AThe key to a successful marketing campaign is being tenacious, persistent, and most importantly, cutting-edge by staying ahead of the competition. The problem in today’s media world is the number of choices that consumers have about where they find their entertainment, news, and information, which makes it difficult to know how best to spend your marketing dollars. Both connected television (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) ads can be powerful and quite effective, but they differ, and that difference is something that you should consider when considering advertising on either or both. Although the way they differ might seem slight, it can impact the rate of return on your advertising investment.

What Is Over-The-Top TV?

Over-the-top or OTT is a term that refers to any video content that is delivered to the consumer other than through the traditional connected television hookup such as satellite or cable. It is content that is not attached to a TV subscriber; rather, it is delivered via an internet connection. OTT TV is usually available through any mobile device that sources an internet connection. Examples of OTT are Amazon Fire, Roku, and Apple TV. OTT subscription services differ according to the company you choose. 

For instance, Netflix has no ads playing, but they charge you a subscription fee to replace them. Others, however, still include ads in the content at a reduced subscription price. Videos that play during OTT are currently the preferred method of advertising because they gain the exposure of being in front of an audience for a lower cost when compared to satellite or traditional cable TV. Also, some OTT apps allow sponsored content and pop-up ads. 

What Is CTV?

Connected TV or CTV is the method by which OTT content streams to users. It refers to any device that can connect to the internet and allow people to use on-demand content. This means CTV is how most people stream OTT services like Netflix and Hulu, and CTV ads offer unique benefits for those who advertise on them. 

Roku, the most popular provider of CTV devices and TVs, uses a native advertising platform that allows ad placement alongside channels and apps, which are visible during a user’s favorite content. The same technology and method is currently being used by Samsung smart TVs.

CTV and OTT Are Related But Are NOT the Same

OTT advertising consists of video or pre-roll ads that are visible to people while they are watching content, while CTV ads appear along with shows and apps on a connected device. Therefore, while OTT and CTV are similar, they are also distinct. Using both of them is a great way to ensure that you capture your audience wherever they are. 

What Are the Benefits of OTT Advertising?

When you compare traditional television advertising with OTT ads, OTT ads engage the viewer more. Traditional “commercials” are placed in multiple ad sequences, making the viewer more likely to either change channels or fast-forward to avoid them. OTT ads are integrated into the actual viewer experience and can’t be skipped. 

The viewer can see a “countdown” to know how much longer they will run, but they have to stay put. OTT advertising is much shorter and less disruptive to the viewer, so the viewer is more likely to pay attention. That means you have a greater likelihood that people will watch your OTT ad over ones that are skippable. 

OTT Ads Allow Better Targeting

OTT advertisers deliver a one-to-one vector so consumers can be targeted wherever they are, regardless of what platform they watch from or what they are watching. In turn, OTT ads give pertinent and rich data to marketers about what people are watching and their online behaviors, allowing better targeting of niche markets.

OTT Ads Reach Hard-to-Reach Consumers

Most people who have cut the traditional cable cord think they have eliminated ads. Advertisers using OTT can target the cable bunker group with more precise advertising versus using a more blanket TV strategy that will likely not connect with most consumers and will cost you a whole lot more.

OTT Ads Use Advanced Attrition Capabilities

OTT advertisements use “pixel-based tracking,” which allows advertisers to decipher whether the viewer acted after seeing an ad. If you know what makes potential consumers act, that is the most important information you need.

OTT Has Unmatched Selectivity

Most digital ad buying is programatic, but OTT platforms allow companies to find the OTT platform with something called “first look” rights. The difference is that an advertiser on OTT can circumvent any target restrictions inherently built into programmatic ad buying. So you gain the accessibility of higher-quality content, and then you can strategically dish out ads to particular publishers and platforms.


There is nothing new under the sun. What does change, however, are the ways in which marketers find a niche market. And also, the way they get their clients in front of them. At A Digital Media Company, our goal is always the same: to get you the most exposure. We also seek to do it with the smallest budget possible. Although our goal remains the same, we recognize that not every client has the same needs. 

We topple the competition because we are experts in ALL types of marketing and advertising. That includes SEO to streaming to OTT. Which is right for you? That depends on your audience, your budget, and how well you know the industry and platform you intend to use. Contact us today and let’s build a winning strategy to get you in front of your audience.