A Beginner’s Guide to OTT (Over-the-Top) Advertising

The global OTT market was worth $45.1 billion in 2021. And experts project this market to grow to $123.67 billion over the next six years. Are you prepared to take your slice of the ad revenue pie?

OTT ads are the next big thing in advertising. But if you do not start preparing now, you will face some pretty fierce competition. Already, big-name firms are taking up spots.

If you want to get your share of this multi-billion dollar industry, you need to act fast. And that is exactly why we are bringing you this guide to all things OTT and OTT advertising.

What is OTT and OTT advertising? And why does it matter in 2022 and beyond? We are answering these two questions and more below, so keep reading for everything you need to know.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for over-the-top. Odds are, if you watch content over the web, you have consumed OTT content. In fact, you probably know this term by another name: streaming video.

The technical definition of OTT is any content viewers watch via video that streams over the Internet. You usually watch OTT on TV, tablet, or phone. But OTT is not traditional cable TV; it is typically a subscription.

An example of OTT is streaming your Hulu subscription on your Kindle Firestick. Streaming game content on Twitch is also an example of OTT. Really, any source of video content that is not satellite- or cable-based.

What Is OTT Advertising?

So, if OTT is streaming, then OTT advertising consists of ads served through streaming platforms.

Unlike the dying cable set box, OTT uptake is growing significantly among younger generations. This presents the opportunity to custom-tailor ads to the following consumer groups:

  • 18–34 age group: 74% of this group have cut the cord
  • 35–54 age group: 64% of this group have completely switched away from cable
  • 55+ age group: 56% of this group say they would describe themselves as cord cutters

But to understand why OTT advertising really matters in 2022, you have to understand the so-called “cord cutting” phenomenon going on right now. Learn more about this below.

Why Does OTT Matter?

Unhappy with the ridiculous cost of cable TV, more and more Americans are cutting the cord and switching to streaming. Instead of paying for cable, cord-cutters are switching to subscription services like Netflix.

A whopping 6 million people switched from Pay-TV to OTT from 2019 to 2021 alone. And that number increases to an incredible 25 million when you look at the stats from 2012 to now.

Keep in mind that not all cord-cutters are purists. In other words, many people are just cord-thinners. They are scaling back their cable subscriptions in exchange for OTT but not cutting the cord entirely.

Why Do OTT Ads Matter?

According to cord-cutting researchers, more than 65% of people who pay for OTT want free or low-cost services. And how do streaming companies offer services for free? They do so via ad-supported options.

43% of OTT subscribers say they would enjoy watching OTT ads if they do not have to pay for the service. Meanwhile, 22% of OTT subscribers say they would pay up to $6 a month for a streaming service with reduced ads.

Many feared that when OTT came around, TV advertising would die off. But as you can see from the above stats, that is just not the case. Consumers have changed where they watch TV but not how they watch TV.

The Best Platforms for Over-the-Top Ads

By now, you may be wondering: where should I reserve my OTT ad spots? We have rounded up the top OTT platforms by subscriber count and curated them for you below. Check it out!


Hulu+ has a Live TV option with more than 4 million subscribers as of this writing. It is the #1 OTT platform for people who want to watch TV over the Internet. As such, this is the #1 platform you should strive to advertise on.

YouTube TV

In 2022, YouTube TV has nearly 4 million subscribers. Now, keep in mind that these are subscribers to YouTube’s live TV streaming service, not the social media site where influencers post video content.


Sling TV

Dish Network-owned Sling TV is home to nearly 2.5 million subscribers. Sling TV offers two different plans, which both come with channels like AMC, BBC America, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, and kids programs like Cartoon Network.


FuboTV has an incredible 1.13 million subscribers. We say incredible because this streaming platform is exclusively for sports. Subscribers can watch ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN sports all in one convenient location.


Phil is a low-cost OTT subscription with more than 800,000 subscribers. Despite only being $25 per month, this service offers top channels like BBC, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, and many more.


AT&T TV may be an alternative to traditional cable, but it is not favored among consumers. The platform only had around 650,000 subscribers when the company last reported subscriber counts.

However, this number is down a whopping 700,000 subscribers from 2018. According to experts, AT&T TV may be the only OTT service experiencing negative growth. That is why you should steer clear. 

We Are Your OTT Advertising Experts

OTT advertising can be tricky to navigate. So, we hope this guide has helped you understand some of the industry lingo and the best places to serve your OTT ads.

Are you searching for a partner to help you run ads on streaming platforms? We are the experts in cutting-edge advertising that helps you get the most bang for your buck. Contact us today to get started!

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