Frank's Take

Boosting Mid-Market Media Buys Through Uncommon Sense

OTT is Over the Top!

Regional and Mid-Size Companies Need to Get on Top of It!

Over the Top (OTT) advertising has played a part in the media plans my agency has put together for many of our clients for some time now. While I have always known that the usage of OTT devices would continue to grow, I don’t believe that anyone could have foreseen the exponential growth this medium has experienced due to this worldwide pandemic.

In March and April of 2020 alone, OTT grew by 9% nationally and since has continue to add steady users.

With 21% of the public cutting chords this year and with another 22% of the younger Mils and Z’s moving into their own homes for the first time being “chord-nevers”, OTT is getting a huge shot in the arm.

In 2019, E-marketer predicted that OTT ad spend would reach $14.6 billion by 2023. I am certain that prediction will change. As of June 2020, ComScore noted that 69.8 million US homes were using OTT services. I can say for sure, that those numbers alone lend themselves to increased ad spend within this medium.

But the increase in OTT usage isn’t the only reason advertisers should look to include this medium in their media mix. While reaching a large audience is important, OTT also offers various other factors that advertisers are looking for to create successful and impactful campaigns. 

Thanks to data provided from users online browsing and purchasing history, hyper-targeted audience reach is available through OTT advertising. This allows for customized messaging to be delivered to specific audience segments far greater than the audience segmentation offered through traditional Broadcast TV advertising. In addition to being able to target more specific audiences, OTT also offers the ability to retarget messaging through cross channel marketing. This technology enables advertisers to deliver ad messages to consumers that have seen their ads previously on their desktops, mobile and streaming devices. And unlike traditional television advertising, OTT offers a more precise level of tracking. Advertisers can now connect the views of their ads with website visits and downloads. Both of which give a much more accurate means of tracking their ROI.

In the recent past, OTT advertising dollars have been significantly behind the ad spends on social media and display advertising. However, based on a recent Verizon Media survey, we can see that things are clearly changing.  16% of advertisers were planning to significantly increase year over year spending in Q4 of 2020 on OTT advertising and 22% were planning to significantly increase year over year in the first half of 2021. All signs are showing that more businesses are seeing the opportunities that OTT advertising can bring to their bottom line.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly helped to increase the usage of OTT devices among all age groups and ethnicities. People being trapped in their homes and kept away from so many of their usual activities has forced them to find alternative methods of entertainment. Now that so many people have experienced the opportunities that OTT devices can bring them, like unlimited and unique content that’s on-demand, I can’t picture them ever walking away from it. OTT advertising will only continue to grow and when used correctly, should be a part of almost all advertising strategies because this is where many of the consumers have migrated.

Regional and mid-size companies need to utilize this medium properly and if they do, they’re going to see and be able to measure their results firsthand.

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