5 Tips For Success In OTT Ad Monetization

As consumers shift more of their TV viewing time to OTT streaming platforms, there is a growing TV audience that can no longer be reached through traditional TV advertising.

A recent Nielsen Total Audience Report found that adults 18-24 watched 46% fewer hours of linear TV in Q3 2016 than in Q3 2010. Another 2016 Nielsen report showed that connected TVs make up 23% of average video viewing among Adults 18-34, more than double that of PC, smartphone and tablet combined.

Advertising in OTT offers the sight, sound and motion of a traditional TV ad experience, combined with the targeting, measurement and engagement of digital. With lighter ad loads and a full-screen living room viewing environment, OTT advertising typically outperforms digital video and traditional TV in key ROI metrics like awareness, purchase intent, and sales lift.

Below are five tips for publishers of ad-supported streaming apps to fully capitalize on the power of OTT advertising:

Put the consumer first. Consumers’ experiences with your advertising are as important as their experience with your content. Consumers love “free,” but a poor ad experience will generate service calls, or worse, permanent tune-out and deletion of your app. Be on guard against high ad frequency, long buffering times, poorly encoded video, and inappropriate audio levels. It’s incumbent on publishers, tech vendors, and their ad clients to deliver a TV-quality ad experience for OTT consumers.

Position OTT as TV. As cord-cutting and ratings declines continue, TV ad buyers are under growing pressure to follow their audience to new platforms. OTT is TV’s heir apparent: a highly engaged audience watching premium content and ads on the biggest screen in the home. With recent advances by Nielsen and comScore, OTT can also now be measured and sold using the same demographic currency as traditional TV. It delivers that “missing GRP,” and thus should be a key part of your strategy to win (or protect) TV ad budgets.

Position OTT as TV -- but better.  Every ad in OTT is delivered in a dynamic, one-to-one fashion, enabling the kind of targeting and efficiencies that will never be practical in a broadcast TV environment. OTT platforms, and a growing crop of third-party data providers, are enabling publishers to onboard and target audiences based on demographics, lifestyles, purchase propensities, and even advertiser-provided CRM data. To fully realize OTT’s potential as an advanced measurement and targeting platform, publishers should be actively investing in app development, ad-tech partnerships, and data-provider relationships.

Build your OTT audience. The ad-supported OTT audience is growing fast, and in many cases, already represents 40% to 50% of a publishers' total digital video audience. But scale is still modest relative to traditional linear audiences. Fortunately, OTT offers an array of new audience building tools, including display ads within OTT interfaces; advanced analytics to understand your audience; lookalike modeling to conquest new audience; and click-to-install cross-promotional video ad units. These capabilities represent the “new tune-in” toolset that all publishers should be learning.

Think beyond the 30. The 30-second spot is, and will remain, the most effective and scalable TV ad unit for years to come. But as an interactive, digital-first platform, OTT offers many more touchpoints for brands than a traditional TV ad experience. Example executions include: display ads within your app; limited commercial interruptions (e.g., one sponsor per pod); and category sponsorships (e.g., “Holiday movies brought to you by…”). Brands are looking for new, innovative ways to reach a more discriminating TV consumer, creating a unique opportunity for OTT app publishers.

All TV will eventually be streamed -- and with it, all TV advertising. While it is still relatively new to some publishers, OTT advertising combines the best of TV and digital, and represents a bright new path forward for publishers, advertisers, and the platforms and vendors that service them.

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