Cut the Cord, Not Your Lead Funnel

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OTT, or “Over the Top” streaming services are beginning to dominate the way audiences consume film and TV content. Stay up to date on the best practices advertisers can take advantage of when it comes to utilizing this game changing platform.

Rather listen than read? In a recent podcast, Level Agency’s Jenna Bluedorn and Patrick Van Gorder teamed up with Vista College’s Rick Glew to discuss what it means to ‘cut the cord’ and how this impacts digital advertisers across markets.

Check out our most recent episode of Test. Learn. Grow. to hear the full conversation.

Let’s start with the basics – what’s the difference between connected TV and OTT?

These are two terms that often get thrown around by digital advertisers, but they represent different things when it comes to the structure of online streaming. Connected TV is the device itself that allows users to stream content through their television. This includes internet enabled set top boxes, streaming sticks like Roku, and gaming consoles such as PlayStation or Xbox.

On the other hand, OTT services rely on these types of devices to deliver content directly to your TV. Platforms like Amazon Fire or Apple TV stream content through the internet without the need of a cable or satellite provider. Both Netflix and Hulu are OTT publishers and are available through these services. In addition to streaming through a television, users can also take advantage of these services on a mobile device.

How does the emergence of OTT as a platform affect the digital advertiser?

This digital channel is growing rapidly and taps into a vast audience of niche consumers that traditional TV cannot reach. By the end of 2021, 83% of US households will have a connected TV, and 64% of the population will be connected TV users. This compares to the reach of traditional TV, which by the end of the year, will only have access to 57 of the available 122 million households across the country – nearly half of its audience potential. OTT explores a new, unprecedented opportunity for advertisers to reach audiences in a format that users interact with up to eight hours a day. The market for connected TV and thus OTT as a medium is becoming more popular than ever with advertiser spend accelerating up to $13.4 billion; even as the physical economy reopens, this exponential growth will not dull as users continue to display a strong preference for streamable, online content.

How does OTT advertising fit into the customer attribution journey?

A key benefit of advertising through OTT services is the ability to track consumption patterns of individual users, which in today’s complex marketing ecosystem, is becoming increasingly rare. For instance, say a consumer is exposed to a new ad while streaming content through a smart TV. Although this is the first brand exposure in a format where consumers are highly engaged, it might not be enough to yield a conversion. Alongside other digital marketing efforts, this user could then continue to see related brand advertisements on social media and other digital platforms that lead them further down the marketing funnel to eventually complete a conversion. The shared Wi-Fi network across devices such as smart TVs, mobile devices, tablets, and desktops allow the advertiser to measure how long the conversion took, which device it took place on, and what type of ad ultimately led the consumer to make a decision. This holistic digital marketing approach can help personalize the consumer attribution journey to connect with the ideal customer in the most efficient way.

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