As streaming services like Netflix and Hulu continue to expand, more and more people are finding the traditional cable and satellite TV experience to be a hassle not worth the cost. It makes total sense when you think about it – why would you want to disrupt your day to plant yourself in front of your home TV at a specific time when, instead, you could opt for a streaming service that allows you to watch your favorite TV shows at any time of the day and at any location you want?

Today’s media consumer demands convenience and flexibility, and nothing embodies these two qualities more than Over The Top (OTT) TV and Video.

This article discusses the benefits of OTT TV/Video and highlights its unique advertising and marketing capabilities.

What is Over The Top (OTT) TV/Video?

Over The Top (OTT) TV and Video refers to any streaming service that delivers content via an internet provider rather than a traditional broadcast, cable, or satellite TV provider. Over The Top TV and Video services allow the customer to view their desired content whenever they want, and across multiple devices, including a smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop, smart TV, and gaming console.

There are currently dozens of Over The Top streaming platforms and more are becoming available each year. The most common OTT platforms include Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Fire TV, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Peacock, and Pluto TV.

How is OTT Streaming Delivered?

The location-independent quality of OTT is what makes it so convenient and popular. The days of sitting on your living room couch in front of the TV to watch your favorite show are long gone. To stream OTT, customers simply need a high-speed internet connection or Wi-Fi enabled device that supports apps.

The three main ways OTT streaming is delivered include:

  • Personal Computer: Users can view OTT content from computer-based apps (desktop or laptop) or web browsers.
  • Mobile OTT Devices: Users can use their smartphone or tablet to download OTT apps and stream-on-the-go.
  • Connected TV Devices: This category includes devices like Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV, as well as gaming consoles like PlayStation.

The Growth of Over The Top Streaming

The COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 played a major role in the growth of OTT streaming. As billions of consumers around the world were forced to quarantine at home, subscriptions to OTT platforms rose significantly. Many cable and satellite TV customers made the switch to OTT streaming, as they found it to be a less expensive and more flexible option to view content.

According to recent statistics, nearly 61% of American households subscribe to two or more OTT streaming platforms; nearly 45% subscribe to three or more OTT streaming platforms. These percentages are expected to continue rising in the coming years. Researchers at Emarketer predict that the number of US households that subscribe to traditional broadcast and cable TV providers will drop by nearly 14 million by 2023.

To provide a better picture of OTT’s popularity, consider the subscription stats from two of the biggest OTT platforms available, Netflix and Disney Plus. As of December 2020, Netflix has over 200 million monthly subscribers to its platform. Disney Plus has over 86 million subscribers and is steadily growing.

The ability to watch video on demand, binge an entire series in a day, and enjoy content without commercial breaks has proven to be a huge draw for today’s consumer.

OTT Marketing and Advertising

The on-demand, multi-device capability of Over The Top streaming confers several unique marketing and advertising opportunities. It also expands the audience reach options. As Statista shows, the growth of this market is enormous.

Currently, there are three major ways to buy and deliver advertising via OTT:

  • Programmatic Ads: served across multiple networks through Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) using automation
  • Platform Direct Ads: purchased from the OTT device provider
  • Publisher Direct Ads: purchased through the OTT service provider

An example of an OTT platform that uses programmatic advertising is Xandr (recently acquired by Microsoft). Examples of platform direct advertising include Roku and Apple TV. Hulu would be an example of publisher direct advertising.

The Benefits of OTT Advertising

The flexibility of OTT streaming offers several benefits to advertisers. These benefits include guaranteed ad delivery, increased accessibility and affordability, granular audience targeting, retargeting, and ad performance attribution.

Guaranteed Ad Delivery

OTT ads are effective because, typically, the user cannot avoid the ad by skipping it, closing the window, or using an ad blocker. As a result, ad completion rates are high.

Increased Accessibility and Affordability

The increasing participation in OTT streaming offers marketers the opportunity to reach a wider and more diverse audience. OTT ads are also significantly cheaper than a commercial spot on traditional broadcast and cable TV.

Granular Audience Targeting

OTT gives advertisers the ability to hyper-target their advertisements to specific audiences. Marketers can leverage consumer data like online browser and purchase history to focus their ads to the most appropriate users.


OTT also closes the cross-channel loop and allows advertisers to retarget viewers who have seen their ads elsewhere.

Better Ad Performance Analytics

Lastly, OTT provides advertisers with better ad performance data. OTT is internet-based and therefore offers more detailed data analytics. As a result, advertisers can get a better return on Ad spend (ROAS) by editing existing ads and optimizing future ads.

Mandel Marketing Helps With Media Strategy and Planning

If it all sounds a little confusing, that’s because it. But the media pros at Mandel Marketing have been in the advertising business for decades, and we can help you sort it out. For your digital media planning and buying strategy needs, give us a call or contact us today.