marketing?

At Higher Images, we see the value in OTT, CTV, and linear TV advertising to help you gain exposure for your small business and target your specific audience effectively. As an experienced Pittsburgh media buyer, we can help you find the best advertising platforms for the greatest impact and return on your investment. Contact us today to get started!

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