Sushant Tomar
Jun 10, 2020

Opinion: It’s time to leverage the power of OTT advertising

As more users switch to these platforms, marketers shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to include this channel in their performance strategies, says the author

Sushant Tomar
Sushant Tomar
Everyday more consumers bring tailored content in their lives with the use of technology. Thanks to the advancements in the digital industry, today’s individuals can build by themselves their media world selecting the content they want to watch or listen via OTT (Over-The-Top) services. While the growth of OTT content had started long before the spread of the recent pandemic, Covid-19 has undoubtedly fostered the spread of the OTT subscription model across the world. As more users switch on these platforms, marketers shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to include this powerful channel in their performance strategies as it allows increased targeting and measurement capabilities compared to age old index-based TV buying. 
Everyone is glued to TV, yet ad spend is down 
Over the past few weeks, the increasing number of people confined at home has fostered the consumption of media and entertainment, particularly across TV, online gaming, OTT and online news. In India, since the beginning of the lockdown, there has been a rise of 38 per cent in TV viewing and an average of four hours spent per day watching content - this boom is happening in absence of any fresh or live content, except from news. However, while viewership has increased, monetisation has been a huge challenge. Advertising is often the easiest expense to cut during adversities and therefore, many brands have currently reduced or entirely halted their ad spend causing the TV industry’s billing to plunge by 50-75 per cent. 
More and more eyeballs are on OTT platforms 
In India, the implacable hunger for new content has led to an extraordinary surge in OTT subscriptions which have increased by 75 per cent during the lockdown period. OTT makes movie-watching convenient, accessible, and affordable across a wide segment of users both in big metros as well in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. A great opportunity for advertisers is the recent introduction of movie premieres on OTT platforms. As lights are going down on live events, OTT streaming services are offering exclusive access to the latest Indian movies. An example is Amazon Prime Video which recently announced acquiring global streaming rights for seven upcoming Indian movies. While the move wasn’t perceived well by large theatre chains, it opened up a huge opportunity for marketers as the launch of a new movie on OTT can garner billions of viewers across the globe.
Leveraging OTT and its uniqueness
According to a recent report by FreeWheel, premium video ads on OTT achieve up to 98 per cent completion rate, outperforming tablets, desktop and even smartphones. Traditionally, an ad tries to reach the largest demographics possible, but ads delivered through internet streaming services offer the ability to target more specific audience segments. Between the numerous advantages of OTT advertising, are undoubtedly the increased targeting and measurement capabilities of programmatic. This channel gives marketers the ability to dynamically insert ads, interchange ad creatives in linear, live or video-on-demand content, all the way along with the power of advanced analytics and precision ROI measurement on the MMP of choice.  
OTT advertising ensures precise targeting as platforms require users to log in through their personal accounts which gives marketers access to data such as zip code, interests, online behaviour, device use and primary language. This information allows marketers to create hyper-targeted campaigns, reach ideal audiences, save money, achieve a higher ROI and build brand recognition delivering compelling messaging. Additionally, OTT ads can be measured and optimized in real-time giving advertisers the possibility to discover insights on a user’s path to conversion, learn more about audiences or geographies most likely to convert, and map to other devices in the same household. 
OTT is definitely here to stay. With both consumption and monetisation across OTT platforms expected to grow massively over the next few years, there are great benefits for marketers to include or further invest in this powerful channel. Summing up the benefits of increased targeting and more accurate measurement with the huge reach across the audiences captured by these platforms during the lockdown, makes OTT one of the most impactful advertising channels brands can use today.
The author is country director India, M&C Saatchi Performance
Campaign India

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