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CTV Digital Advertising Basics: Reach a More Targeted Online Audience

In this video, Trevin from the WebFX Marketing team explains the basics of CTV digital advertising. 


With more and more people cutting the cord, CTV digital advertising has become a popular method of reaching people online. In fact, CTV ad spend rose nearly 60% from 2020 to 2021, and will reach $24.20 billion in 2023.

This newer player in the advertising game will continue growing as a larger number of people rely on the Internet to consume content.

So, what exactly is connected TV advertising? I’ll explain!

CTV advertising definition

Connected TV, or CTV, refers to televisions that use the Internet to stream video. Think Smart TVs that let you download apps to your favorite streaming services.

This definition also includes devices that give a television the ability to stream online, like video game consoles or Fire sticks.

CTV advertising, in turn, is a form of digital advertising that reaches people while they’re using a CTV device.

CTV does not provide video via traditional broadcast, satellite, or cable channels, so ads viewed in this manner would not be considered connected TV ads.

An acronym you might hear used with CTV is OTT. While these terms are connected, they’re not quite the same thing.


OTT stands for over-the-top and refers to content that’s presented to viewers using the Internet. Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO Max, Vimeo, Tubi, and other popular streaming platforms would be considered OTT streaming services because they provide video to subscribers through the Internet, not through traditional methods of viewing television.

OTT video can be viewed on different devices via the Internet. These devices include laptops, smartphones, and connected TVs.

To quote the IAB Tech Lab, “Use CTV to refer to a specific type of device,” and, “Use OTT to refer to content.”

How CTV digital advertising works

While connected TV advertising is fairly new, the basic principles of advertising still apply to it. Before you invest in connected TV ads, you should know who you want to reach and what you want those people to do after they’ve viewed your ads.

This information not only shapes the content of your ads but also helps you choose the best audience targeting strategy when preparing to launch your campaigns.

When choosing how to target your audience, you can get a lot more granular than you would with traditional TV ads. You can also gain access to campaign insights that help shape your future marketing decisions.

Programmatic advertising tools are essential to your CTV ads. These tools use automation to manage your digital ad campaigns. So, instead of you going to each place you want to advertise, bidding for ad space manually, updating your budget and targeting, etc., the programmatic software does a lot of that for you. You can learn more about the different tools available to you on our website.

If you don’t have a ton of experience with programmatic advertising, you may want to get in touch with an agency that can help you.

And those are the basics of CTV digital advertising. If you want to keep learning about different forms of online advertising, take a minute to subscribe to our YouTube channel and our email newsletter, Revenue Weekly.

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