On-Target(ability) OTT—the Future of Binging and Broadcasting

With the emergence of services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, many people are opting to “cut the cord” on cable in favor of streaming channels. These channels make up what is known as over-the-top television (OTT), one of the most popular terms in the ever-shifting digital age. But what is OTT? How does it affect you and the future of broadcasting? Let us explain.

What Is OTT?

OTT is a term for delivering video and audio content over the Internet, directly to the consumer. It doesn’t require users to subscribe to traditional cable or satellite pay-for-TV service, but rather internet-based, on-demand platforms.

How It Will Affect the Future of Broadcasting

In short, it already has. As the popularity of streaming channels such as Netflix and Hulu continues to grow, the demand for standard cable—and therefore the broadcasters who exclusively use it to distribute content—is shrinking. After all, who wants to wait to find out what happens on their favorite shows (like they would on traditional TV) when they can simply turn on the next episode?

Now, more and more people are opting to “cut the cord” on cable and hop on the OTT train for its ease of access, use, and the multitude of devices through which they can receive their content (think Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, and Apple TV). “Every month, almost 1.1 million people are streaming long-form content in just the Milwaukee designated market area,” says Jane Fischer, director of digital and media services at Image Makers Advertising. “That’s huge.”

To avoid getting left behind in the ever-changing digital age, broadcasters are quickly adapting. Fortunately, OTT providers are helping make the transition easy. Services such as Sling TV and Hulu’s Live TV help provide the best of both worlds. It has all the pros of having live TV, but it’s set up and distributed more widely.

OTT’s Impact on Targetability and Monetization

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the OTT movement is its level of targetability. Marketers can customize OTT ads to target specific audiences based on several things:

  • Geographic location
  • Search habits
  • Households
  • Interests

Between “stackers”—a term for people who use both traditional cable and OTT—and solely OTT users, it’s now easier than ever for broadcasters to put their content in front of people. Naturally, this leads to many more monetization opportunities. OTT not only enables broadcasters to deliver their content to millions of other consumers, but it also helps them monetize and manage their content much more effectively.

Some broadcasters are also embracing OTT by creating their own streaming service. Channels such as HBO, Showtime, and CBS all have their own pay-for-content service, giving subscribers commercial-free access to their on-demand content and, in CBS’ case, its national and local feeds.

Still Have Questions on TV or Broadcast? We’re Happy to Answer Them

At Image Makers, we know more than a thing or two about broadcasting and media buying. We’ve been experts in the field for more than 35 years. We’ll help you strategize your media plan with broadcast (and OTT) to get the most out of your ad plan. It all starts with a phone call—262-650-8300. You can also contact us online. We’re eager to help.