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The Basics of OTT with CBC

Updated: Mar 21

By now most dealers have heard the acronym “OTT” thrown around during numerous media pitches. OTT is a medium that started to emerge a few years ago, but with the onset of COVID-19, has really launched itself to the forefront of the marketing conversation. It has also become intertwined with other terminology such as CTV, VOD and SVOD. With all these acronyms, it can be confusing (if not downright difficult) to understand. As dealers, you have enough on your plate! Here are a few pointers to help you navigate the ABCs of OTT.

First, let’s start with the basics:

OTT (Over The Top) Content: Video that is accessed via the Internet (think “cord cutters”), using delivery providers such as Sling TV, Pluto, Vudu, etc.

OTT Device: A stand-alone device that is used to directly receive and display video content through the Internet. For example: smart TVs, smartphones, laptops or tablets. (Note, a device connected to a separate TV is not OTT. That’s CTV, described below.)

CTV (Connected TV): Video content viewed via a separate TV screen connected to an Internet device. For example: Roku, AppleTV or Blu-Ray players. A common misconception is that OTT and CTV are interchangeable. The keyword here is TV! In order to be CTV, you must have an Internet device that is connected to a separate TV to display the content. Basically, CTV is just another way to access OTT content. While you cannot place ads specifically on CTVs alone, most OTT campaigns show over 90% of impressions being consumed via CTVs.

Now that we have covered the fundamentals of OTT, it’s important to know what to look for when exploring these products. Here are some key terms that will help you decipher which product can drive the best results for your dealership.

Pure vs. Blended: When reviewing OTT, always determine whether it is pure or blended. Pure means your spots will run strictly within OTT content. Blended includes some form of pre-roll content (think Google network, apps, etc). Pure OTT is preferable to blended, as often you already have pre-roll elsewhere in your budget, and if not, a stand-alone pre-roll program will generally perform stronger than one in blended OTT.

Targeting capabilities: With a combination of the reach of TV and the pinpointed consumer targeting of digital, OTT can give you the best of both worlds! However, it’s critical to make sure the product you are reviewing can really drill down to your target consumer. This could include geography, income, intender preferences and more.

Impressions and validity: Make sure you ensure all impressions (views of your ad) are not only guaranteed, but have at least a 95% VCR (Verified Completion Rate). It’s also important to understand how these impressions are validated, especially when using specific targeting. How do they guarantee your ads are targeting the right consumer?

Navigating the ins and outs of OTT can be daunting, but these simple steps will make it less nerve-wracking. With the media landscape constantly evolving, it’s essential you understand the basics so you can make the best decisions for your dealership. It’s never a bad idea to partner with a team of experts, to help separate the good from the bad. Let’s have a conversation about how CBC Automotive Marketing can help!

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