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  • Writer's pictureRobert Eckelman

Since 2018 I have been saying CTV & OTT close, but not the same thing. All advertising impressions are not equal. CTV is a great equalizer.

Since 2018, I've emphasized the distinction between CTV and OTT, stressing that they may appear similar, but they differ significantly, particularly in the realm of advertising impressions. CTV acts as a powerful equalizer in this landscape.

I haven't recently posted about the distinction between CTV and OTT, presuming that the contrast was widely understood. Just this morning, I came across an article from eMarketer that served as a valuable reminder. You can find the article here: It's reassuring to see insights coming from a reputable entity entrenched in the CTV and OTT streaming domain.

Although many individuals use CTV and OTT interchangeably, the distinction lies in their advertising delivery methods. CTV advertising exclusively occupies the television screen, excluding ads on computers, phones, tablets, and other non-TV devices.

On the other hand, OTT video is transmitted over the Internet, similar to CTV, but it has the flexibility to appear on computers, phones, tablets, and more.

All ad impressions are not the same.

According to the Media Ratings Council (MRC), a digital display ad is deemed viewable when at least 50% of the ad is on screen for a minimum of 1 second, or in some cases (large digital display Ads) the MRC settles for just 30% visibility. The question arises: is half an ad for 1 second truly considered viewable?

Examining the dynamics of CTV advertising reveals its unique engagement characteristics. Household activities often revolve around large-screen TVs, making CTV a central point of interaction. CTV ads frequently capture multiple viewers, boasting substantially higher video completion rates compared to those on smaller devices like phones.

One notable attribute of CTV is its consistent full-screen display, contrasting starkly with the relatively small size of OTT ads on phones, and the potential oversight of OTT ads on computers if the viewer is focused on a different tab. The discrepancy between CTV and OTT becomes evident.

CTV is a marketers equalizer

CTV has emerged as a transformative equalizer, shifting power and influence from major media conglomerates to savvy marketers and advertisers. Unlike traditional approaches that rely on buying programs and targeting Age and Gender, CTV enables advertisers to hone in on a specific in-market audience. With a meticulously crafted CTV campaign and a precisely defined target audience, smaller budgets can effectively compete with industry giants, yielding meaningful results for marketers.

Please stop treating CTV & OTT as the same thing. As Maxwell Smart would say "missed it by that much"


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