When you think of OTT, you think of Netflix, right? In 2022, it’s more than just Netflix. Every other kind of OTT content is seemingly popping up in the marketplace, including free-to-watch movies and TV shows on ad-supported platforms like Tubi, Crackle, and others.
The rise of over-the-top advertising on television has been a trend to keep an eye on for the last several years, and it’s quickly becoming a mainstay in modern American homes. OTT involves the delivery of video content — from TV shows and movies to original series and live broadcasting — via internet streaming.
This shift means that instead of using cable or satellite television to access more than 200 channels of content, people can now use their internet connection and a compatible device such as a smartphone, tablet, computer, or smart TV to access hundreds of channels of content available online.
With that being said, it’s no surprise that many people have a lot of questions about these new platforms. In addition to providing greater flexibility in how users consume their favorite shows, this new way of watching television presents an opportunity for advertisers and marketers looking to target specific consumers with relevant ads.
On-Demand Video Is the Future
The majority of people are now watching videos over the internet and streaming their content directly to their TVs. These scenes play out in living rooms across the country, with consumers pressing a button and getting exactly what they want to watch when they want to watch it.
But it raises an interesting question: who is watching ads on this on-demand content?
Typically, when consumers stream online video content through a service like Netflix or Hulu, they don’t have to sit through ads. Instead, they pay a monthly subscription fee (or, in the case of Hulu’s free content, have ads inserted into their programming).
This model means that ad-supported OTT content isn’t quite as widespread as linear TV yet, but it’s rapidly growing and is bound to surpass it in the very near future.
The Demographics of Ad Viewers
It turns out that older millennials are more likely to watch ads in OTT streaming services than any other generation. Specifically, millennials aged 35-39.
This truth makes sense because they were once teenagers and young adults during the rise of cable TV, where commercials reigned supreme (though there were some premium channels like HBO that didn’t show them at all).
Another interesting discovery is that people with a college education are more likely to watch ads on OTT content than people without one, though this could be due to their higher earning power. In either case, it seems that people who have grown up watching TV ads are also watching them now.
OTT offers several benefits over linear TV. Here are a couple of things you can do to reach a broader audience as you advertise on OTT apps.
Use OTT Ads for Greater Relevance
Since OTT content is delivered via the web, all of your favorite streaming sites have access to your browsing history, time zone, location, and more.
They use this information to serve highly relevant ads based on your demographics and preferences. And since you can skip traditional TV commercials, you’ll see less irrelevant advertising while streaming video content.
Many Connected TV platforms will even use third-party data providers to help serve even more laser-targeted streaming TV ads to their viewers. More relevant ads almost always lead to much higher engagement and completion rates.
Embrace Pre-Roll Ads for Wider Reach
Contrary to popular belief, pre-roll ads aren’t dying out. In fact, they’re thriving on OTT content — especially for full-length episodes of shows like The Bachelorette or Game of Thrones.
OTT has a lot of advantages because it is personalized and can cater to particular user needs. One thing you can be sure of is that not all content providers are following suit. In fact, there are differences between the video content on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
As of now, it does seem like a nice way to keep viewers interested, and it does not seem to detract from the shows. Advertisers must learn to work with OTT providers and should prepare for changes in preferences from viewers as more OTT content becomes available.
With the expected growth of these streaming services, it can only help further their popularity with consumers.