Why Brands Need to Seize the CTV Moment

It’s rare when consumer habits form an ideal synergy with the imperatives of advertisers. In the past five years, however, connected TV and over-the-top (OTT) growth has provided an unparalleled opportunity for marketers to reach better targeted audiences in a cost-effective way, all while yielding measurable, impactful results.

Danielle Moyer

The emerging CTV landscape has arrived as perhaps the most exciting channel for countless brands looking to expand their reach. Navigating this space can be a challenge, however, and it requires a partner committed to making the most of the opportunity. In this article we’ll discuss what CTV is, why it’s important, and how to make the most of it.

Getting to Know CTV

Though the concept of streaming entertainment is well-known at this point, there are some terminologies and distinctions within the space that can be a little confusing for those looking to tap into the market. Let’s discuss a few of those defining terms.

  • OTTs: Over-the-top are the individual streaming channels that can’t be accessed through traditional cable TV; think common streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many more. While OTTs may work on subscriptions and operate without the need for advertising, many have lower-cost subscription models that feature ads. These channels represent a major opportunity for advertisers looking to get their messages in front of large audiences at a far lower cost than traditional linear television.
  • CTV: Connected TVs are the platform by which OTTs are delivered. CTVs are internet-connected TV services that can be built into the TV itself, or plugged in as a peripheral. Some CTVs, like Roku, even feature native advertising outside of the OTT platforms that offer even more advertising opportunities.

The CTV Moment Isn’t a Short-Term Trend

As the cord-cutting revolution continues to change consumer habits, more and more viewers are turning to streaming as their main source of in-home entertainment. The number of CTV and CTV devices in homes has continued to skyrocket year over year. Since 2014, the number of households with internet-connected TVs has risen from 50% to over 80%.

These rising numbers mean major revenue opportunities. There has been a 39% increase in time spent with CTV year over year, and the industry saw a 48% streaming subscription growth between Q3 and Q4 of 2020. For advertisers, this growth has meant an $11.35 billion in spend; a 42% growth by the end of 2021.

While some OTT services have been resistant to the placement of ads and instead rely on a subscription-only model, there are signs that the tide may be turning there as well. Following catastrophic subscription cancellation numbers, stalwart OTT service Netflix is now entertaining the idea of advertising subscription tiers to bolster revenue. This could mean even more opportunity in the CTV space.

In short, the genie is out of the bottle with respect to CTV. Younger generations aren’t going back to standard, linear cable. As the infrastructure of CTV and OTT services becomes more and more ingrained in our everyday lives they become indispensable and represent a tide shift in consumer behavior.

Smart Advertisers Are Taking Notice of the Potential of CTV

CTV is an advertiser’s dream compared to linear TV. Not only does it provide the same level of measurability as SEM and social, but ad placements are a fraction of the cost compared to linear TV. As a result, smaller brands that might not have previously had the resources to spend on linear TV can leverage CTV, which brings more players to the table.

This exciting channel also presents a new frontier of possibilities for advertisers; rather than the traditional model of linear TV where a brand places an ad and waits weeks or months to see if the ROAS moved the needle at all, CTV means immediate insights on efficacy. CTV also provides a much more dynamic experience where advertisers can play with interactivity and tie ads directly to sales.

Making the Most of CTV in 2022

While CTV presents a world of opportunity, finding a partner with experience with the channel is essential to seizing that opportunity.

The mechanics of OTT advertising can be broken down into a set of variables that need to be tightly monitored, adjusted, and controlled for optimization, and for many brands, there is limited expertise in this emerging channel. Some of the variables that need to be considered include:

  • Inventory: What is being advertised.
  • Creative: Which ads and experiences the viewer is receiving.
  • Daypart: When those ads are being placed.
  • Device: How the viewer is seeing the ad.
  • Audience: Who is viewing the ad.

CTV provides a much more controlled and focused way of placing advertisements and can be tested and adjusted on the fly to create the best outcomes for the spend. This highly measurable, cookieless channel is an essential component of any media planning strategy in 2022 and beyond.

We at Incubeta saw the CTV revolution coming, and have dedicated resources to building out a data-driven roadmap for making the most of this moment. Our work with a premier iGaming brand, for example, delivered results at the same cost per deposit as paid search, which has a notoriously high cost-per-click value. These results reveal how cost-effective CTV can be for brands, especially in an industry like sports betting or iGaming where other media channels can be prohibitively expensive.

This truly is an exciting time for advertisers looking to branch out into new channels to connect with audiences. CTV arrives at a perfect confluence of targeting, optimization, and measurability, at competitive prices compared to legacy TV placements. Incubeta has the tools to help our partners make the most of this moment.

To find out more about Incubeta’s data-driven expertise, download our guide to performance CTV advertising today; A Guide To Integrating Streaming TV Into Your Media Planning.

Interested in the world of creative marketing? Want to hear what some of the brightest minds in the industry are getting up to? We’re taking to the boardwalk this June at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – the largest gathering of the advertising and creative communications industry. Incubeta will be meeting with an amalgamation of the world’s biggest partners and brands during the week of the 20th – 24th of June, facilitating a range of networking opportunities and content sessions.

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