Breaking down the basics of CTV


In the past few years, CTV has become an ever-present entity across the programmatic video landscape. Countless articles have declared that CTV is the “future of advertising” and will forever change the landscape of the industry. But before figuring out how your brand can capitalize on the newest development in programmatic advertising, let’s break down some of the basics of CTV. We’ll start by defining some of the key terms you’ll need to know and understand in order to ultimately benefit from CTV.


In simplest terms, Connected TV, also called CTV or Smart TV, is a TV that connects to the internet. Through CTV, users have access to a seemingly endless amount of both ad-supported and non-ad supported content via apps like Tubi, Newsy, Hulu, and Youtube. Roku is a leader in the industry providing CTV content to nearly 60 million people at least once per month via a Roku device or its operating system (OS). This accounts for almost one-third of all CTV users in the United States. Other popular devices like Apple TV, Xbox and Chromecast connect users to this universe as well.According to The Nielsen Q3 2018 Total Audience Report, enabled smart TV penetration grew from just over 30% in September 2017 to over 40% by September 2018. These numbers continue to grow as consumers switch out their older television sets for ones capable of accessing content via the internet.


Amidst all the talk over CTV, many people are left wondering... Are OTT and CTV the same thing?... How are OTT and CTV related? To answer these questions, we’ll begin by defining OTT. OTT, which stands for over-the-top content, refers to video and audio content that is streamed via the internet without a cable or satellite provider. OTT content, like Hulu and Amazon Video, can be accessed through different devices, including smartphones, gaming consoles, and Smart TVs. So, how is this related to CTV? Connected TV’s are merely a popular way in which to watch OTT content.

Pre-roll and mid-roll

Just like with other video advertisements, Connected TV advertisements can be pre-roll or mid-roll. Pre-roll ads are those shown before content and mid-roll ads are those shown in the middle of content. Considering most ads on Smart TVs are unskippable and users are highly engaged (having carefully selected content they are most interested in viewing), CTV advertisements are extremely effective. Not only this, CTV ads are far more measurable than traditional TV advertising. With access to this data, you can quickly adjust your strategy based on what has or hasn’t been working for your campaign.

Is it worth the hype?

Yes! At the end of 2018, the estimated number of people who have opted out of satellite or cable TV services hit 33 million which is nearly a 33% increase from last year. CTV’s are proving to be an increasingly popular and powerful trend for the future of television. Don’t sleep on the opportunity to advertise your brand to millions of cord cutters. Questions about using CTV to advertise your brand? Contact one of our digital strategists today!

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