For some time, marketers and businesses have been kept awake at night by a single thought: What can we do about cord cutters?

As new options for viewing broadcast and recorded content have blossomed with technology, so has the fear that the once reliable medium of television advertising – so long the bedrock of a solid marketing mix – would become defunct.

The behavior of consumers “cutting the cord” of traditional cable television threatened to turn the entire industry on its head. How do you reach a customer who forgoes a cable box in favor of streaming their favorite shows directly through a gaming console?

Unsurprisingly, as content platforms have evolved, our ability to market through them has evolved, too. We now have the ability to advertise to these Over the Top (OTT) devices, reaching customers while they’re enjoying their favorite content via their preferred platform.

What is OTT?   

OTT refers to any long form film or video content delivered over the internet that does not require users to subscribe to a traditional paid cable or satellite television package.

This content is streamed to any connected TV. That definition includes:

  1. Any TV set connected to the internet natively (“Smart TVs”)
  2. A TV connected to the internet through the use of an external device, like a Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or PS4
  3. Desktops, smartphones, and tablets that can serve as viewing devices even though they aren’t technically TVs

Traditional content publishers (Fox, CBS) have developed applications to be used with these devices, and through these apps, we can serve ads to accompany the content the user has chosen to watch.

How do OTT ads work?

After the user selects the content they want to watch, the ad is served. It can’t be skipped, so it will play through its entire 15 or 30-seconds.

OTT ads have over an 85% completion rate because the viewers are so invested in the content around the ads. People streaming OTT content aren’t channel surfing or browsing around – they’re committed to watching that particular piece of content. This means they’re much less likely to bounce.

What does it all mean?  

What marketers once viewed as another technological disruption has since become yet another opportunity to reach customers where they are with a message suited to their lifestyle. Once thought to be key to reaching Millennial consumers in particular, OTT viewing approaches are quickly gaining traction among older demographics, too.

Currently Compulse targets OTT ads based on geography but it’s possible that more options will emerge in the future. Considering that OTT ad technology is in its infancy, many expect that targeting by demographic and behavioral qualities will soon be possible.

Are you ready to try out OTT advertising? Maybe you have some questions you’d like answered? To learn more about your options, talk to a Compulse expert and set up an OTT campaign, give us a call.