What is OTT vs. CTV?

Over-the-top (OTT) advertising

Technology has changed how everything works, including how television operates. When watching the television through the internet was once thought of as impossible. It’s now something that most people can’t live without.

Most people have now ditched the TV shows and are now watching internet bound TV. 

What is OTT?

Over-the-top (OTT), is the video content that is served over all kinds of devices including the traditional closed TVs. When using OTT, users don’t need to pay a TV cable company to watch contents, as most of it is accessible through the internet.

Besides watching the content through a TV, mobile, or laptop that’s connected to the Internet, users can also use OTT boxes or streaming devices (e.g. Chromecast, Amazon Fire sticks, Roku box, smart TVs, Apple TVs). These boxes or sticks act as a hub, where people can connect to OTT services and function as a mini-computer with all the required specifications, applications, and connections to watch video contents.

OTT boxes are available in many retail shops, and established corporations like Amazon even have theirs over the top boxes. Then there is also the use of game consoles e.g. Xbox, Sony Playstation where they can be connected to the TVs to stream contents too. Essentially, the former and latter are collectively known as “OTT devices“.

As technologies improve or new ones emerge, the term “OTT” has since evolved to refer to streaming media services that offer videos and other digital contents to any devices including TVs that are or capable of being connecting to the Internet, thus bypassing the traditional cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms.

The Benefits of OTT

  • You reach many people. Viewers watch most ads almost to completion
  • 100% viewability. All advertisements run full screen meaning 100% of pixels are in view. This eliminates below the fold ads of other media channels.
  • Brands safety with ads delivered on-demand, or during live TV, viewers are reached across reliable networks and popular content.


What is CTV?

CTV/OTT are two terms typically mentioned together and often confused.

Connected TV (CTV), as an encompassing term refers to TVs that are capable of connecting to the Internet to access contents beyond what a cable or broadband provider offers. For that reason, besides smart TVs or IPTVs which are inherently capable of connecting to the Internet, CTVs therefore include OTT devices which are connected to traditional TVs, enabling the TV now being able to connect to the Internet.

OTT contents therefore can now be delivered through CTVs and other popular devices such as mobile phones, ipad/tablets, computers.


The Benefits of CTV

  • CTV helps you in reaching customers you can’t reach without using traditional TV commercials. 
  • Great targeting capabilities. When using connected TV audience targeting, you can be certain that a huge part of your investment is being used to reach your valuable and potential customers.
  • It’s quantifiable. It’s possible to measure the results you’re getting from your campaigns with both traditional and digital metrics. This includes video completion rates. And the buyer’s journey, from when they see your ad to when they make a purchase.
  • Expanding your audience. By using CTV, you get a chance to advertise your products to millennials, who are no longer watching traditional TV.


Are CTV and OTT the Future of Advertising?

OTT is delivered through CTV. In fact, OTT and traditional TV have a very close relationship. The only difference is that OTT uses the internet, and is a bit cheaper. 

Like other advertisement channels, OTT displays ads at the beginning, middle, or end of an advert. Most users prefer having an advertisement in the middle of a program.

Some marketers believe that CTV is the future of advertisement. This is because you can notice the Connected TV and OTT gadgets everywhere. And many countries continue to adopt Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other streaming services.

Take Away

The OTT and CTV ads are significantly growing and becoming popular among advertisers. It helps in reaching a vast and targeted audience, which increases your chance of getting more sales.

Who knows? The traditional TV may even become distinct in the coming years. 


Interested to tap into OTT and CTV as a new source of inventories for your next campaign? Get in touch with us to ask for a demo today!