OTT devices surpass desktop for top digital ad platform in Q1 2017 | OTT | News | Rapid TV News
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Over-the-top (OTT) devices surpassed desktop as the leading digital platform for premium video ad views during the first quarter of 2017 in the US, according to online ad technology firm FreeWheel.

ott 2 august 2017“What was once an emerging technology is now a dominant destination for premium video viewing, transforming the way content is distributed and monetised,” the company said. “OTT viewing combines the power of digital advertising with the engaging, lean-back user experience of traditional television, creating one of the most compelling environments for viewers to engage with both content and marketing partners’ messaging.”

The Power of OTT: Audiences & Engagement report postulates that OTT allows marketers to reach viewers who are harder to find on traditional TV, including affluent millennials and cord-cutters. The median OTT viewer is 23 years younger than TV viewers, and their median household income is nearly $10,000 higher per year than traditional TV households. Further, more than one-third of OTT visits are over an hour long, and viewers complete 98% of all premium video ads.

In order to better understand viewers’ behaviour, the study analysed a sample of US FreeWheel clients representing more than 95% of OTT-driven digital ad views in the data set, and identified three concerns from marketers and agencies. It concluded that misconceptions around the platform have resulted in OTT being under-utilised relative to its true value.

For one, because OTT is an IP-based platform, marketers have carried over their concerns from desktop around viewability and fraudulent traffic. However, OTT is inherently less vulnerable to both challenges due to high authentication rates, the devices’ closed environments and the nature of the viewing experience, FreeWheel noted.

Advertisers are also concerned that OTT audiences overlap with the people they’re reaching through linear buys. In reality, OTT has compensated for a large part of the primetime TV ratings decline, replacing traditional television for many viewers.

“We found that viewers treat OTT devices just like traditional television — they watch a large amount of live streamed content and tune in mostly during the popular, primetime TV hours,” The Power of OTT: Audiences & Engagement also pointed out. “Therefore, marketers who only advertise through linear TV spots would miss out on these OTT audiences, who are watching the same content during the same time period, but on a different platform.”

Thirdly, while OTT has aspects of linear and digital, it doesn’t fit neatly into the measurement frameworks used by either.

“There are many ways to measure and transact OTT if advertisers are willing to be flexible and innovate, and safe automated marketplaces open up new targeting and measurement opportunities for buyers,” FreeWheel added. “No doubt there is still work to be done. However, these complexities should not be enough to dissuade advertisers from taking advantage of this valuable inventory.”