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Getting to Know Connected TV (CTV)

If you're staying current on industry trends, you'll notice no shortage of articles about Connected TV (CTV) or Over The Top (OTT) media. You'll see articles about the efficiency advantages, targeting advantages, and more. Today's video media continues to get more and more fragmented - that's the bad news. The good news is this fragmentation is providing some amazing targeting opportunities. CTV/OTT is real-time buying of TV ads airing on the Internet-enabled over the top devices or smart TV applications.

CTV/OTT viewing now accounts for 1.26 hours per day of video viewing. It is a must-have strategy for increasing consideration and supporting organic and PPC activity. In today's media planning CTV/OTT media offers a great solution to provide scale with very precise one to one targeting, but before you can run off and start placing a buy, you need to understand the basics. Think of this as OTT/CTV 101 - your basic guide to getting started. Understanding the basics is important to get the right media to buy and the ROI you're looking to achieve.


If we're starting at the beginning, let's start with some key terminology to lay the groundwork.

  • Over the Top Device/Advanced TV/Connected TV: A device that can connect to a TV (or functionality within the TV itself) to facilitate the delivery of internet-based video content (Roku, Apple TV, Smart TVs, game consoles, etc.).
  • Over the Top/Advanced TV/Connected TV Video: Video content transported from a video provider to a connected device over the internet outside the closed networks of telecom and cable providers.
  • Full Episode Player (FEP): A video player that allows a consumer to watch long-form content - content that is longer than 15 minutes.
  • Addressable TV (ATV): Placement of video and video advertising over the top or through a cable box into a direct household.
  • Multichannel Video Programmatic Distributor (MVPD): A traditional cable company.
  • Skinny Bundle: Video service where you have a smaller list of channels or a la carte options (Sling, PlayStation Vue, etc.)
  • VOD: Accessing long-form episodic shows and movies on demand and not live.


The next step is knowing what questions to ask because you don't know what you don't know….

  • Does the CTV/OTT buy include Addressable TV?
  • Can they use 1st and 3rd party data in their targeting?
  • Is the media running on cable networks or ad-supported content
  • Can the provider show cross-device attribution?
  • How are they getting their data for targeting?
  • Can they guarantee a certain demo?
  • Are they using any 3rd party verification services to ensure delivery?
  • Who are their data partners?
  • Can they place on custom networks?
  • Does the reporting feature the network, devices, and post impression actions?
  • How are they calculating frequency?

That's a lot of questions. But it is important that you ask and get solid answers before deciding on a CTV/OTT media buy. Like anything in marketing and media, not every service or media buy is created equal. A lot of providers are just the middlemen (resellers), which means higher CPM for you the advertiser.

The last of the basics we'll go over is accuracy in CPM calculation. Focus on the eCPM to get a true measure of your OTT/CTV performance. You might see a low CPM offered, but if the data for accurate household targeting is half as effective then your effective CPM (eCPM) is much higher… A good provider should tell you upfront if all the impressions are OTT or if some are display. Unfortunately, many providers will mix display impressions to lower the CPM and not tell you.

The best way to leverage your OTT/CTV media is to make sure you are focusing on unique household data and addressable TV. When used correctly, CTV/OTT can be very effective and highly targeted with high accuracy.

SilverBack Advertising is proud to offer a CTV buying platform that is unlike anything being offered on the market today. We call it Data Fusion Marketing. First, we start with a premium CTV network buy, including original network content, then we can add Pre Roll, Remarketing, and Display to target all of the household devices in one single campaign. We then measure much deeper attribution to key website activities and the time to action. Measurements of ROI, no other CTV media buy is offering.

To learn more about Data Fusion marketing, call us today.

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