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Analyzing Advanced Television: Over The Top

Thanks to the internet, television as we know it has changed forever. These days the TV viewing experience has expanded far beyond an analog signal and receiver. With video on demand and streaming services, advanced TV offers a wide-ranging variety of viewing options to all kinds of audiences.

For advertisers and brands, the advent of advanced TV is a positive step. Unlike analog television, advanced TV provides advertisers and brands more data than they’ve ever had before. With a growing bank of information available at their fingertips, brands can make better informed decisions when it comes to wisely choosing where to spend their advertising budget. Reaching the right audiences (those who are most likely to convert into customers) is just one of the major reasons why advertisers and brands should be bullish towards Advanced TV.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve examined in depth major subcategories of advanced TV advertising. This week, we close out the series with an in-depth look into over the top ads.

Over The Top: Untapped Potential with Major Promise

Over the top TV is best described as online streaming video through specific apps and websites. The leaders in this realm are familiar brands like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. In addition to on-demand offerings, there is also linear OTT TV, which distributes programming from networks and channels in real time.

OTT is still in the early stages of unlocking its potential for paid advertising. A widespread and commonly agreed upon belief is that all TV will eventually be streamed through online connected devices. This, in turn, will create an environment of more precise targeting, prompting more advertisers to ramp up their usage of OTT.

At it’s current state, the audience sizes and ad inventories of OTT platforms are still limited. However, their reach is growing. According to eMarketer, 52 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 168.1 million people), have access to a smart TV or other connected devices in 2017. That number is projected to increase to 194.4 million by 2021.

There are a bevy of reasons to be excited for the future of advertising on OTT. Here are four key reasons eMarketer cited in their recent report on Advanced TV:

OTT’s share in television viewing continues to increase: There are two major metrics to monitor in regards to this – viewership and time spent watching content. Rapid growth in these key performance areas will entice advertisers to invest in OTT.

Improvements in matching content with the right audiences: Platforms are evolving to help viewers get the exact kind of programming they prefer. The development of content recognition engines, especially through artificial intelligence, plays a major role in this.

OTT platforms will increase their ad load: At the moment, offerings for ads are light for services like Hulu or YouTube TV. That’s because currently ad volume is a key element of OTT’s value proposition for users. People use OTTs as an alternative to standard television because of the reduced number of ads they see. But as the audience for traditional TV declines, OTT platforms are expected to make more inventory available for advertisers to purchase.

Further development of audience measurement: One of the world’s leading market research firms is developing a system that will enhance insights into OTT data. Per eMarketer, Nielsen’s Total Content Ratings is a product that will measure and report the “viewing of TV programs from linear sources, connected TVs, tablets and other second-screen devices”.

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