How Canadian Small Businesses Can Identify The Differences Between CTV vs OTT vs Linear TV Advertising

Small Business Canada

What is Connected TV (CTV)?

The way we consume television is changing with the creation of connected TV (CTV). Connected TV is an internet-connected device that connects to or is embedded in television to support free video content streaming. Also, known as a smart TV, connected TV is a traditional television with integrated internet and web features that allow viewers to stream content. Some examples of connected TV include Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. 

Called “cutting the cord,” the demand for connected TV in America has dramatically increased in recent years. A study found that in July 2021 82% of American households owned at least one connected TV. In Canada, as more media platforms become available, Canadians also are investing in CTV

How is Connected TV (CTV) Different?

Small Business Canada

CTV ads are 100% viewable and non-skippable, with an ad retention rate 3x higher, partly due to fewer ads per hour. CTV has eight ads per hour compared to 16-18 per hour for linear TV. When watching linear TV, viewers will oftentimes step away during commercial breaks to do activities, knowing there is a lengthy gap, with CTV viewers often staying put and viewing the ads since they know their program will continue shortly. 

CTV ads also resonate more with viewers because they are often meticulously selected based on your viewing preferences. In fact, 55% of CTV ad spend is bought programmatically, increasing the likelihood of attracting core demographics. Advertisers use your unique IP address to see what you view on any website you visit and then select ads that they believe will resonate with you based on your internet searches. 

What is Over-the-Top (OTT) Media Service?

OTT is the delivery of TV or video content directly from the internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms that typically act as distributors of this content and allows viewers to access entertainment content directly from creators. Content is delivered via streaming or VOD formats, such as Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max. OTT can be viewed on smartphones, iPads, video game consoles, or CTV. 

How is Over-the-Top (OTT) Different?

OTT is the future of television and is creating chart-topping content you can’t find anywhere else. Miniseries, television shows, and movies are now being exclusively launched on these platforms, forcing viewers to subscribe to these platforms to watch popular content. Major media networks, such as NBC and the Disney Channel, who traditionally were only on linear TV are also getting in on the action by launching their own streaming channels that are subscription-based to earn additional revenue. 

How Canadian Small Businesses Can Identify The Differences Between CTV vs OTT vs Linear TV Advertising

What is Linear TV?

Linear TV is traditional television that has weekly scheduled programming on a set channel at a set time, e.g., CTV 6 pm News or Sunday NFL Football on NBC. Linear TV can be recorded on DVR and watched later, with the ability to fast forward through ads or bad programming. 

How is Linear TV Different?

Linear TV has the largest reach in television advertising but has gradually been losing market share as OTT and CTV become more popular. Ads on linear TV are not as precisely selected as CTV ads and are not based on your previous viewing history, but instead are based on the demographics they think will be watching a certain program. There also are more ads during programming, resulting in many viewers stepping away to complete a task while an ad is on.  

However, with many people still not having access to high-speed internet, linear TV is their only option to watch their favorite programming. As a result, you have a captive audience with few other entertainment options.

About the Author:

Geoff Crain is Media Director for Toronto-based Kingstar Media, Canada’s top-performance marketing agency, committed to delivering modern multi-platform media solutions that are tailored to drive response in the Canadian market.

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