It should come as no surprise that OTT (over-the-top media streaming services) has gone mainstream. This sea change in how consumers view video content today leaves brand marketers with little time to waste as they shift their advertising strategies away from legacy models to embrace the paradigm shift that is fundamentally changing how consumers are spending their time.
No matter the generation, everyone is watching, with new research from OpenX and The Harris Poll finding that a majority of all U.S. adults now stream OTT content, and they’re streaming a lot -- more than two hours every day.
Gone are the days of consumers willing to pay an arm and a leg for a cable package of 600+ channels they mostly don’t watch. Whether it is with OTT or traditional TV, the average American reports wanting to watch a maximum of 15 channels and they are willing to pay $100 total. OTT providers are creating holistic portals; this enables viewers to best fit their individual needs by building their own 15/100 skinny bundles of content all via OTT.
What this means for brand marketers and media buyers
Despite the massive shift in consumer attention going to OTT, of the $70 billion spent on TV ads in the U.S., just $2 billion was estimated to have been spent on targeted, addressable TV ads in 2018, according to Magna. On top of this, of all U.S. consumers who actually do watch live television, more than half do not watch any ads, giving advertisers even more of a reason to start shifting to OTT.
For marketers looking to capitalize on the consumer engagement opportunity awaiting in OTT, here are four keys to getting started:
Start testing. While OTT ad inventory is available today, it is early in the maturation cycle. Advertisers can use the inventory currently available to test and see what works for their brand. When the floodgates fully open, they will be ready to capitalize.
Build video creative for both big screens (CTV) and small (smartphone). The average streamer watches more than two-an-a-half hours of video on his phone daily, and millennials watch more streaming video on their phones than they do traditional televisions. Additionally, a third of streamers report that screen size has no impact on what kind of content they watch (or for how long).
Lean-forward, mobile devices provide the opportunity for a different experience than the traditional lean-back experience of TV. Have creative that works for both, and think outside of the box for ways to activate consumers who are ready to engage.
Think about show-stopping creative, literally. Forty percent of OTT consumers have paused the content they are watching to learn more about a product or make a purchase from a streaming video advertisement. OTT ads offer the ability to target lower-funnel activity, and marketers can go beyond pure brand awareness and run creative that will inspire immediate action.
Use more than a login to understand the user behind the screen. With a third of consumers sharing passwords, advertisers need to think beyond logins and create more holistic people-based marketing approaches that unify multiple data points in a privacy-compliant manner to target the actual user behind the screen.