Over The Top Media Services (OTT)

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Over The Top Media Services (OTT)

The OTT abbreviation stands for ‘over-the-top’ media services. OTT meaning is described as the use of the internet to access and stream content.

All the major OTT providers include companies such as Hulu, Peacock, FOX, Bravo, E!, CBS, and so on. It can get confusing. For example, YouTube is commonly mistaken for an ideal OTT definition as a provider, however it’s actually a social media platform.

The main form of over-the-top media is video content, especially OTT platform movies and TV shows.

Ideally, in using OTT services, you are bypassing all the traditional providers such as telecommunication networks and cable television companies. Instead of relying on these companies, you now only need the internet.

OTT Benefits for Marketers

Many over-the-top TV services are accessed via paid subscriptions every few months. Since OTT platforms now host a large group of users, it is an essential component of modern advertising.

Below are a few reasons why Over-The-Top advertising is important:

  • Wide reach: Approximately 65% of United States internet users have at least 1 OTT subscription. That means that advertising companies have the potential of getting to over 182 million people just in the U.S. Additionally, studies have shown that people spend an average of 62 minutes per day consuming OTT videos. The figure is set to rise to over 70 minutes by 2022.
  • Reporting: The platforms offer advanced analytics after advertising.
  • Completion Rates: Video completion rates in OTT media is 90+% since most ads are non-skippable.
  • Targeting Capabilities: OTT providers often have a lot of information on users, which makes it easier to target the right population. Information such as geographical location, age, and topics all play a vital role in selecting an ad’s right audience. In this way, resources are fully used, and the ad’s efficiency is increased.

OTT Platforms

Numerous OTT platforms are coming up each year all over the world. Here are some of the top OTT platforms of the world, which also double up as the best OTT advertising platforms to date:

Peacock TV

Peacock is a newer OTT platform in the space. Peacock is well liked and only charges $4.99/month that includes ad-supported content.


Hulu is a perfect example of an OTT platforms full form. Hulu OTT platform had some of largest subscribers and boasts over 28 million people who access their services.

Hulu’s DNA has always been to serve TV ads with subscriptions prices starting at $6.99/month


Netflix is probably the best-known description of what is OTT platform. Netflix is has had a rough year in 2021, losing 5% of its users.

The content isn’t keeping up to consumers standard and they’re charging the most for a standard subscription per month–$15.49. Netflix is becoming the victim of its own success and is now having to shift into the ad-supported TV content sector.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon has undertaken numerous projects to expand as more than just an online shopping platform. Amazon prime video is one of the latest amazon ventures, and it has become a OTT movie hit.

Amazon Prime video is linked to Amazon Prime, a shopping experience that offers numerous online shopping perks like same-day delivery. Thanks to its connection to Amazon Prime, the streaming service already has about 101 million subscribers. This is a huge OTT advertising platform where subscribers pay about $14.99/month.

Other streaming services include Disney +, CBS, Showtime, Bravo, Discovery+, E!, FOX, YouTubeTV, Sling TV, and more.

OTT Platforms Audience Targeting

How OTT platforms reach an audience depends on multiple things, including the type of platform and how they interact with Connected TV companies devices.

One of the most common ways is through the Video Ad Serving Template that dictates how media is played, what is played, and what should be tracked. Most OTT advertising takes this form:

  1. The advertiser setup up programmatic campaign that bids across all OTT platforms.
  2. The OTT audience is optimized based on what the trends are seeing. For example, people who love action animation movies could be targeted for a marvel festival in New Jersey. In this way, advertising on an OTT platform means targeting can almost be 100% accurate.
  3. Information on user interaction with the ad is collected via detailed reporting and KPIs are met.

OTT in the Film Industry

Most of these OTT examples ideally spend billions of dollars to produce original award-worthy content.

Some bigger players also have the money to purchase the right to shows that aren’t already linked to an OTT platform. Hulu is one of the most common examples of what true OTT means in movies and shows, and even what OTT means in the film industry.

It is in these movies and TV shows that advertisements are usually run. There are two main methods of inserting advertisements on OTT platforms:

1. Client-Side Ad Insertion (CSAI)

Advertisers place ad campaigns on the OTT box before being shown to the user. It is currently the most common advertising method.

2. Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI)

The advertisers ad campaign is displayed in real-time as a seamless stream between the OTT platform content and the campaign streaming content. It is also known as ‘stitching’ because of the seamless transition between the ad and the video of the film being watched by the user.

The OTT abbreviation in movies is a powerful sign of effective advertising taking place. One of the greatest benefits of OTT advertising is that it offers advanced analytics for the advertisers to use.

Measuring Data

Here are some, but certainly not all, of the metrics that can be measured:

  • Attribution Tracking. The ability of an ad to lead to a desirable action. For example, if you run an advert for a face cream, the attribution tracking monitors the number of sales made as a result of the ad. Thus, it allows advertisers to know what strategies are working and which ones to toss out.
  • Video Completion Rate. It’s ideally how many times users watch your ad from start to finish. One of the greatest benefits of OTT full form in cinema advertising is that the completion rate is almost always 100%. Just like attribution tracking, it is also an efficient measure of how appealing an ad is to users. It also gives information on the type of demographic that engages with the ad and what point the viewers click off. With this information, the advertiser can change the target audience or edit out the undesirable parts.

CTV Advertising on OTT Apps

Connected TV advertising is one of the main efforts made to move OTT platforms onto TV screens. Ideally, it is the use of a television set to access streaming platforms over the internet. CTV advertising companies usually include devices such as smart TVs, connected devices, and gaming consoles.

CTV advertising works just like OTT advertising, except that viewers are now targeted on their televisions. Most devices now come with OTT apps already pre-installed with internet access capabilities. The use of an OTT app on a big TV screen, in turn, provides a broader audience scope and more vigorous advertising. The users see the adverts on their mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and now TVs making the ad stay at the top of their minds.


In 2020 alone, OTT / CTV advertising revenue has grown by over 25%. Therefore, CTV ad spend has increased tremendously in this space. Forecasters have predicted a 22% increase in advertiser spending just in the first few months of 2021. Getting to the target audience has never been easier for marketers

There are three main factors that make an OTT TV app so appealing and addictive to users:


For a month’s subscription, OTT apps are relatively affordable for most users. The cheapest cost about $4.99 for a single-use subscription.


As long as you have the internet, you can access streaming services from anywhere in the world. Some platforms also allow users to download free OTT TV shows whenever they won’t have internet access.


Unlike traditional streaming, OTT applications allow you to choose what you want to watch at whatever time. Users also never miss out on shows because they will always be on the streaming app whenever they are ready to watch.

Overall, advertisers will see a direct return on CTV ad spend with OTT / CTV advertising whether it’s through attribution, prospecting, retargeting, cross-device targeting, and/or more. There are so many avenues an advertiser can test and identify what will make the greatest return on investment (ROI) for a brand.

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