Part VII: OTT, CTV, AVoD, and BVoD: Online Video Ads Direct to Your Customer’s Living Room
Television is changing, with support for a growing number of ad formats, buying methods, and reporting metrics we might traditionally associate exclusively with the digital sphere. In the case of brands and advertisers, this change represents a lower bar of entry for reaching an engaged audience through an established and trustworthy medium, with a growing amount of OTT (over-the-top TV) and CTV (connected TV) inventory available for programmatic purchase.
Despite a relatively unsuccessful year for the advertising industry as a whole, TV and AVoD (ad-supported video on demand) advertising proved particularly resilient, with a 45% year-on-year growth for Q1 2022. 2023 is likely to be a huge year for AVoD in particular, as Netflix’s plans to implement an ad-supported tier to its platform have already rocked the streaming industry to its core. At the time of writing, Disney+ has announced the release of a competing hybrid ad/subscription for December; in response to this, Netflix has altered the timeline for release of its AVoD subscription tier, which—originally slated for Q1 2023—is now due in certain markets by November.
However, before advertisers get too excited about the prospect of seeing their ads sandwiched between episodes of Stranger Things, reports suggest that Netflix are currently demanding top dollar for their long-coveted inventory. It will be interesting to see whether their approach softens in 2023, and what opportunities might be presented to smaller businesses.
Scale and Reach
The average viewer in the UK spends 3 hours, 22 minutes watching broadcast television, making up 75% of their video diet (more than YouTube at 13%, and TikTok at 1.4%). By targeting this mass audience, advertisers can deploy creatives that resonate with a broader target market than that which is offered by traditional digital means.
What’s more, AVoD and BVoD reach 65% of light linear audiences (those that watch the least commercial TV), allowing marketers to consolidate their video campaigns and aim them at hard-to-reach consumers across demographic groups.
Trust and Confidence
TV remains a reputable delivery platform for ad content, with 42% of UK viewers stating they believe they’re likely to find advertisements they can trust through their televisions (compared to 6% for YouTube and 5% for social media).
What does this mean? Essentially, through programmatic serving of video ads, you could deploy identical content across YouTube and CTV channels, with the CTV ads benefiting from significantly greater trust and reputability. Businesses that focus solely on short-form and online video ad platforms run the risk of endangering their brand reputation, whilst losing competitive ground to those that embrace OTT and CTV.
Level Playing Field
Once the reserve of big brands—with big budgets to match—emerging OTT and CTV avenues let small brands place their marketing materials alongside much larger competitors.
For small businesses, the positive impact of embracing this medium can be huge. Ignoring it, meanwhile, may prove risky, as contemporaries that do choose to level-up this way will likely see significant gains in both brand awareness and market position.
AdSmart from Sky
For businesses in the UK, AdSmart is the ultimate platform for harnessing the power of TV advertising. Sky’s pioneering platform allows for the placement of marketing creatives across the most popular broadcast networks, and most in-demand world class TV content.
Designed to cater for SMBs—long underserved by broadcast advertising—AdSmart offers affordability, accountability, and measurability that is not provided by traditional media buying routes. The platform reaches millions of Sky and Virgin customers throughout the UK, and is built around a vast database of first- and third-party audience insights that ensures precise targeting and accurate delivery.
Amazon Video Ads
Amazon’s Fire TV has become an integral part of the home media experience for viewers all over the world. The company’s flagship streaming device has sold more than 50 million units, and—never one to miss out on a potential revenue stream—Amazon will be increasing its efforts to attract video advertisers throughout 2023.
Ads placed via Amazon’s video platform are shown across the company’s web and CTV applications, including Prime Video, Freevee, Twitch, and Live Sports on Prime. In real terms, this represents a monthly audience of 135 million in the US alone, with brands that purchase inventory via the platform seeing an average 90% increase in purchase rates.
MiQ is an independent platform that takes an agnostic approach to OTT and CTV programmatic purchasing. This means access to a wide set of supply partners, offering diverse, debundled, and transparent TV inventory.
Best suited for advertisers that want to unify their video ad campaigns, MiQ also integrates flawlessly with a number of online streaming services—or, traditionally online streaming services—such as YouTube. Combined with exceptional analytics and targeting tools, as well as contextual targeting designed for a post-cookie world, MiQ’s programmatic package is sophisticated and comprehensive.
Amobee’s goal is to integrate marketing solutions across TV, CTV, digital, and social media. Its platform serves as an automated deployment interface for buying in-stream and out-stream video ads, as well as interstitials, banners, and native web ads.
The Amobee TV Amplifier, meanwhile, allows for extended linear TV audience targeting across CTV, digital, and social. The addition of social media is highly significant, as it potentially allows for macro-level control over a brand’s entire entertainment media strategy, with unprecedented precision, reach, and creative consistency.
Whilst Roku hasn’t quite managed to make the same impact on the UK streaming market as Amazon’s Fire TV, its devices remain wildly popular, with some 61.3 million monthly active users across the US.
One of the most compelling features of the OneView DSP is its ability to deliver cross-channel ads to viewers who go untargeted via other mediums. In practice, this means the effective deployment of an ad unit to a streaming service viewer who missed that same ad unit when it ran on broadcast TV earlier.
Lumière is the world’s first programmatic ad solution for the cinema industry. Its platform “automatically converts attendees into digital video advertising inventory”, allowing for campaign optimisation that accounts for demand fluctuations in real-time.
Cinema is an astonishingly effective ad medium, massively outperforming print, television, VoD, and social media advertising across a range of metrics. With Lumière, brands can harness the power of this lucrative platform on both local and national levels.