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3 Key Takeaways From My AdWeek Panel: “The 2018 OTT Experience”

Oct 18

Written by Sinclair Digital

Compulse OTT Panel

Earlier this month I was honored to speak with my industry colleagues about the current state of OTT on one of the big stages at AdWeek in New York City.  While the backgrounds of the panelists varied from Programmers, Ad Networks, Research & Ratings Companies to Ad Sales, these are three key takeaways I had:

1.     Buyer Beware: CTV and OTT are not the same

“CTV” or Connected TV is a subset of OTT that also includes Mobile and Desktop. “CTV” impressions can only be reported out only when it’s in a V.A.S.T. protocol environment and via a streaming-enabled device.  The reason that’s important is because there is a premium paid in the ad world for full-episode player CTV content which is primarily viewed on a TV as opposed to mobile or desktop. Credible sellers of OTT will report out the “% of CTV” on reporting dashboards to advertisers.  Now that the OTT marketplace is becoming a bit crowded, some are trying to confuse buyers by having heavy Mobile or Desktop delivered video and selling it as “OTT” because that’s the hot buzz-word to get buyers.  “CTV” is the important piece of OTT especially to TV buyers trying to extend their TV reach and that’s because it’s primarily delivered on a TV set.

2.     All CTV/OTT is Growing: Subscription services are growing but so are ad-supported services

It was universally agreed on the panel that ad-supported subscription-based services are continuing to grow subscribers and new services are entering the marketplace every day.  However, with the growth of OTT/CTV ad sales, there is now a real business monetization model for ad-supported services such as Pluto, Crackle, Tubi, and NewsOn.

3.     Ratings and measurement of CTV/OTT is greatly improving

The currency of pricing in the CTV/OTT environment is ad impressions that are sold at a cost-per-thousand (CPM). The issue is that both traditional TV buyers and digital buyers are using OTT.  The traditional TV buyers are using OTT to extend their reach on TV buys and therefore looking for GRP, Reach and Frequency conversions. The digital buyers are looking for digital-like KPI metrics they’re used to such as digital like click-through-rate (CTR). Neither digital or TV metrics exist perfectly today but large rating companies and others are quickly moving to produce digital and TV like KPI metrics for OTT/CTV. Look for greatly improved TV ratings and digital like metrics in the next 6-12 months.

OTT/CTV is growing.  Let’s have a conversation about how OTT/CTV can help grow your business.

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