We are perhaps the first generation of consumers to come face to face with the sheer magnitude of choice in matters of video entertainment that has evolved from traditional passive TV to countless on-demand options. With new content sources, creators, distribution platforms, consumption channels and more, this ecosystem is transforming. OTT (Over-the-top) video streaming, which refers to video content streamed over the internet is at the forefront of this transformation.
The OTT revolution is well on its way, and it is impacting the marketing ecosystem like never before.
The ongoing unbundling of TV packages – such as the one announced by TRAI for the Indian market – has given standalone TV channel players headway in the OTT space. From Hotstar to SonyLiv, ESPN+ to HBO, several global and local TV networks are looking towards OTT as the next big opportunity. Naturally, this is seeing a significant part of ad spends headed the OTT way too. Experts predict that the global TV and video ad spend is set to grow to $559 billion by 2022, with OTT contributing to over 90% of this growth.
Naturally, these developments have also made ours the first generation of marketers to grapple with unprecedented complexity in matters of video advertising. Today’s marketers have an urgent need to be agile and prepare early for the imminent OTT ad spend boom. Not only do they need to change their mindset to OTT-first, even OTT-only in many cases, they also need to quickly adapt to the new opportunities and challenges that the platform is presenting to them.
OTT is opening up a new world of audience insights for hyper-contextual marketing
OTT ad spending is rising on the account of its sharp ability to target niche audience sets. Unlike traditional TV – where targeting was more of a broad brush stroke in the age of hyper personalization – OTT brings a new opportunity to target ads based on viewers’ online behaviours, web browsing habits, lifestyle traits, and so much more. Thanks to the interactive, choice-based nature of OTT viewing, advertisers now have a wealth of insights about what content viewers watch, when they watch it, and the amount of time they spend on entertainment everyday.
By combining these organic OTT audience insights with behavioral mobile intelligence, marketers have access to a far more holistic understanding of their target groups. This is allowing them to further contextualize and personalize their video advertising.
OTT measurements & attribution capabilities
Another area that is going to be of interest for advertisers and a place where publishers must look to invest in is measurement and attribution frameworks for OTT that is now possible due to the trackability of this medium.
According to an e-Marketer report, “Because each OTT media channel has its own set of metrics—and users consume OTT content across multiple devices and platforms—piecing together an OTT campaign requires digital savvy and patience.” Even as marketers demonstrate willingness to make the switch to OTT and laud its dynamic advertising capabilities, they are uncertain about measurement frameworks.
It’s time to get started!
For the OTT advertising opportunity to grow at a similar or better pace, publishers and advertisers must be prepared for the unprecedented growth as well as for the opportunities it presents. Their agility and openness to new location and mobile technologies for audience insights and measurement is befitting of a new age platform like OTT.
The world of video advertising is in good hands with OTT. The ecosystem is ready for an exciting future – for marketing as well as for recreation. The question that remains is whether advertisers and publishers are future-ready to make the most of it.