Everything You Need to Know About OTT Ads

ott ads

We live in a digital age. A big part of that is the content we’re exposed to and the advertisements and media we consume. 

Did you know that every individual sees over 5000 advertisements – in a day? 

This astounding statistic makes one thing very clear – television marketing is a skyrocketing field. And if you’re looking to grow your brand (because who isn’t!), tv ads are the way to go.

OTT ads are the latest craze in TV marketing. Want to learn more about this new kind of content creation? In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about OTT to get to making money using this strategic marketing tool.

Let’s get into it.

What Exactly Are OTT Ads?

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly does OTT stand for?

Well, OTT refers to ‘over-the-top’ television. It was used initially to signify the devices that sit atop the traditional cable box near the TV. These devices allow customers access to television media such as AppleTV or Amazon Prime TV.

This term refers specifically to content that is accessed via the internet. Thus, when we say OTT – we never mean cable TV or broadcasts through traditional providers. Traditional TV media has transformed majorly over the last ten years, leading to OTT ads!

Instead, all kinds of OTT advertisements are delivered through streaming platforms or services. This could be on mobile devices, web browsers, or streaming on televisions or tablets. 

Why Are OTT Ads Significant?

One of the biggest trends in the advertising space is the rise of streaming platform viewership. Over 150 million adults in the U.S. alone stream content through Roku, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and other providers. 

Advertisers now realize that these streaming platforms have massive advertising potential. If viewership could be leveraged for marketing, advertisers would reach a staggering number of consumers all at once.

Not to mention, traditional advertising through cable television is slowly dying out. The shift to streaming platforms demands a change in advertising tactics as well. 

And that’s where OTT ads come in!

This strategy also allows media companies, marketing agencies, and all other advertisers freedom and flexibility. Why? Well, they’re not bound by the traditional geographic, language, and scheduling limitations of conventional media.

Whichever platform they choose to advertise on will convey the ad to viewers in a democratic and accessible manner. This has significant implications for reaching a variety of different viewers.

Main OTT Terminology

It can be confusing to navigate the streaming landscape, mainly because it is constantly changing. It is comprised of numerous devices, platforms, publishers, and more.

Let’s take a look at the key terms you’ll need to familiarize yourself:

SVOD: This stands for subscription video on demand and refers to subscription (paid) based platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video

AVOD: This term refers to advertising-based video on demand, which offers free but ad-based streaming services (such as Sling, YouTube, and Crackle)

vMVPD: This term refers to providers that offer paid TV programming and broadcasting, such as AT&T Now and YouTube TV

CTV: Connected TV is any TV device that is connected to the internet

Linear TV: This term refers to traditional television that utilizes scheduled and regular broadcasting, such as cable TV

OLV: Online Video ads run before, during, and after viewed content on websites (you might have noticed these on YouTube or Vimeo

Armed with the essential OTT ads terminology, let’s move on to the main benefits of this approach.

What Are the Benefits of OTT Advertising?

You may well be wondering – ‘How do OTT ads benefit me and my business?’. Well, OTT is reshaping the media landscape, one ad at a time.

Let’s take a look at how leveraging OTT strategies is beneficial for every brand.

Skyrocket Viewership

One of the main reasons so many companies invest in OTT ads is their viewership results.

OTT ads have become the norm to keep evolving with changing market conditions. Younger demographics almost exclusively use streaming services, and older demographics are following suit.

Advertising is a numbers game. It comes down to how many people you can reach. And with most people switching to OTT apps such as Vimeo, Vevo, Crackle, Pluto, and more, it is no surprise that viewership has skyrocketed.

This means you’ll be able to reach more people to grow brand awareness.

Mixed Media

OTT advertisements do more than just build your brand. They also engage your clientele, foster loyalty, and help individuals move through the sales funnel.


The strategy uses a mix of traditional and new media, which are customizable according to brand. Thus, the approach helps drive performance as it can be measured and tailored to the platform and the consumer. 

Using video on non-traditional platforms is a great complementary strategy that helps beat competitors, focus on disengaged customers, and reach more people. This is also beneficial for your brand as it is perfect for optimizing campaigns in the future.

Beneficial for All Brand Types

OTT advertising is getting more sophisticated by the day. It can be leveraged by brands of all types and businesses of all sizes. 

For example, this approach is highly beneficial for television advertisers looking to bump up their reach. Perhaps their traditional channels of advertising aren’t working – they can leverage OTT.

On the other hand, smaller brands who want to utilize the television space for the first time will benefit from this approach too. They will be able to reach a more extensive set of people but at a cheaper cost. 

Thus, OTT is a viable option for your brand – irrespective of your budget, goals, experience, and more.

Targeting and Tracking Functionalities

OTT advertising has a leg up on its competition when it comes to tracking capabilities too. Using third-party data, you’ll be able to view reports, analytics, and more in real-time. This will help with retargeting efforts, which you can line up with other digital marketing strategies in your campaign.

Some of the key metrics you’ll be able to track include:

  • The number of people who viewed your ad
  • Whether the viewers redirected to your website after seeing the ad
  • Which OTT platform or device directs more viewers
  • User experience mapping information and sales funnels

Having these critical analyses is critical. It allows brands to use metrics to their advantage, so they can tailor results and drive success.

More Customizable

Audiences today are unique compared to years ago. They are breaking away from traditional media and choosing content that is relevant to them. 

In this spirit, advertisers, too, need to pivot their strategies. Customizable and optimized content is the name of the game.

This is done by forging meaningful relations and curated content to increase relevancy. This is because viewers value relevance as some of the top benefits of advertising in general. 

How Do OTT Ads Help With Targeting Capabilities?

One of the main reasons modern advertisers prefer OTT is that it offers more targeting functionalities than traditional TV. This is a massive asset, as campaigns can track users more effectively and zone in relevant clientele.

Understanding how OTT ads help with targeting is critical to the application of every business. Keep reading to find out how to take advantage of all these capabilities!

Geographic Expansion

Location-based advertising is a must for every brand and business. By using geographic targeting, you’ll be able to reach users in specific (and often sought after) regions and countries.

How will you be able to manage your geographic targeting? Well, you’ll begin by geo-targeting potential clientele across various streaming platforms. You can narrow it down by country, city, and even down to postal code and radius!

You then narrow down your search results even further. You could sort through your clientele by targeting gender, interests, age, and more. 


There’s nothing more lucrative than zoning in on a client who has already shown interest in your products or services. Most clients who visit a site will click off without making the final purchase.

But the fact that an individual has shown interest by clicking to direct to your website is a good sign. Offering these particular individuals a repeated or more specific ad can be just the ticket to pique their interest. 

By using site retargeting, you’ll be able to serve ads to these kinds of customers. That’s a win-win in our books!

Interest Affinity

As mentioned above, you can utilize OTT ads to target individuals with specific interests and hobbies. The primary way to do this is through third and first-party data and by using behavioral data.

Look out for features such as income, education, age, gender, and more. When combined with interests such as wine lovers, workout enthusiasts, and country music listeners, you’ll be able to place your ads to the most relevant of audiences!

This will help in reaching those much-coveted conversions, which of course, has significant implications for your bottom line.

How Can I Make OTT Ads?

OTT ads can be launched in a variety of different ways. The beginning stage involves brainstorming and demographic research, much like any other tv advertising campaign.

After you lay the groundwork, you’ll be set up to launch your campaign. For OTT ads, this involves four primary steps:

  1. Upload your ad
  2. Set targeting criteria (such as interest, age, geographic location, and more)
  3. Be sure to keep your campaign in line with your larger brand image (and of course, ensuring your campaign is memorable is a must!)
  4. Choose other parameters such as budget, advertising goals, date of release, and more.

It’s that simple! Of course, there’s a lot that goes into making every campaign look good. Forethought, experience, and strategy come in critical here.

OTT ads are a growing beast, and not every business has the time to keep up with the changing parameters. If you find yourself struggling to make your OTT ad shine, going with a digital marketing agency will be your best bet at creating ads that work.

What’s the Easiest Way to Buy an OTT Advertisement?

Looking to buy an OTT ad? Well, there are two main ways you can go about doing so:

Buy directly from a publisher: Closed producers such as Amazon Prime or YouTube typically control their operations and offer set-fee advertising opportunities.

Buy according to the program: OTT advertising comprises a network of advertising inventory, which utilizes real-time bids for reasonably priced buys programmatically

The second option typically comes in cheaper. However, choosing the right kind of bid based on your targeting and budgeting parameters can go in now tricky. 

Just be sure to opt for the option where you see yourself making a maximum return on investment. The flexibility and value OTT ads provide are unparalleled. However, you’ll be able to get more value out when you buy your OTT ads in the way that best suits your needs.

OTT Ads Are the Future of TV Marketing

OTT ads are skyrocketing in growth due to the advent of streaming platforms and services. Advertisers the world over are finding that this method is superior to traditional marketing channels and cable television.

If you’re a brand looking to grow a business, using television ads as marketing collateral is a no-brainer. Not only will you benefit from increased viewership and return on investment, but you’ll also be able to build brand awareness organically and dynamically.

Need help running superior OTT ads? At Go Media Shark, we believe in saving your advertising dollars and putting them to good use. Our team will help you with digital marketing strategies that drive actual results and benefit your bottom line.

Click here to contact us to set up a free consultation with us today!

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