- Published: Oct 23, 2022
- Last Updated: Sep 25, 2023
- 6 min. read
Abby FieldsBranded Content Specialist
- Abby is a data-driven content marketer with certifications in inbound marketing and content marketing. She’s written hundreds of articles covering digital marketing topics — a few of her specialties include first-party data, marketing and data analytics, marketing strategy optimization, and SEO. When she isn’t writing or optimizing content, Abby loves to spend time reading the latest mystery novel, having movie marathons with lots of snacks, and jamming out to Shania Twain.
With more people cutting the cord from cable TV and taking to popular streaming platforms like Netflix to get their TV fix, two popular advertising channels are available for companies that want to reach their target audience — over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) advertising.
OTT and CTV advertising are forms of online advertising that take place on video streaming platforms. Their biggest difference is the device the ads will display on.
CTV ads display on TVs connected to the Internet, also called smart TVs. On the other hand, OTT ads display on any device, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs.
Do you want to learn more about OTT vs. CTV advertising and which could be the better fit for your business? Keep reading!
What is OTT advertising?
OTT advertising is a form of digital advertising that takes place on video streaming services like YouTube and Hulu. OTT ads can appear on any device that can connect to the Internet and stream video content, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers.
What is CTV advertising?
CTV advertising is a form of digital advertising that appears on smart TVs or TVs that connect to the Internet. These TVs use the Internet to play content from popular streaming platforms instead of satellite or cable.
What is the difference between OTT and CTV advertising?
So, what is the difference between OTT and CTV advertising? While the two terms are very similar, they do have a few distinct differences.
One of the biggest differences between OTT vs. CTV advertising is the device someone uses to stream the video content and ads.
Both OTT and CTV ads display on popular streaming networks. However, OTT ads are advertisements that will display on any device, including smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and more.
On the other hand, CTV ads only display on TVs that connect to the Internet or smart TVs. By that definition, CTV ads are technically a subset of OTT ads.
For example, if you’re watching YouTube on the app on your phone and watch an advertisement play before your video, you’re experiencing OTT advertising. And if you’re sitting on your couch watching Hulu on your TV and see an ad when you pause your show, you’re experiencing CTV advertising.
The ad format and type
Because OTT and CTV ads display on different devices, the ad formats and types can vary depending on the device you use to stream content.
For example, let’s say you’re watching YouTube videos on your laptop. Your display might look something like this:
As you can see, there’s a display ad right next to your video, above the video suggestions. If you watched your YouTube video on your smart TV, your display would look much different.
Instead of seeing an entire webpage that includes your video, suggestions, and display ads, you’d likely only see your video in a full-screen format with video advertisements playing before, during, and after your video.
Many platforms offer various ad formats for specific devices. For example, Hulu offers interactive ads that allow viewers to use their TV remote control to browse and click on interactive elements in the ad.
While most OTT and CTV ads will look the same, like video ads, the user may see fewer or more ad types depending on the device they use to stream their video content.
OTT vs. CTV advertising: What are the benefits of each?
Now that you know the answers to the questions “what is OTT advertising” and “what is CTV advertising,” along with their differences, let’s discuss the benefits of each.
When it comes to OTT vs. CTV advertising, you’ll experience many of the same benefits no matter which ad type you choose.
Highly targeted ads
OTT and CTV ads enable you to take advantage of powerful audience targeting to ensure your ads reach your target audience.
You can target viewers based on their:
- Purchase history
- Job role
- And more
With targeted ads like these, you can rest easy knowing that your promotions will reach your target audience, earning you a higher return on investment (ROI).
Increased brand awareness
Both advertising channels also enable you to expand your reach and awareness by promoting your products and services where your audience spends their free time.
You can reach users on the world’s most popular streaming platforms with OTT and CTV ads.
As more and more people see your ads when watching their favorite TV shows and movies, they’ll begin to associate your brand with those products or services, establishing more brand recognition and trust.
Plus, OTT and CTV ads allow you to keep your brand at the forefront of your audience’s minds, encouraging them to choose you instead of a competitor when it comes time to purchase.
Engaging ad formats
Videos are one of the most engaging forms of advertisements because they quickly capture your audience’s attention with visuals and audio instead of just text.
In fact, 90% of shoppers say that videos helped them with a purchasing decision. OTT and CTV advertising enable you to create engaging video ads that hook your viewers’ attention throughout your entire promotion.
That means your audience is more likely to understand the benefits of your products or services because they stayed around for your entire advertisement rather than just scrolling past.
What’s the bottom line?
So, which advertising channel is the best for your business?
One of the biggest advantages of investing in OTT vs. CTV advertising is that OTT advertising enables you to reach more potential customers. That’s because OTT ads display for users streaming video content on any device, including connected TVs.
So, if you want to launch multiple ad types, including video, display, and interactive ads, you’ll likely want to invest in an OTT advertising campaign to maximize your reach and revenue.
Time to Level Up Your Sales
Our long list of services helps you grow every aspect of your business with marketing strategies that are proven to increase bottom-line metrics like revenue and conversions.
In the past 5 years, we’ve managed more than 12.9 MILLION transactions across our client base.
You don’t have to choose between OTT vs. CTV advertising with WebFX
Why choose between OTT vs. CTV ads when you can have both with WebFX?
WebFX is an award-winning digital advertising agency with a team of over 500 advertising specialists. We can help you launch OTT and CTV ads that reach your audience on the world’s most popular streaming platforms.
Abby is a data-driven content marketer with certifications in inbound marketing and content marketing. She’s written hundreds of articles covering digital marketing topics — a few of her specialties include first-party data, marketing and data analytics, marketing strategy optimization, and SEO. When she isn’t writing or optimizing content, Abby loves to spend time reading the latest mystery novel, having movie marathons with lots of snacks, and jamming out to Shania Twain.
WebFX is a full-service marketing agency with 1000+ client reviews and a 4.9-star rating on Clutch! Find out how our expert team and revenue-accelerating tech can drive results for you! Learn more
- What is OTT Advertising?
- What is CTV Advertising?
- What is the Difference Between OTT and CTV Advertising?
- The Device
- The Ad Format and Type
- OTT vs. CTV Advertising: What Are the Benefits of Each?
- Highly Targeted Ads
- Increased Brand Awareness
- Engaging Ad Formats
- What’s the Bottom Line?
- You Don’t Have to Choose Between OTT vs. CTV Advertising with WebFX