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What is Programmatic OTT Advertising? | MNI

There is a time and place for everything, and the same is true for over-the-top (OTT)advertising. Learn more about what advertisers can expect with OTT.

Today’s consumer is presented with no shortage of entertainment options. In addition to the traditional linear TV product, there are now hundreds of over-the-top (OTT) media services available, and that number grows by the day. Consumers can now access their favorite movies and tv shows from their cell phones, computer, gaming system, and just about anything else that has access to the internet. This year, of course, with so many people spending more time at home, CTVs (connected or smart TVs) are an increasingly common and popular example of OTT technology. In fact, CTV has become a priority for advertisers, with ad rates have showing the greatest price resilience across all devices during the pandemic. State that CTV spend is expected to grow as the result of 2020’s events.

Today, what the consumer chooses to watch is only part of the modern viewing decision making process.  How one might choose to watch their media now presents its own list of options. 

With constant changes occurring in media and technology, the landscape of video advertising has become highly complex for advertisers. Advertisers are now tasked with contextualizing user decisions while also being responsible for ensuring the quality of targeting, inventory, measurement, and engagement across all media platforms.

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Programmatic OTT is the Solution for Multi-Channel Advertisers

If you are building out a campaign and you wanted the complete audience for a single show to be eligible for your ads, purchasing a linear TV ad slot might not be the best option.   You potentially need to address a fragmented audience across subscription video-on-demand services like Hulu, & Amazon Prime Video, advertising-based video on demand like Crackle, and Vudu, multichannel video programming distributors like Sling and YouTube TV, and any other experiences enabled by connected tv and linear tv (video on demand for example).

Both the media service and technology chosen by the user create new audience segments and completely different viewing experiences.  So, if you are tasked with procuring media, generating strong creative, developing targeting tactics, or evaluating the performance of ads in each of those formats, you may find the experience difficult.

An evolving solution for advertisers facing multi-channel issues is programmatic OTT. 

Over-the-top (OTT) advertising is a great option for advertisers because it offers inventory across the lion’s share of media services and devices while dynamically optimizing delivery around performance. This allows brands to connect with consumers in premium content environments, with all the benefits of digital targeting, personalization, measurement, and automation efficiency. Whether you’re looking to measure visits, online sales, foot traffic, brand lift, or something else, there is a partnership and tech stack out there that can enable you to accomplish your goals.

Why Advertisers Should Consider an OTT Strategy


With the right approach, OTT advertising can be at the core of any brand’s media mix. While it certainly is an excellent option for branding and awareness, it can be evolved into a more complete performance channel if executed properly. 

Dynamically delivering around performance via an automated exchange sounds great, but a lot of advertisers may feel they are trading quality for simplicity – however, this is not the case. Advertisers can access the same premium ad inventory they would get via a direct relationship. 

The real question is, what dictates premium inventory? While a publisher might deem ad space of higher value, is that true for an advertiser if it doesn't perform relatively better to other sources?  With a programmatic solution, advertisers can avoid upfront budgets and commitments to poorly performing publishers while also expanding the network of publishers they have access to evaluate performance against.

Programmatic OTT Lets You See Insights and Data Like No Other Advertising Campaign

In addition to having access to expansive ad inventory, advertisers have the option of layering in data to improve targeting like demographic data, custom audiences, and behavioral data to improve results. If you embrace a data-driven approach to OTT, you can target and retarget the same audience across multiple channels and screens. For example, with programmatic OTT, you can target the desired audience via CTV, then retarget those users specifically on mobile devices near your business.

Because OTT campaigns are delivered via multiple devices and services, there are challenges when it comes to attribution tracking. Evaluating performance is simplified using a programmatic OTT solution. At this time, there are no performance standards like there are for linear TV, and digital is particularly challenging to measure because each service and technology is different.  By accessing a wide range of sources through a demand-side platform, you can unify data in one place and track the impact of your campaigns with digital and traditional metrics, including view-through rates and online sales and even foot traffic.

With programmatic OTT, performance no longer needs to be evaluated as a function of a dollar amount spent, and an estimated audience reached. If you are focused on branding, cost-per-view might still be for you. Crucial contextual information like video-completion rates might even be available to make for more robust evaluation. However, today’s advertiser has the luxury of being able to optimize and evaluate their campaigns around new metrics - some of which are dependent on the services, devices, and tech stack being utilized.

The OTT Solution

With OTT, information like device-level data, IP data, location data, and more can all be utilized to shed light on how a campaign is truly performing.  Never before with a television experience have you been able to know how many of your customers have seen your ads or what percentage of an audience actually went on to enter your store location.

Our extensive ad services reach consumers online, offline, any time, with leading-edge technology solutions. Check out how our motto technology shows advertisers how their CTV and OTT ads are performing, in almost real time.

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