OTT advertising and all the ways it can benefit you


30 July 2022

About one-quarter of the Earth’s population uses OTT services that offer access to live streams of such channels like HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc. Can you even imagine? An audience of 1.88 billion people, open to your ads. Are you already reaching them? If not, it’s time to get acquainted with OTT advertising and all the benefits it can get you. So, without further ado, let’s dive in! 

First, what is OTT?

Over-the-Top, or OTT for short, services provide TV and film content via the web at the request and to suit the necessities of the individual consumer. It has become widely popular during the last decade and today, according to Deloitte, around 82% of consumers from the US have at least one video streaming subscription. However, as much of the OTT services’ content is unique to the particular platform and to keep up with trends one has to have several subscriptions, their average number by one user is 4. 

Depending on the source, you can also categorize devices like Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox, various smart TVs, and so on, as OTT. It is wrong: the hardware is called CTV (connected TV). OTT simply delivers content, which can be consumed through different mediums: desktop, mobile, and CTV. 

OTT is a huge market. And although the growth rate is slowing down for the first time since the arrival of OTT, there is plenty of room for more user growth as still only half of the internet users worldwide use OTT services.

Wait, but there are no ads on Netflix

Premium subscription video-on-demand services like Netflix are the most famous example of OTT but far from the only ones. Dozens of free-to-watch platforms, such as Cheddar, Crackle,  Newsy, Yahoo View, and others, monetize through ads. According to OpenX data, the majority of viewers would rather watch ads than pay a subscription, and around a quarter of them don’t mind 10 minutes of ad time. 

And, of course, CTV gives advertisers a ton of opportunities even with premium SVODs – we’ll touch on them in more detail in a future article devoted directly to СTV.

How does OTT advertising work?

OTT ads work a lot like TV ads. The key difference – and a drastic one! – is how much more information about users OTT platforms have compared to traditional TV – and how you can use this information to achieve maximum ad performance. For example, standard OTT targeting includes settings for: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Purchase history

And personalization doesn’t stop there. Some OTT platforms allow creating ads based on users’ actions on the platform. Someone’s been binging American Horror Stories? Show them a thematic ad that’s way more likely to catch their attention! 

All of these fine-tuning capabilities give advertisers the ability to lower costs and improve the performance of each campaign, getting higher reach, engagement, and ROI

And the OTT audience itself accepts advertising very well. According to OpenX, two-thirds of OTT viewers discovered a new product or company whilst streaming; 72% could remember an ad they’ve seen while watching OTT; and around 40% react to ads immediately, pausing the content and googling what was advertised to them. 

What types of OTT ads are there? 

Different ways you can advertise on OTT include:

  • Display ads
  • Pop-ups
  • Videos
  • Interactive ads
  • etc. 

You can discover more at DecenterAds DSP, which gives access to all top ad formats, including ОТТ/CTV, audio, video, native, banners, etc. Stay tuned for future posts on our blog where we’ll go into more detail about popular ad formats and share tips and tricks for building successful campaigns!


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