OTT vs. CTV Advertising: An Ultimate Guide


Want to learn the difference between OTT vs. CTV? There are more than 820 million connected devices in the US. With the rise of streaming services, it’s clear businesses should be advertising through these platforms. But…how do you do that? 

There are two types of advertising to reach streamers, OTT and CTV. Marketers must adapt to changing technologies if they want to keep their businesses in front of audiences. Both of these types of advertising are effective in reaching intended audiences. 

Keep reading to learn the breakdown of OTT vs. CTV. And discover how to use each to your advantage when marketing. 

OTT vs. CTV Advertising: An Overview 

You may be wondering “what is OTT vs. CTV advertising? Both are forms of advertising to reach targeted audiences through shows or movies. While there are slight differences, the concept of both is nearly the same. 

We’ve outlined what they are and the differences below: 

What Is OTT Advertising?

OTT advertising is a form of advertising that does not have a linear relationship with television or radio. OTT stands for “over-the-top” and the term is typically used to describe online streaming services like:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • YouTube

OTT advertising is a relatively new form of digital advertising. It has been around for a few years but it’s only recently that its popularity has been on the rise. This is due to the increase in smartphone adoption and declining TV viewership in many countries.

The ads are typically short-form videos or text messages viewed on a variety of screens and devices like smartphones, smart TVs, or tablets. They focus on entertainment rather than traditional forms of marketing like print ads or TV commercials.

Benefits of OTT 

The benefits of using OTT advertising are endless. OTT advertising allows businesses to reach their target audience more effectively and on a larger scale. They can also test out various marketing strategies without incurring significant costs.

It helps businesses engage with their audience in a more personal way. This is because you can target specific demographics and geographies with ease.

What Is CTV Advertising?

CTV advertising is used to advertise products and services on television. In this type of advertising, the product or service appears during the course of a television program.

CTV ads are usually short and are usually used in the early morning hours, late at night, or during the day when people are watching TV. They typically appear between other programming and can be on a variety of networks.

Benefits of CTV 

CTV ads are more cost-effective for businesses than other types of advertising. They also have the potential to reach a wider audience and create more awareness about your business.

CTV ads typically have 30 seconds or less of video content, which makes them easier to produce and cheaper than other types of campaigns.

Why Should You Add Them to Your Marketing Strategy? 

Adding OTT and CTV advertising to your existing strategy could reap many rewards. The following are the benefits of these types of ads: 

  • Large-screen advertising
  • Superior targeting capabilities
  • Live, dynamic reporting
  • Fast-growing audiences
  • Stronger audience connections
  • No ad-skipping

Each of these benefits adds significantly to the overall marketing strategy. Discover more about each: 

Large-Screen Advertising

Large-screen advertising has a lot of benefits for businesses. One of the most significant advantages is that it provides a better ROI for advertisers. Furthermore, large-screen ads are more noticeable to consumers and they have higher chances of being remembered.

Large-screen advertising is becoming more popular due to its many benefits. These include higher ROI and increased brand awareness.

Superior Targeting Capabilities

Advertisers have been struggling to find ways to reach their target audiences with the right message. With superior targeting capabilities, advertisers can now offer their products and services to the right audience at the right time.

Better targeted also improves ad performance and generates more conversions. It also enhances ROI and creates more revenue streams for advertisers.

Live, Dynamic Reporting

Live and dynamic reporting for OTT advertising is a necessity. It allows businesses to understand the impact of their advertisements. Live ad reporting has become an important part of modern marketing campaigns.

They are different from static reports because they provide insights into audience response and engagement. You can use the reports to measure the impact of advertisements on specific audiences that are difficult to reach with traditional methods. The main benefits include increased understanding of audience response and customer retention.

Understanding audiences also reduces the cost per acquisition (CPA). Better insights lead to improved marketing ROI due to a deeper understanding of audience behaviors. 

Fast-Growing Audiences

To put it simply, a fast-growing audience is important for businesses. It allows them to reach out to more people with their advertising campaigns. The benefits of fast-growing audiences are more than just a matter of numbers.

They help businesses to reach new markets, build brand awareness and increase sales. This is because the audience is people interested in their products or services. They are shown ads when they are already ready to buy them.

Form Stronger Connections With Audiences

Strong connections with audiences can make an impact on how people perceive your brand and what they think of your product. For example, let’s say you market a product as healthy. You can use strong connections to inform consumers about the benefits of your product.

One of the most important benefits is that it increases brand loyalty and trust in the business. Another benefit is that it can increase sales or lead to more profits. Strong audience connections help to reduce churn rates and increase customer lifetime value.

Viewers Can’t Skip Ads 

The inability to skip ads in OTT advertising is extremely important. It helps advertisers reach viewers who would otherwise be turning off the ad or leaving the app. This is especially important to drive conversions and increase revenue. It also builds trust and confidence in the brand and its audience.

Differences Between OTT vs. CTV

OTT and CTV advertising are two of the most popular forms of advertising today. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but they are not entirely different from each other.

OTT delivers directly to the consumer via their internet-connected devices. This is through a variety of digital channels, including web browsers, apps, and smart TVs.

CTV targets viewers who tune into a specific program or channel on linear TV.

Differences Between OTT vs. CTV vs. FEP 

FEP stands for “full-episode player.” This is a new type of advertising that is not associated with any particular channel. It offers advertisers the opportunity to advertise their products or services in a variety of different content types, such as:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Digital video

This type of advertising offers advertisers the ability to reach consumers across multiple platforms and devices. And they do so by using one ad creative and one media buy. This can be an effective way for advertisers to reach target audiences in a cost-effective manner.

Full-episode player ads are not just offered on OTT platforms like Netflix or Hulu. They are also found on traditional TV channels like HBO and CBS. Some are advertised on digital video players like YouTube and podcasts.

CTV vs. OTT Performance Channel Strategies

A performance channel is any platform that provides information about your ads. With the right strategy, you can understand CTV and OTT ads deeply to maximize your budget. When creating your marketing strategy, consider the following: 

Focus on Audiences

The important thing to remember is that audiences are the most important part of any advertising strategy. It is important to focus on what your audience wants and needs rather than what you want them to buy.

OTT advertising offers a more personalized experience to the viewers and allows them to engage with content in a more meaningful way. The target audience is also more engaged with the ads because they can share it on social media or comment on it.

CTV advertising offers better targeting and creates an impactful message for the viewers.

Feature Core Values and Products

Companies should feature their core values and product features in ads. These values and features are what make the company stand out from the crowd. This information will also forge connections with target audiences. 

When a company is advertising, they want to be able to convey its message with clarity and precision. They want to be able to present their product in a way that will appeal to the audience.

You should highlight the core values of your business in your ad copy so that they can be easily found by potential customers. This will help you establish trust with the audience and increase brand awareness.

Your product features are what makes your product unique and different from competitors’ products. It’s important to feature these features in your ad copy so that potential customers know what makes you stand out from the competition.

Craft a Brand Narrative

Crafting a narrative for ads is not about writing a story. It is about crafting the story of your brand and its values. A narrative is a powerful tool in advertising. It can help advertisers to connect with their audience and make them feel something.

Use Creative Testing

Creative testing is a technique that helps in understanding the effectiveness of an ad. During the process, you show ads to consumers and measure their reactions. It also helps in understanding which creative executions work better than others.

It is helpful in advertising because it allows the marketer to understand what works best for their audience. Creative testing is also important because it helps marketers understand what doesn’t work. This means they stop wasting time on ineffective ad executions and instead focus on the ones that do.

You can complete creative testing through focus groups, surveys, and other means.

Keep Ads Short but Impactful

The shorter the better. You don’t want to bore your audience or waste their time. To make sure that your ads are short and impactful, here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Keep your copy to a maximum of three sentences
  • Keep your ad creative, but it should be kept to a minimum and not too far out of the box
  • Be clear and concise with what you’re selling or promoting
  • Use an eye-catching image that will grab the audience’s attention in an instant

The key is to keep things as simple as possible while still being impactful.

Format for Various Devices 

Formatting ads for different devices is important for a number of reasons. It helps to ensure that the ad shows on all devices and also helps increase click-through rates. There are several benefits to formatting ads for several devices. These include:

  • Increase the chance of getting more clicks
  • Reduce costs by decreasing the number of clicks required
  • Improve your conversion rate by increasing your CPA
  • Creating a consistent experience for your users across different devices
  • Making the user experience more seamless and less jarring
  • Increasing the probability that users will complete the transaction or buy your product

KPIs to Measure Impact

The traditional marketing KPIs are not always the best way to measure success for OTT and CTV ads. For example, the number of views is not a good metric to measure success for OTT and CTV ads. This is because it doesn’t take into account how many people actually interacted with the ad.

For these types of ads, measure the following: 


The importance of measuring impressions with ads is that it provides a better understanding of the ad performance. This is by comparing the number of impressions to the number of conversions and conversion rate.

The best way to measure impressions is by using a tool such as Google Analytics. It will help advertisers understand how many people are actually seeing their ads and what the audience’s response to them is.

Completed Views

Measuring completed views with OTT advertising will help marketers make the most out of their marketing campaigns. Completed views give them an idea of how effective their ads are at converting viewers into customers.

Advertisers are now able to track: 

  • How many people viewed their ad
  • How long they watch it
  • How many people clicked on it
  • What content was most effective.

This helps advertisers to understand which ad types work best for them. They also gain insight into which content types are most effective. This information helps to create more effective ads in the future.


Reach is one of the most important metrics to measure when marketing on OTT. Reach is a metric that shows how many people are actually engaging with your ad. It is important for measuring the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

Reach is an important metric for understanding how well an ad campaign is performing. You can use the information to optimize future ad campaigns. It also helps advertisers understand the return on investment (ROI) of their media spend.

Cost-Per-Completed Video

All digital advertising efforts should measure the cost of a completed view. It is an important metric that advertisers use to create future campaigns. You calculate the cost per completed view by: 

  • Multiplying the number of views by the price per view
  • Then divide that number by your total budget for all completed views

This can provide insight into which types of videos are most effective.


It’s important for advertisers and agencies to know how much they are paying for their ads so that they can make sure that they are getting the most out of their campaigns. This is why it’s important to measure CPM with OTT and CTV advertising campaigns.

The CPM is an industry-standard unit of cost per thousand impressions (CPM). In digital marketing, it measures how much advertisers pay for each thousand ad impressions served or viewed.

How to Target Audiences

There are many ways to reach audiences with OTT and CTV advertising. They are through: 

  • Geographically 
  • Site retargeting
  • Email retargeting
  • Interest
  • Behaviors

Learn more about each: 


Geographic targeting is a new way of advertising that has been gaining more and more popularity. It is important to understand why it is better than the traditional methods.

Benefits of geographic location targeting for ads:

  • Targeting specific audiences in a particular area
  • Reaching people who are likely interested in your product or service
  • Lower overall cost of advertisements due to the larger audience size
  • Increase in ad views, clicks, and purchases

Site Retargeting

Site retargeting is a way of targeting audiences with ads that are relevant to the users’ interests. It is an effective way of reaching new audiences and increasing engagement.

There are many benefits of using site retargeting. They include increased ad engagement, better ad performance, and more conversions.

However, it can be difficult to implement this strategy. That is because there are many complexities involved in designing and executing it.

Site retargeting allows advertisers to reach their target audience through websites that the users have already visited before seeing the ad. It helps them understand what their audience is looking for on a particular website in order to create ads that will resonate with them better.

Email Retargeting

Email retargeting is used by marketers to reach audiences with their ads through email, social media, and websites. There are many advantages of using this method over others.

It is one of the most effective methods of reaching existing customers. It allows businesses to deliver timely content to their consumers. It also contacts them in some way while they’re busy with other things.


In the digital advertising world, it is no longer enough to just produce content that is relevant to your audience. You need to know what they like, what they care about, and how they behave.

Interests are an important factor in determining the target audience of your OTT ads. They can help you reach your audiences with greater ease and effectiveness than traditional methods.

The benefits of using interests include reaching a broader range of audiences. Knowing the audience’s interests also allows marketers to personalize ads.


With the increasing use of OTT ads, it is important for advertisers to understand how to use behaviors to reach their audiences.

Behaviors are the actions that people and brands do on a day-to-day basis. They are the habits that we have and how we live our lives.

Behavioral targeting is an approach to digital advertising that uses insights from data analytics. You use this information to target ads to specific people or groups of people who share similar interests, behaviors, or demographics.

Behaviors are the key to understanding audiences. They can help advertisers understand what people are thinking and feeling by tracking purchases, clicks, time on site, and more.

It’s important for brands to find out what behaviors will resonate with their target audience in order for them to be successful with OTT ads.

Get Started With OTT and CTV Advertising Today 

This article covered OTT vs. CTV advertising. Though they have minor differences, both are important strategies businesses must. implement. We hope you have a stronger grasp of these advertising methods and how to include them in your marketing. 

If you are unsure of how to create these ads, we can help! At Go Media Shark, we have years of experience in various types of advertising. We can help you develop the best strategy for your business to maximize your marketing budget. 

Are you interested in learning more? Contact us today for more information about how we can help.  Edit Article

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