The Growth of OTT, CTV & Linear TV – A Media Buyers Guide

OTT (Over-the-Top)

Here at DDL Advertising, we specialize in buying all forms of media depending on our client’s needs. DDL Advertising recently took part in a webinar on OTT. In this blog, we will be discussing what OTT (Over-the-Top), CTV (Connected-TV), and Linear TV (Traditional) are and their differences, how OTT is drastically growing, and the crucial reasons why advertisers should use OTT as a part of their marketing mix.

OTT is characterized as a top-performing media service, and in essence, is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers through the internet.  OTT is 98% CTV, or connected TV, which is considered an “ad impression” viewed on a TV set.  CTV ad impressions typically cost more than mobile or desktop advertising. Unlike streaming, Linear TV is the traditional way of watching Television, where viewers tune in to watch a program at a scheduled time. With OTT and CTV you can reach viewers beyond the traditional way of watching TV.

There are three steps for users to take in order to start streaming their favorite shows or movies. The first step is to connect to your internet Wi-Fi or internet connection. Secondly, choose the streaming-enabling devices. These streaming devices include categories of Gaming (PlayStation & XBOX), Fire TV (Amazon), OTT box (ROKU, Apple TV), and Smart TV (LG Smart TV). Finally, it is time to choose your content, which may include Apps (FX, FOX Now, A&E), VMVPD (YouTube, Sling, Fubo), and Free Apps (Tubi, Pluto).


The rise of OTT and CTV viewers is creating a more meaningful for brands to connect with their target audience. With the current pandemic, there is a rise in OTT and CTV viewers because people are subscribing more to these streaming platforms due to the COVID-19 restrictions. With CTV’s growth, it is estimated that 27% of cable subscribers are expected to cut the cord in 2021. It is also estimated that CTV ad spending will exceed $11 Billion in 2021 and a 40.1% projected 2021 increase compared to 2020. Younger generations are the ones that are more likely to be CTV viewers, with a total of 45.7 million CTV viewers for Gen Z. These younger generations, as we know, are visually driven, have a short attention span, and are impatient. They are more apt to watch their favorite shows and movies on streaming platforms rather than traditional linear TV.

Why Advertisers Should Utilize OTT

OTT is the only platform with ComScore, validated targeting for every impression served. It is also the New reach & Frequency Calculation and Heat Mapping of impressions on Zip Code Campaigns. OTT is the largest CTV addressable deterministic cross-device, with 180M+ active US users on Amazon, 200M+ active US users on LiveRamp, 210M+ active US users on Google, and 230M+ active US

users. OTT protects advertisers from fraud because, in addition to having verified reporting, OTT identifies any fraudulent activity (spoofing devices, bots, etc.).

Segmenting Audiences

There are three codependent requirements in order to target with 3rd party data in CTV. These requirements are Ad Server, Data Management Platform- DMP, and 3rd party data providers. Ad Servers identify geography and include parameters and macros for targeting into VAST code. Data Management Platforms identify IP addresses, device IDs, and/or user agent strings needed for targeting. The 3rd party data providers provide 3rd party anonymized but reliable data to enable targeting while complying with federal IP regulations.

OTT data provides over 6,000 Bits/Data segments such as ComScore, Alliant, Lotame, Crosspixel, Dataline, Media Source Solutions, and Equifax. Examples of “B.I.T.’s” or 3rd party data segments are Lotame: “Life Event: New Mover”, Oracle: “homeowner”, Webbula: “Passionate about Dogs”, NinthDecimal: “Shops at Family Dollar or Dollar Tree”, and I.H.S. Polk: “Subaru Auto Purchase Predictor”.

OTT is rising and is the largest addressable platform for targeting millions of users. Advertisers should incorporate OTT into their marketing mix in order to reach these CTV viewers. If you are interested in learning more about OTT or CTV please contact us at (401) 943-7400 or contact us online, we would love to hear from you!

“What Is CTV, OTT, and Linear TV?” What Is CTV, OTT, and Linear TV | Oracle Data Cloud,