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Are All OTT Ads the Same?


It’s safe to say at this point that OTT is all the rage. With the number of Connected TV Households growing every year and reaching 87% last year and far overtaking traditional broadcast, it’s clear that the preference among viewers is to watch their TV via streaming platforms. eMarketer estimates that over 81 million U.S. consumers have either cut their cords or never signed up for one in the first place.


Marketing companies have seen the writing on the wall and responded, with almost every digital provider offering an OTT solution it’s become a very crowded field. So how do you know that your OTT partner is the right one to maximize your engagement and do right by your spend?


Below is a list of questions to be sure and ask your digital provider when discussing OTT along with Wheeler’s answers to them.


Before you buy video OTT ads from a traditional TV station or Cable company, ask these questions:

  • What percentage of your OTT impressions run on TVs? (Ours is 100% served on Connected TVs, no other devices)

  • What percentage of your OTT impressions are just running on your networks owned properties? (Ours runs across thousands of national, preferred streaming platforms)

  • What percentage of my impressions will just run on your station website? (Wheeler doesn’t blur the line between Pre-Roll Videos that run on websites and OTT ads that run on streaming. These should be different products with different budgets)

  • Do your reports show completion graphs? (OTT engagement CAN be tracked in a number of ways. We offer tracking of how many users watched your ads 25, 50, 75 or 100% of the way through)

  • Can I serve OTT impressions to a targeted database list I have of addresses or emails? (At Wheeler, you can move your direct mail dollars into an OTT Custom Audience campaign for incredible ROI and measurability)

  • Do you buy Twitch, FireTV or Amazon OTT inventory? (Wheeler places your ads across ALL major OTT exchanges for maximum reach and access)

  • Can you track on-site visits to my business location of people who are served my OTT ad on their Connected TV? (The measurement of your ROI goes even further! We can match the households where your OTT ads were served to the mobile devices in those households and track how many came to your location!)

  • Can you run an OTT ad from my social video post?

  • Can you run a vertical OTT ad?

  • Can you create a QR code and track it with my OTT ad? (All three of these bottom questions are a resounding YES thanks to Wheeler’s unique Social Mirror OTT ads! You can read about them here)

Now we’re not trying to overwhelm you with information, but after you’ve gotten answers from your digital providers to the questions above, it’s crucial that you keep these other important differences in mind before placing your ad buy.


Why should you place OTT ads with us vs. a competitor?

  • Our OTT runs on Set Top Boxes, Game Consoles, and Smart TVs like Fire TV Sticks, XBOX, PlayStation, 4K FireTV, SmartTV, AppleTV, ChromeCast, Roku, and more. 100% of our impressions are served on Connected TVs.

  • We have direct inventory on hundreds of Apps and Providers. These cover a variety of content such as News, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Gaming, Health, Technology, and many more, depending on the targeting categories selected for your campaign. We have over 100,000 targeting categories to choose from and we can also use Artificial Intelligence to find the optimal audience.

  • We have direct deals with large publishers and devices like Samsung TV, DIRECTV, NHL, Fox, local news stations, Disney/ABC, AMC Networks, NBC Universal, National Geography, A+E Networks, Bloomberg, Discovery, the CW, and MLB to serve ads through direct connections.

  • We also have access to Amazon OTT, through the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP). And with Amazon OTT we can target by people’s behaviors, Amazon Product Targeting (targeting people who have searched for or purchased certain products) AND through a Custom Audience from a client’s database list.


Okay, so if you’re going to buy OTT ads, it’s now clear why you would want to go through a provider like Wheeler as opposed to a traditional TV station that’s also offering OTT. But what if you’re on the fence about switching to OTT at all? Traditional TV may have worked well for you in the past, and even if things are changing quickly, maybe you’re considering sticking with broadcast. While there certainly is a time and place for traditional broadcast, keep in mind these important questions when comparing broadcast TV to OTT ads:


Broadcast TV ads and Cable TV ads vs. Online Video ads

  • Online video ads are more impactful than broadcast or cable ads because a user can so easily click out of them to stop. If you get a full video view completion online, that is more targeted, qualified and important.

  • A broadcast or cable TV ad shows an inflated completion rate in lieu of actual views. It is the OTS, or Opportunity To See, which can be rarely confirmed. This has been the challenge with broadcast for many years.

  • In online, a completed video view is actually powerful because your OTS is balanced with a clear and simple way to skip the ad. If the ad is not skipped, it is more likely to have resonated.

  • How do you know your Broadcast or Cable TV ad was actually viewed?

  • Online video ads offer more targeting options.

  • Online video ads can reach as small a geography as you want or as large.

  • Broadcast & cable ads cannot track conversions or traffic to a clients’ website, some types of online video ads, can.

  • Online video ads can reach people across all the types of devices they use.

  • Some types of online video ads can be lengths other than :15 or :30

  • Online Video ads effectiveness is more trackable.

  • Online Video ads viewability is more trackable.

  • Broadcast TV & cable ads don’t reach cord cutters.


And the best part about OTT is that it works! 89% of marketers surveyed reporting that connected TV ads are more effective than traditional TV. So if you’re on the fence, go ahead and make the switch! And if you’re unsure of who to turn to in this exciting new OTT landscaping, Wheeler Digital is here to make sure you have the best strategy available.

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