The trend for connected TV advertising has been actively developing over the past decade, but it became especially popular during the lockdown.

At this point, total hours of connected TV usage increased by more than 80% year-over-year as video streaming on Smart TV and other devices grew tremendously.

While cable or satellite subscription is turning less popular, streaming services are used by more and more people.

Reviewing OTT and CTV advertising opportunities

Connected TV budgets are also growing and following the most popular and highly-promising media buying medium.

This growth in video-on-demand consumption is a great opportunity for marketers to capitalize on this niche with capable CTV advertising platforms.

Today we've prepared a list of multiple platforms for connected TV advertising. First, let's review what is OTT and CTV advertising and why they will be popular in the future.

What are OTT and CTV?

Connected TV CTV

Examples of connected TV CTV include streaming content via Smart TVs, and game consoles, from PlayStation to Xbox and Amazon Fire Stick — all the devices that support Internet connection.

The Internet-connected device enables the user to consume video on demand instead of waiting for the show to be broadcasted.

connected tv devices

The video content is provided by Netflix and other streaming services. For example, there are streaming channels like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Vimeo OTT.

Over-the-top OTT

Over-the-top is often confused with CTV. Yes, over-the-top refers to the same Internet-TV content consumption that doesn't require the service of the traditional cable provider (cable TV).

However, users still need to have a broadband connection to consume content with the over-the-top model.

How those are different from traditional linear TV?

Both over-the-top and connected TV CTV mediums are connected to the Internet which means they can perfectly serve targeted ads.

CTV and OTT ads are different from TV advertising mainly because they are targeted.

Read more about the evolution of TV in our previous article devoted to connected TV advertising.

TV evolution

Content consumption

With connected TVs and OTT devices, users are streaming video content when they want, on demand. Meanwhile, traditional TV commercials on linear TV are bound to be shown only during a certain scheduled time.

This way any video streaming service can also successfully monetize part of its content with ads like Netflix once did.

Ad targeting

As users watch TV on the Internet-enabled gadget, they can receive personalized ad experiences based on their targeting data. It was impossible on linear TV (traditional TV) so the same commercials were shown to all users while they watched a particular show.

television

CTV and OTT advertising platform: why do advertisers need one?

Here are a couple of reasons why advertisers choose CTV and OTT ads instead of linear TV advertising.

Ability to target audience with precision

Advertisers can find the right audience thanks to the data-driven approach of CTV and OTT TV.

Campaign insights

Attribution of ad campaigns on linear TV is almost impossible while on an OTT platform it is available with various instruments and metrics (as this medium is digitalized).

Almost no ad fraud

While website traffic is often plagued with fraud, OTT content is still relatively new for fraudulent schemes. This ensures better brand safety.

Automation

Media buying on linear television depends on schedules. Advertising on the OTT platform is automated — an advertiser can set up preferable timing, targeting, and ad budget allocation so that ad dollars are distributed in the most optimal way.

Best CTV and OTT platform for 2022

The media buying process on advertising platforms is completely different from live TV. On a single platform advertisers now can set up, configure and manage the CTV and OTT ad campaigns on the go. The following options deliver a plethora of opportunities:

SmartyAds

smartyads logoSmartyAds is a global developer of omnichannel advertising solutions that built an entire infrastructure of programmatic platforms — DSP, SSP, Ad exchange, and White label (DSP, SSP+Ad Exchange) for enterprises.

SmartyAds DSP supports programmatic CTV, mobile web, mobile app, desktop, audio, and even DOOH campaigns. The media buying on this platform is streamlined with proprietary optimization algorithms that decrease CPM, boost click-through rates, and let advertisers win the best impressions that suit their quality criteria.

Features:

Premium inventory. With proprietary SSP in the SmartyAds infrastructure, SmartyAds can provide advertisers with the best impressions placed in the premium content (supply is represented by direct supply and RTB).

Lots of ad formats. SmartyAds offers a plethora of formats for connected television that perfectly suit the right type of screen or television set.

Strong targeting options. Target audience on TV according to geolocation, time of the day, age, language, service type, OS, and many other criteria.

Ongoing optimization. Media buyers can analyze their performance with real-time analytics. CTR booster, CPM optimization, creative resize, and other innovative features ensure much better video completion rates as well as smaller spending and greater performance.

MediaMath

mediamathMediaMath is a known OTT advertising platform that offers a variety of options for advertisers to promote their products or services on both OTT and CTV mediums.

The company was founded in 2007 in New York and now it has an extensive network of ad servers in different locations. MediaMath provides an omnichannel approach which means more opportunities to advertise with mobile video, desktop campaigns, native ads, and more.

Features:

Various ad formats. The ad formats come in different sizes and resolutions that perfectly fit each type of CTV device. As well, it supports DOOH, Video, Display, and Audio.

Optimization tools. The platform continuously analyzes the dynamics of media buying and learns how to improve the outcomes of ad campaigns based on data.

Privacy-friendly ads. The platform uses contextual ads to suit the ad experience up to the cookieless, privacy-friendly standards.

Strong data partnerships. Data partners of this solution include IBM, Oracle, Double Verify, and Lotame, which strengthens the targeting.

IBM Watson Media

ibm watson mediaIBM Watson Media, previously known as IBM Cloud Video, was founded in 2017 in New York as a solution for live-streaming advertising with very strong OTT capabilities. It also specializes in VOD hosting.

IBM Watson Media offers advertisers unparalleled reach with their technologies for digital TV ads. As well, this solution is known to deliver capacities such as video analytics, content management, and monetization at scale based on subscription.

Features:

Global OTT brand presence. Watson Media offers a strong OTT solution, delivering both live streaming and VOD hosting.

Variety of ad formats. The advertising solution offers to place ads in video/audio content across the web, mobile & smart TV ecosystems.

Robust analytics. Watson Media offers robust analytics thanks to which OTT advertisers can measure the performance of their campaigns.

Additional smart tools. Multiplatform UX API, AI-powered speech-to-text, and powerful analytics.

Contus VPlayed

contusContus VPlayed is an ad platform that fosters strong monetization on digital television. It was founded in 2008 in California, U.S. Ever since, this self-hosted OTT solution for live streaming provides media owners, broadcasters, distributors, and content owners with exceptional streaming and monetization.

The list of supported platforms is really outstanding — Android, iPhone, TV+, Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV, and LG web OS.

Features:

Niche specialization. Contus VPlayed specializes in OTT, video, and live streaming which means that they have a specific environment for growing OTT campaigns.

Variety of monetization options. For publishers, Contus VPlayed offers more than 6+ monetization options to choose from.

100+ integrations. The platform offers 100+ integrations to streamline the experience for users.

150 streaming content features. For publishers, the platform offers over 150 streaming features so that monetization was smooth and effective.

Vimeo OTT

vimeoVimeo OTT platform has a famous name, it specializes in cloud hosting. This famous white label solution for the video streaming sector was founded in 2004.

This platform gives an opportunity for OTT publishers to effectively monetize their inventory. It supports platforms like IOS, Android, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, Apple TV, and Samsung Tizen.

Vimeo OTT platform features 5 million end-users, 1500+ in-house apps, along with 3.5 million live streams every year.

Features:

More ways to monetize. Monetization is possible across platforms — web and apps alike. Available monetization options include AVOD, TVOD, SVOD, and PVOD.

Built-in analytics dashboard. More chances to discover how monetization works — publishers can measure the activity of subscribers, churn, lifetime value, etc.

Additional control tools. Enabled password-protected streams, CMS, and 24/7 support.

Scalability. It is a white label platform that can be scaled by publishers as the business grows.

Dacast

dacastDacast is a platform that supports totally integrated video streaming and lets everyone broadcast OTT with audio and visual types of media.

As well this company lets watchers view free or paid TV programming and broadcast content on demand.

Dacast was founded in 2008, in San Francisco, California. The primary specialties of this company include video streaming, video on demand, streaming, pay-per-view, OTT, CDN, and also video hosting.

Features:

Video monetization options. Video monetization is available for live streaming as well as for on-demand content.

Pay-per-view streaming prices. Opportunity to set up pay-per-view streaming prices, control rates, promo codes, and viewing windows.

Fraud-free environment. OTT content and monetization operations are protected and secured.

Ability to insert ads. There's an opportunity to insert advertising and track revenue goals and content performance via an analytics dashboard.

Kaltura

kalturaKaltura is one of those video cloud services that are getting used by global enterprises, media companies, and educational institutions that strive to broaden and enrich their video experiences.

The company was founded in New York in 2006, and ever since, it broadened and got specialization in video publishing, video streaming, media management, media distribution, video portals, video players, video solutions, online video, mobile video, cloud TV, OTT TV, video cloud, video platform as a service, media services, podcasting.

Features:

Live streaming and VOD. Live streaming and VOD are both available on this platform. Publishers can tap into ad-based, subscription, and pay-per-view monetization.

Supportive content tools. It has interactive video tools and also special functionality for building educational platforms.

Affordable cost. For OTT publishers Kaltura is a suitable option for hosting and monetizing content as the CDN price is not included (provided separately).

Secure experience. Broadcasting and monetization are protected with encryption.

SmartyAds white label platforms

smartyads logoSmartyAds also has white label solutions in stock that can help you to open an OTT/CTV-driven ad environment and capitalize on it.

Both solutions white label DSP and white label SSP+Ad Exchange are scalable and adjustable to business requirements.

Features:

Quick profitability. Since the platform is deployed in a week, the income is achieved much faster.

Your OTT/CTV partners. Integrate your own proven demand or supply OTT/CTV partners.

Your environment. Manage the OTT/CTV traffic and adjust the environment according to your own needs.

Scalable ecosystem. Scale the platform as your business grows (without stopping ad ops operations).

Why it's worth investing ad budgets in CTV/OTT

CTV viewership is on the rise. Around 164 million U.S. Internet users are currently accessing video content via connected TV devices, and this number is supposed to reach 204.1 million viewers in 2022 according to various estimations.

connected tv market size

The trend doesn't apply solely to North America.

In the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and France connected TV audience is also growing exponentially. CTV devices and OTT services are booming as satellite services become more expensive.

Video streaming also increased a lot during the previous couple of years. Video content consumption is growing, and so is ad spending.

digital video ad spending

Connected TV audience targeting also happens mostly through videos. Meanwhile, the video ad spending on CTV is supposed to reach 8.14 billion dollars in the US by 2023.

ctv upfront video ad spending

In 2025, 164 million Americans will prefer using AVOD

The share of cord-cutting households in the US is supposed to reach 46.6 million dollars.

Cord-cutting households in the U.S by 2024

cord cutter households

With this, many users who stream content on their CTV devices are not ready to pay for content subscriptions. For this reason, some streaming providers often offer ad-supported video content.

Video-on-demand viewers who stream ad-supported content

avod viewers

From the picture, we can already drive the conclusion that the share of Smart TV users who prefer ad-watching in exchange for free content will only grow. In 2025, 164 million Americans will prefer using AVOD. As a result, eMarketer forecasts that ad spending on CTV will reach $25.5 billion by the end of 2024.

ctv ad spent growth

Summary

OTT/CTV can be consumed on Smart TV sets, smartphones, and tons of different Internet-connected devices.

OTT/CTV slowly substitutes traditional television and advertising budgets are following this medium.

Use a list of these connected TV CTV advertising platforms to choose the option that matches your needs.

Register now to run efficient CTV ad campaigns on SmartyAds DSP!

Written by
Irina Kovalenko, CMO of SmartyAds
November 2022