How OTT Advertisements Are Causing a Paradigm Shift in Digital Marketing

Long gone is the era of television and cable channels. Today’s world is taken over by OTT (“over-the-top”) platforms streaming content via the internet. From the consumer’s point of view, in this fast-paced world with people always on the go, the option of streaming a wide gamut of content across multiple devices like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones is an absolute winner. With people streaming their favourite shows in their commute to work and lunch breaks, television sets are completely running out of business, and so is the advertisement industry heavily reliant on television media. 

Marketers need to adapt to the need of the hour to relay their content to relevant audiences. OTT platforms have opened new avenues of advertisement with a host of tools and advantages at their disposal. 

Helps reach Mass Audience

Gone are the days of over-the-air television media consumption. With a majority of the population, especially the youth having shifted to OTT streaming, it is an absolute win-win for the advertisers. 

A younger means a more engaging audience. Statistics show a drop of around 40% in cable TV viewership among 18- 24-year-old consumers. This audience is also deemed to be more receptive as data shows around 98% of them stream an ad till the end.

There has been an upsurge in CTV owners, which typically refers to devices that connect television boxes to the internet and OTT platforms. Simultaneously, there has been a decline in satellite and cable TV users. In 2020 alone, 6.6 million people cut off their cable and satellite tv subscriptions, resulting in a total steep cut of 7.5% which is only expected to rise over time.

Data also shows a surge of ad-supportive devices by 9% over while non-ad supporting devices grew by 5%. In other words, consumers prefer to pay a lesser subscription fee even if they have to watch ads, which is a big game-changer for the advertisement industry.

Microtargeting viewers

The “wide-net” marketing strategy of television advertisers falls short when it comes to OTT advertisements even though their ad reaches a wider chunk of the audience. This is because TV channels have too wide an audience for an ad to capture the attention of every member. One can quote Seth Godin here when he said, “The key to failure is to please everyone”.

On the other hand, OTT platforms allow for addressable advertising, which means different advertisements catered to each unique section of the audience based on their demographics and interests. 

For instance, an 18-year old boy and a 30-year old woman can watch the same episode of Indian Idol and yet be shown two completely different advertisements. Advertisers can target a gaming console ad to the teenager and a Hawai trip package to the woman.

OTT advertisement can target specific demographics such as age, gender, location, income level, interests, device usage hours, etc, and get to the exact target audience you’re looking for.

Optimum Use of Data Analytics

It is an absolute no-brainer that OTT advertisers can access advanced data and feedback via web-based platforms and target niche audiences. 

From viewing hours to completion rates, there are a host of other data that are accessible to OTT advertisers.

Tracking consumer behaviour becomes important when it comes to advertising. Hence, advertisers need to get to the nitty-gritty of consumer behaviour. How long is a viewer likely to watch a reality show? What time of the day do they usually stream a comedy show? Which device do they use most often? OTT platforms keep a track of all these metrics.

The more accurate your data is, the more likely you are to target them the right ad at the right time.

Not only that, OTT platforms let marketers make use of their performance analytics to get the most accurate feedback. With TV advertisements, the closest you can get to feedback is whether the screen stays on, and even then, the viewer might be on a loo break. But with OTT advertisements, you have a bunch of feedback at your disposal including the total number of views, video completion rates, attribution tracking, demographics responses, etc. 

Gain Better Consumer Interactivity and Action

One of the most unique aspects of OTT streaming is perhaps audience interactivity. With TV advertisements, audiences are limited to the role of simply a viewer who can watch an advertisement, and switch on and off the television. That is all the interaction it offers.

With OTT advertisement, however, viewers can visit links and take surveys and even look up a product or service on a new tab. For advertisers, this ensures a shorter, simpler, and surer path to consumer action.

With the internet at our disposable, consumers are more information-seeking than ever. Around 40% of viewers pause streaming to learn more information or even purchase a product whereas 65% of second-screen viewers (those with more than one browser tab open) look up product information. Just by being connected to the internet, OTT advertisement fosters consumer interest.

OTT platforms also allow higher click-through rates. At this point, almost every Youtube ad has a clickable link. This eliminates the “middle man” search step for viewers. Clicking on the ad provides them more information which is faster and more trackable than tv based ad traffic.

Attain Higher Audience Attention

With TiVo coming into existence, skipping television ads has been made possible and simpler than ever. Even without pre-recording options, one can always skip the channel during an ad break. In other words, TV ads are just not feasible in a highly evolving technological society. Luckily, OTT advertisements offer a gamut of features that come to the rescue of marketers.

While tv viewers can easily skirt commercials in multiple ways using TiVo, rushing to the bathroom, switching channels, OTT platform ads are way less skippable. Viewers neither have the option of fast-forwarding nor switching shows without losing their spot and are bound to watch ads till the end.

Since viewers can access content on multiple platforms, the chances of them seeing the same ad more than once increases. More views amount to more desired responses, an ideal called “effective frequency”.

Unlike TV ads, OTT platforms can micro-target audiences heightening the chances of memorability. Around 72% of OTT viewers claim to recall a specific ad. Statistics show 47% of ad-supported OTT viewers liked these personalized advertisements and found them “useful or enjoyable”.

As more viewers “cut the cord” on cable and satellite tv subscriptions each day and switch to online streaming, it is needless to state that advertisers and marketers need to follow suit. It is no brain teaser that the internet is here to stay. With people spending long hours glued to their smartphones and gadgets, what are the odds that they will seek entertainment elsewhere?

With television media consumption rates rapidly declining, OTT platforms are the new top dogs. Advertisers need to use them to their full potential to be at the top of their game.

Leave a Comment