OTT, or (Over-the-Top) media service is offered directly to viewers via the internet and is trending in the worlds of both digital and TV. Because we can now stream content through the internet on devices such as connected TVs, mobile phones, desktops and tablets, advertising on this medium has morphed to leverage the targeting capabilities of digital marketing and the reach of television.

OTT

OTT allows advertisers to serve targeted commercials during content that is streamed through the internet.

OTT, or (Over-the-Top) media service is offered directly to viewers via the internet and is trending in the worlds of both digital and TV. Because we can now stream content through the internet on devices such as connected TVs, mobile phones, desktops and tablets, advertising on this medium has morphed to leverage the targeting capabilities of digital marketing and the reach of television.

OTT

OTT allows advertisers to serve targeted commercials during content that is streamed through the internet.

OTT has proven to be a highly desired and popular tactic for most advertisers, and it will see a surge in 2022.

If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely been contacted by countless salespeople promoting their OTT offerings as “the best in the business”, similar to phone companies who promise to have the largest and most reliable networks. As OTT gains popularity, it is becoming harder to determine which companies to work with for this service.

Here are five things to consider when purchasing OTT

  • 1. Are you reaching all OTT consumers?

    Many vendors have access to multiple networks, but you may encounter a vendor with their own platform and/or subscriber base. While this is great (and becoming more common as more local networks are entering the OTT space) you’ll want to ensure you are reaching all OTT consumers–including those who are outside of their subscriber base. If you don’t target outside the vendor’s subscriber base, you could be missing potential customers who are in market for your products and services. At MLive, we believe in reaching all OTT consumers including cable subscribers who stream on-demand content.

  • 2. Where will your ads be shown?

    When running OTT campaigns, you’ll reach consumers in your target audience with sufficient frequency regardless of the programming they choose to watch. For example, if a roofing company is trying to reach homeowners it doesn’t matter if they are watching their favorite movies on Peacock or a show on Crackle TV. What matters most is you’re reaching the homeowners with enough frequency to eventually convert them into your next best customer! It is important to make sure choose a vendor who is accessing multiple networks and apps including premium inventory.

  • 3. What audiences & devices are you targeting?

    Whether targeting by audience (demographics, interests and behaviors), devices (CTV, Mobile, Desktop, Tablet), time of day or a custom CRM list, it is important to make sure the vendor has the appropriate targeting available for your business. If you are a public school looking to increase enrollment for grades K-12, it would be best to target parents with kids who are interested in education options in a specific geography. It may also make sense to target only CTV and mobile devices based on the typical viewing habits of parents. There are now several targeting options available in digital marketing, so choose a vendor who has access to both first- and third-party data. In addition, this should offer reporting on impressions delivered, unique devices reached, video completion rates, average frequency, device and geo breakdown as desired, networks, clicks and attribution through google analytics data, to name a few. Don’t settle for sub-par reporting.

  • 4. What is the vendor’s OTT knowledge & strategy?

    The most important factor to consider is the vendor’s knowledge of OTT and their ability to develop a custom strategy backed by data and experience. OTT strategies require careful thought and consideration based on the customers you’d like to acquire, seasonality, expected purchase cycles, video creative and many other factors. Due to the diversity of businesses and their best customers, this explains why it is critical to partner with vendors who have experience running successful OTT campaigns that lead to results for their clients. Experienced vendors should have case studies and testimonials from clients sharing results from campaigns run by the organization. Experience running successful campaigns for other businesses in your industry translates to a smarter campaign for your business.

  • 5. Surprise upcharges based on campaign targeting? No thanks!

    As marketing professionals, it is our responsibility to provide the most effective campaigns for our advertisers. Advertisers choose companies to run their campaigns based on trust and abilities in comparison to competitors. You must be able to trust that the company is being honest and upfront with you about the charges and metrics for the campaign. If you run into a vendor who isn’t fully transparent about their CPMs, campaign minimums, contract options, OTT reach, or results for your campaign, consider this a red flag and seek other vendors for your campaign.

Here are five things to consider when purchasing OTT

  • 1. Are you reaching all OTT consumers?

    Many vendors have access to multiple networks, but you may encounter a vendor with their own platform and/or subscriber base. While this is great (and becoming more common as more local networks are entering the OTT space) you’ll want to ensure you are reaching all OTT consumers–including those who are outside of their subscriber base. If you don’t target outside the vendor’s subscriber base, you could be missing potential customers who are in market for your products and services. At MLive, we believe in reaching all OTT consumers including cable subscribers who stream on-demand content.

  • 2. Where will your ads be shown?

    When running OTT campaigns, you’ll reach consumers in your target audience with sufficient frequency regardless of the programming they choose to watch. For example, if a roofing company is trying to reach homeowners it doesn’t matter if they are watching their favorite movies on Peacock or a show on Crackle TV. What matters most is you’re reaching the homeowners with enough frequency to eventually convert them into your next best customer! It is important to make sure choose a vendor who is accessing multiple networks and apps including premium inventory.

  • 3. What audiences & devices are you targeting?

    Whether targeting by audience (demographics, interests and behaviors), devices (CTV, Mobile, Desktop, Tablet), time of day or a custom CRM list, it is important to make sure the vendor has the appropriate targeting available for your business. If you are a public school looking to increase enrollment for grades K-12, it would be best to target parents with kids who are interested in education options in a specific geography. It may also make sense to target only CTV and mobile devices based on the typical viewing habits of parents. There are now several targeting options available in digital marketing, so choose a vendor who has access to both first- and third-party data. In addition, this should offer reporting on impressions delivered, unique devices reached, video completion rates, average frequency, device and geo breakdown as desired, networks, clicks and attribution through google analytics data, to name a few. Don’t settle for sub-par reporting.

  • 4. What is the vendor’s OTT knowledge & strategy?

    The most important factor to consider is the vendor’s knowledge of OTT and their ability to develop a custom strategy backed by data and experience. OTT strategies require careful thought and consideration based on the customers you’d like to acquire, seasonality, expected purchase cycles, video creative and many other factors. Due to the diversity of businesses and their best customers, this explains why it is critical to partner with vendors who have experience running successful OTT campaigns that lead to results for their clients. Experienced vendors should have case studies and testimonials from clients sharing results from campaigns run by the organization. Experience running successful campaigns for other businesses in your industry translates to a smarter campaign for your business.

  • 5. Surprise upcharges based on campaign targeting? No thanks!

    As marketing professionals, it is our responsibility to provide the most effective campaigns for our advertisers. Advertisers choose companies to run their campaigns based on trust and abilities in comparison to competitors. You must be able to trust that the company is being honest and upfront with you about the charges and metrics for the campaign. If you run into a vendor who isn’t fully transparent about their CPMs, campaign minimums, contract options, OTT reach, or results for your campaign, consider this a red flag and seek other vendors for your campaign.

Contributed by Jessica Bowman, Digital Strategy Manager and OTT Expert

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