OTT, You Know Me! Jump Into Cross-Channel Advertising

Television and film content has been migrating online at a rapid rate. Most of us use platforms such as Hulu, Amazon Video and Netflix daily– if not hourly. Popular streaming services such as these are generally referred to as OTT (or “Over-the-Top”) media.

The idea behind OTT is simple: Instead of a conventional set-top box, audiences simply stream their favorite content directly from a provider’s app. This, in some cases, eliminates the need for a cable or satellite company to act as a content distributor. 

Overall, the transition to OTT has made the process of watching our favorite programming easier and more accessible than ever before. We can open a mobile device, fire up an app and stream content anywhere at any time — a shift that has a multitude of significant implications for marketers.

Why OTT is essential for cross-channel marketing campaigns

Studies have long illustrated the utility of a cross-channel advertising approach: One survey found that 72% of consumers prefer an integrated marketing approach across all channels. Meanwhile, Google discovered that consumers displayed better brand recall during cross-channel campaigns (74%). 

So this much is clear: A cross-channel approach not only works better, it’s the campaign format that audiences find most useful. 

Here’s another important statistic: Roughly three out of four people consume OTT content, and the number of OTT-only households has tripled over the last five years. Additionally, one-third of OTT consumers watch content on three or more devices.

Some other eye-opening OTT numbers:

  • The four largest OTT services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube) average a total of nearly two hours of viewing time per day in every U.S. household.
  • Streaming accounts for 11% of all TV viewing in the 18 to 49 demographic – an increase of more than 100% in the last three years.
  • Netflix accounts for the lion’s share of OTT consumption (40%). YouTube is second with 18%; Hulu 14% and Amazon 7%.

Given these numbers, determining the optimal approach for marketing in the OTT ecosystem should be a key consideration moving forward. According to a recent Video Advertising Bureau report, 65% of people who use a second screen when watching OTT content have researched products or services they’ve seen advertised on the programming they are watching.

This kind of multitasking is a boon for advertisers and marketers, and the future possibilities for integrated marketing are profound. A generation or two ago, advertisers were forced to take a scattershot approach to reach audiences. Market research and notoriously unreliable TV ratings were the tools of the trade, and the only real methods available for creating targeted ads over a TV set.

Today, advanced data analytics have allowed the process of ad targeting to make a quantum leap in effectiveness. The general trend toward OTT consumption enables even more precise targeting, as OTT content is streamed across devices and apps that often know more about our history and preferences than we do ourselves.

OTT allows advertisers a deep level of control; they pick who sees an ad, the device it’s on and when it shows. They can track which ads are skipped, which ads are watched and the overall preferences of viewers.

Incorporating OTT advertising into a campaign isn’t without challenges, however. Advertisers, for example, need to create ads that are optimized for myriad screen sizes, browsers, platforms etc.

Yet the truth is fairly simple: Audiences want cross-channel advertising, and they want content streamed Over-the-Top.

It’s the job of marketers and advertisers to give it to them.

The takeaway

The numbers tell the story: OTT viewing is experiencing explosive growth, and will eventually become the default content viewing experience for most audiences. The data-rich OTT ecosystem is also fertile ground for the kind of highly-targeted cross-channel advertising that moves the needle.

Connect with us today to discuss how OTT can help your advertising be seen by the right people in the right place at the right time.

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