What Are OTT Platforms & How Are They Used By Advertisers?
Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms provide video streaming of original content in addition to or instead of traditional broadcast and cable television channels. Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, and Hulu are among the most well-known OTT platforms, but there are many more.
OTT providers generally rely on a combination of monthly subscription fees and advertising for revenue. As advertising media channels, they have some key advantages over cable. Many consumers have “cut the cord” on cable and only subscribe to OTT platforms.
What Is An OTT Platform?
OTT platforms are sometimes specialized, providing nature programming, horror movies, British television programming, or other niche video content. The specialization makes it easy to reach narrow segments of the viewing public.
Many OTT platforms provide free content to consumers through their internet connection, an OTT device like a Roku, or a phone app. The easy accessibility of these services means that users do not have to sign a contract or have cable installed to access your advertising.
What Are Some Of The Most Popular OTT Platforms?
While new OTT platforms are coming out every quarter, here are a few of the most popular platforms today.
Netflix is unquestionably one of the most popular streaming services and best OTT platforms for advertisers. From their beginnings as a DVD rental service, they have grown into a video streaming media juggernaut with the clout and financial backing to bankroll exclusive TV series and movies.
A popular offshoot of Disney, the Disney+ platform provides Disney movies, Star Wars, and other popular TV and movie franchises that are family-friendly but entertaining for viewers of all ages.
Hulu is another early player in the OTT market. It distinguished itself from the pack by offering thought-provoking content, such as the popular dystopian series Handmaid’s Tale.
ESPN+ illustrates the potential of OTT in providing video streaming to audiences with specific interests. ESPN+ provides a wide range of sports and mixed martial arts coverage, including live TV and live streaming of sports events. ESPN+ is owned by Disney and allows the company to reach a different audience than its Disney+ fare.
Prime Video or Amazon Prime Video is Amazon’s entry into the OTT market. Prime Video is bundled with Amazon Prime, offering exclusive TV in addition to other perks such as free express delivery and exclusive access to products and product discounts.
HBO Max offers HBO movies as well as exclusive television series.
Some OTT platforms like YouTube TV and Vimeo OTT emerged from social media video sharing sites with an established history of incorporating advertising and monetization into their platform.
Sling TV is an OTT platform owned by Dish Network, a provider of satellite TV services.
Peacock is one example of a broadcast network stepping into the OTT marketplace. Peacock offers NBC programming and exclusive videos.
Why Advertise on OTT?
Simply put, the TV landscape has been rapidly moving away from traditional cable tv consumption. According to Amazon, 90% of their ad-supported streaming TV audience consumes about two hours of streaming TV content every day.
OTT services give advertisers a way to reach highly specific television audiences. In many cases, the audiences might be more significant than those available through similar channels on cable television. OTT ads can also be served programmatically via several delivery methods. This means your ads can be better delivered to the best possible users at the time they’re most engaged.
Is OTT Replacing Traditional Media Distribution?
Connected TV is unlikely to fully replace cable television in the short term because many consumers like the convenience of getting many channels in one package without managing multiple subscriptions. However, OTT platforms are increasing in popularity and diversity, providing an attractive opportunity for advertisers.
Here are a few primary features advertisers look for in an OTT platform.
Scalable and Reliable Infrastructure
OTT platforms succeed when they reach a large, ideally nationwide, audience. A small niche channel has more potential for advertisers if it can scale up to handle increased consumer demand.
Elastic Media Preparation
Content on OTT video and audio streaming services should be viewable on phone apps, smart TVs, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, and other devices with screens of varying resolutions, using any of the common operating systems and multiple devices.
High-Performance Video Player
OTT technology should be compatible with HD and 4K television formats so that OTT subscribers can have the best possible visual experience.
Advanced Video Monetization
Most major OTT platforms have the software and administrative capability to compensate content providers and link advertising revenue seamlessly with content monetization.
Continuous Multi-Device Experience
Consumers should be able to watch on-demand content such as music and videos in multiple formats without buffering, downtime, or other interruptions.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Digital Rights Management (DRM) requires OTT platforms to balance customer experience with revenue control. If the DRM is too rigid, consumers will become frustrated. If DRM is too permissive, viewers will find ways to watch OTT content for free while bypassing subscriptions and advertising.
An OTT provider should help you monitor the success of your advertising campaign with detailed statistics and insights.
SDKs and APIs
The OTT platform should offer user-friendly Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs) that allow the OTT platform to work seamlessly with other applications.
OTT advertising provides advertisers with options, such as:
- ad duration
- ad placement before, during, and after content
- viewer options to skip ads
- viewer options to interact with the ad (surveys, etc.)
OTT formats, capabilities, and regulations change continually. An OTT platform should be able to anticipate changes and market trends to remain competitive.
Advertising on OTT Platforms
Advertising on most OTT platforms is easy. An established OTT platform should provide customization and control over the monetization of content, making it easy for advertisers to introduce their content when and where they want it in the context of the viewer’s experience.
Have you ever watched a video on a streaming service only to have a brief placeholder card appear for a few seconds? Every time that card appears, it represents lost advertiser revenue for the OTT platform.
OTT channels do not always sell all of their advertising slots before they release content. To recoup some revenue, they sell “remnant” advertising slots at discount rates, presenting an opportunity for advertisers to reach audiences effectively at a reduced cost.
Buying Remnant OTT Ads With The Remnant Agency
If you’re looking to purchase OTT advertising inventory and maximize your advertising budget, you should consider remnant advertising. Remnant ad spots are ones that OTT platforms cannot sell, so to avoid missing out on profits, sell the spots at a considerable discount. At The Remnant Agency, we specialize in buying remnant OTT ad spots and maximizing ROI for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can launch an OTT ad campaign for your brand.