This article was written in collaboration with tvScientific, a CTV advertising platform that combines the power of television and the precision and measurability of digital marketing into one. 

Advertising on OTT and CTV channels is increasingly becoming not just a viable growth channel for mobile marketers but a vital one. CTV viewership continues to grow, with more people watching TV on streaming platforms and connected devices than ever before. According to eMarketer, the number of CTV viewers in the US is projected to reach 213.7 million in 2023, up from 182.6 million in 2021. Today, streaming services like Hulu and Paramount+ have overtaken traditional cable TV in popularity with 57% of consumers getting their television content from digital streaming channels.

As media consumption trends and data privacy enhancements change mobile advertising, leveraging CTV and OTT campaigns can be a successful way to get more out of your mobile ad spend. Below, we cover everything you need to know about mobile advertising on OTT channels.

How CTV and OTT advertising works

The difference between CTV and OTT

Connected TV (CTV) refers to internet-connected devices that let viewers stream content from various online sources. This includes Smart TVs, Apple TVs, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Sticks, gaming consoles (Playstation, Xbox), and Roku. CTV devices do not include desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and tablets.

Over-the-top (OTT) refers to the delivery of video content over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or broadcast providers. OTT services include brands like Netflix, Disney+, Pluto TV, Hulu, Tubi, Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV, and more.

While CTV is a device that can access OTT content, OTT encompasses all devices and platforms that deliver video content over the internet. This includes smartphones, tablets, and computers. In other words, CTV is a subset of the broader OTT landscape. While both CTV and OTT offer streaming video content, CTV is specifically focused on internet-connected television sets.

An example of CTV advertising 

An example of a CTV ad is a commercial that plays during a streaming TV show or movie on a smart TV or a connected streaming device, such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV. Typically, the streaming service or device serves these ads by targeting specific audiences based on demographics or viewing habits.

For example, a streaming service like Hulu may serve a targeted CTV ad for a new mobile game app to viewers who have recently watched other gaming-related content on their app.

An example of OTT advertising 

OTT advertising includes any video ad delivered over the internet on devices such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. This can include pre-roll or mid-roll ads that play before or during a video on a website, social media platforms, or streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video.

For example, a brand may choose to run a pre-roll ad for their mobile app before a YouTube video. The ad can be targeted to specific audiences based on various parameters such as geographic location, age, or interests. Furthermore, the advertiser only pays when the ad is viewed by a user. This type of OTT advertising allows advertisers to reach a broad audience while also targeting specific viewers who may be interested in their product.

Why you should be advertising on CTV and OTT

With OTT and CTV advertising, brands can reach a wider audience and capitalize on the growing trend of consumers turning to these platforms for their entertainment needs.

  • Better engagement. CTV advertising is highly effective, with an average completion rate of 98% and a 25% higher ad viewability rate than traditional TV advertising. This suggests that CTV ads are more engaging and less skippable, leading to better brand awareness and increased conversions.
  • Large audience reach. CTV is becoming a primary source of entertainment for many consumers, with 52% of households owning a smart TV and an estimated 60% of US TV households using CTV by 2024. CTV advertising lets mobile brands reach a wider audience and capitalize on the growing trend of consumers turning to these platforms for entertainment.
  • Long-term potential. OTT statistics show the number of users globally is predicted to reach 4.22 billion by 2027, with user penetration estimated at over 45% in 2023 and rising to 53% by 2027. The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the segment will reach $90.14 USD by 2023. These figures show the long-term growth and potential of streaming advertising as a channel to add to your brand’s marketing mix.

How to run a successful CTV advertising campaign

Understand your audience

The first step in running a successful mobile app advertising campaign on connected TV channels is to understand your audience. Who are they, and what do they want from your app? Today, the majority of TV viewers in the US are between the ages of 18-49 and they spend an average of 3 hours and 38 minutes daily watching TV. Brands should know that Millennials and Gen Z dominate on CTV and OTT channels and will continue to do so. CTV-watching Millennials will increase from 60.5 million in 2022 to 62.6 million by 2025. The number of Gen Z CTV users will rise from 49.6 million in 2022 to 56.1 million by 2025.

Craft messaging and creatives that align with younger generations. As many members of the Gen Z and Millennial generations use social media, consider launching a complimentary social media to reinforce the impact of your CTV campaign.

Create compelling creatives

What makes a compelling CTV ad creative? A targeted, memorable and interactive ad. Effective connected TV ads use unexpected moments of humor, stunning visuals, and emotional overtures to engage audiences. To integrate interactivity, consider including elements that persuade viewers to interact with your ad in some way. This might be by choosing their preferred video to view or scanning a QR code.

Use targeting and measurement tools

The targeting and audience segmentation capabilities of CTV ads is one of their greatest assets. In fact, 81% of TV advertisers cite "targeting and efficiency" as the primary reason for shifting ad spend to CTV/OTT and away from linear/cable TV advertising.

Targeting and measurement tools can help ensure your mobile app advertising campaign on connected TV channels is reaching the right audience and driving results. For example, you could use demographic targeting to reach specific age groups or income brackets. Or, you could use behavioral targeting to reach viewers who have shown an interest in similar apps or products.

In terms of measurement, it's important to track metrics such as app downloads, installs, and engagement. This will help your brand gauge the effectiveness of your advertising campaign. Many CTV platforms and mobile advertising networks offer built-in measurement tools, such as attribution tracking and campaign reporting, to help you track these metrics and optimize your campaign accordingly.

Consider partnering with app publishers and networks

Finally, it may be beneficial to partner with specialized DSPs and CTV platforms. These players can help you manage successful CTV advertising campaigns for your mobile app. The CTV and OTT ecosystem can be complex. It’s important to vet CTV advertising partners that offer verifiable views or impressions, deliver on ROI, and understand where to serve video ads to drive the highest engagement. Here are some questions to consider as you look for partners:

  • Does this partner serve premium, professionally produced, long-form content across CTV & OTT devices?
  • Can this partner guarantee scale, seamless impression delivery, and hyper-targeting capabilities for small markets and niche audiences?
  • Does this partner meet safety standards? Do they analyze video at the content level to ensure brand security?

Unlock scale with mobile advertising on OTT

By following these strategies, mobile app marketers can create effective advertising campaigns on connected TV channels that reach a broad audience of CTV viewers and mobile streamers. With CTV viewership and mobile streaming on the rise, now is the time to invest in CTV advertising. Reach out to our team to get started with OTT advertising.