Has Your Client Asked, “What Does OTT Mean?”

BY Rachel Cagle
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Has your client asked you, “What does OTT mean?” Did you know how to respond as clearly and with as much information as possible? After all, that question means the client is interested in expanding their marketing efforts. It’s your chance for them to turn to you for help as the expert. Here’s how to prepare to answer that question in the future.

Has Your Client Asked, “What Does OTT Mean?”

What is OTT?

OTT, or Over-​The-​Top, is “a delivery method of film and TV content over the internet whenever we want, across many different devices, without the need for traditional broadcast, cable or satellite pay-​TV providers,” says Endavo Media. “In simple terms, OTT streaming means paying an internet provider, like Xfinity, for internet access to watch Netflix, without paying for cable TV.”

You may be wondering, “How is that any different from connected-​TV (CTV)?” Turns out, they’re very different. According to Innovid:

  • OTT: “OTT refers to the delivery mechanism for video content, where the content is delivered ‘over the top’ instead of through a cable or satellite connection.”
  • CTV: “CTV is actually a subset of OTT, and it refers to the device on which you’re accessing that video content. It combines the delivery mechanism with the viewing experience – on the biggest screen in the home.”

In short, “If you watch Hulu on your mobile device, then you’re streaming OTT content. If, however you watch Hulu through a Roku Stick that’s plugged into your television, then you’re streaming OTT content over CTV.”

Now you know how to give the technical definition whenever a current or potential client asks, “What does OTT mean?”

Why is OTT Important?

Hopefully your local advertising clients are the ones asking, “What does OTT mean?” They can greatly benefit from utilizing it. According to BIA Advisory Services, OTT is among the fastest growing emerging platforms for local advertising across all media types. Yes, that includes digital, email and mobile. Between 2021 and 2022, OTT experienced nearly 60% local media platform growth. And it’s not nearly done growing. BIA estimates that between 2022 and 2026, OTT will grow steadily at a 14.3% compound annual growth rate.

OTT is such a fast-​growing advertising medium because of its broad market reach and engagement. BIA says that OTT viewing now makes up 36% of total video time spent. That percentage is expected to rise as consumers continue to become cord cutters, switching from traditional TV to digital. BIA points out that younger generations, especially, are more likely to switch to digital TV. Additionally, more and more consumers are choosing to watching ad-​supported OTT services. This makes it easier to spread your client’s message to more consumers.

Brands Can’t Do it Alone

According to BIA, OTT is the most complicated of all local media platforms currently in the local ad marketplace. “OTT is the highest media growth segment in local advertising, but is still underappreciated, misunderstood and the industry suffers from misinformed and underinformed participants.” If your local advertising clients aren’t already asking you, “What does OTT mean?” you should get the conversation going yourself. Statistically, there is a ton of untapped potential among local advertisers because of complications that you can help simplify.

Will OTT Work for Your Client?

In short: yes, especially if they’re local advertisers. However, if they want proof that their target audience(s) watch OTT instead of traditional TV, just look up the audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. There, you’ll be able to learn all about their TV watching habits, including how they get most of their TV programming, how much time they spend watching TV on a daily basis and what percentage has taken action within the last year after seeing various types of TV ads.

Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA