With the OTT viewership rising amidst the deadly COVID pandemic, brands and agencies have a new medium for wider outreach campaigns. A look at what and why of OTT Advertising in the current context and scenario.
What is OTT?
In simple words, the phrase Over-The-Top (OTT) refers to online streaming of content on multiple devices through an application. Basically, it’s made for the viewers to have access to television content on any device, anytime and at any place.
Companies providing OTT services don’t have to worry about broadcast scheduling and geographical limitations. Additionally, content makers and brands can freely telecast any type of content to their audience due to lesser rules and regulations imposed.
OTT platforms offer better targeting, flexibility in content generation and a good engagement to the brands. No doubt, it’s a new phase and a powerful medium for online advertising.
What is OTT Advertising?
OTT Advertising is an individualized promotional and advertising content offered to the viewers of the show by the brands. It is targeting based ad enabled by programmatic technology.
Now-a-days people stream content over multiple devices, therefore it’s easier for brands to maintain their presence in front of their audience. The ads need to be formatted well to work on multiple sized screens such as Television, smartphones and laptops for that matter.
The main difference between the OTT advertising and traditional media advertising is that the brands can reach a smaller but more targeted audience in less cost. It is one of the main reasons why brands are drawn towards OTT advertising.
Why is OTT Advertising Trending?
Before OTT platforms came into our lives, we didn’t have access to the shows whenever we wanted. We always had to wait to get back to the television to watch the shows we love. We had to wait for the broadcasting time. Many times, we missed to watch the movie or the episode we wanted but that’s not the case anymore.
OTT platforms came up with a solution to access the content on any device at any time through internet connectivity. People started spending their time more on OTT platforms instead of the channels in television. Brands saw the change and started shifting to advertise on this platforms.
Meanwhile, brands saw a steep surge in the subscription and viewership rate on OTT platforms during lockdown. The pandemic had a huge effect in people’s lives and boosted online streaming of content.
The Pandemic Effect
The pandemic, however, gave a complete makeover to many industries and advertising is one of them. OTT advertising became a centre stage during the lockdown. According to data by TAM, ad insertions on OTT platforms doubled in April 2020 over March 2020 (Platforms included – Eros Now, Zee5, Disney+Hotstar, MX Player, Sony Liv, YuppTV, VOOT, Viu).
We saw a rise in the number of creative ad campaigns and ad placements on OTT platforms suddenly. Brands also found out different ways for advertising their products - by depicting the usage and importance of a particular product in series and movies.
Why Brands Choose OTT Advertising?
There are some reasons why OTT advertising is trending right now.
1. Reach a targeted, niche audience
Unlike traditional TV ad broadcasting, now brands don’t need to cater a broad audience. OTT platforms provide the access to target a specific audience according to their choice of demographics.
2. Increased engagement
Incorporating OTT into the integrated marketing strategy can give a bunch of benefits. You can also re-target your audience through social media, website or any other channels that the brands use. Re-targeting the audience brings them into an ecosystem or a funnel that makes them active to constantly interact with the brand.
3. Minimises ad spend waste
OTT advertising reduces ad spent waste as it offers specific targeting so brands are more likely to ignore and not spend on people who are never going to buy their products. Brands will only show their ads to people who are more likely to be interested in their products or have made similar purchases before.
Benefits of OTT Advertising
There are three core benefits when it comes to OTT advertising - Transparency, Measurement and Media Planning & Targeting.
Brands have gained more control over audiences than before when it comes to advertising. By choosing OTT advertising, brands have the transparency to identify how many people have interacted with the ad, how many views they have got, how many times their ad is skipped and how many times it’s fully played, etc. Based on this data, brands now can amplify their strategy and ad spend to increase their sales.
With the access to data, brands can measure the success rate of their campaigns. They can measure which campaign is working better for them, which campaign has a higher rate of return in less time, what kind of communication strategy works better, what length of ad works better, etc.
3. Media Planning & Targeting
Buying OTT media comes after planning and deciding how OTT advertising fits into the integrated marketing strategy that positively impacts the audience’s decision. It requires proper strategy planning by marketers and subject matter experts. Brands need to make a conversion driven strategy for their audience when opting for OTT advertising.
The Future of OTT Advertising
OTT Advertising has a bright future if we consider how the technology is evolving and helping businesses to have the best outcome of it. OTT ads is one such medium that helps businesses to have precise targeting, less investment, retargeting options and flexibility towards content generation.
Most providers that offer streaming services gain a huge chunk of revenue from the subscription customers are paying for. Because of this, advertisers will know where their audience is located and therefore, will be able to tailor the offer in a much better way.
The targeting will be based on the audience’s viewing data obtained from the service providers. Additionally, the usage of devices and the viewer’s behaviour related to online shopping and browsing will help brands to advertise more effectively and precisely.
Soon, OTT platforms will be available for the ad auctions due to increase in the demand and lesser platforms available. The viewability will also increase because of the transformation in the ad content. The brands are more likely to promote their products into the series and movies and therefore, viewers will engage more with the brands than ever before.
OTT platforms have gained a center-stage after the pandemic and we see the trend going nowhere but growing in future. OTT has come up with a wide array of possibilities to the advertisers but it will definitely provide even more as technology keeps evolving.
The way OTT is growing, it is going to occupy much larger market share in the future. It is not only beneficial to advertisers but it will be also be beneficial for the customers as the authenticity of brands will increase which will bring the market and consumers more close to each other.
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