The Difference Between Connected TV and OTT

Unlike the traditional TV of decades past, today’s viewers seek more diverse viewing options. They’re watching their favorite content on mobile devices, game consoles, Smart TVs, and other connected devices.

Traditional TV lacked the choices that consumers want, making them have to pay dearly for channels that they never watch.

With the entry of video-on-demand (VoD), consumers can access the content in a format that best fits their needs at any time, and from any place. 

Connected TV (CTV) and Over-the-Top (OTT) viewing options provide consumers with a wide variety of viewing options and subscription costs at more affordable rates than their satellite and cable counterparts.

But what are CTV and OTT? How different are the two? And when can each be used? Follow along to learn more. 

CTV Vs OTT: What are the Differences and When Each Can Be Used

CTV and OTT are the buzzwords right now. 

As of 2020, about 96 million Americans, which accounts for 80% of TV homes, had at least one connected TV compared to 24% in 2010. On the other hand, 69.8 million homes used OTT in April 2020, with an average home viewing up to 102 hours of OTT content in the same month. 

For consumers and marketers, CTV and OTT are new experiences. Marketers often use the two terms interchangeably or confuse one for another, while consumers find it different from the cable or satellite they were used to, but without a subscription. 

Sounds a little confusing? Let’s look at both options briefly to help you understand the similarities and differences between CTV and OTT.

What is CTV?

CTV refers to any TV set that’s used to stream video content via the internet instead of accessing it with satellite or traditional cable TV. 

Such TVs include Smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, and gaming consoles like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox that can connect to the internet. The TVs help consumers connect to the internet to access and stream videos via apps that are downloaded. 

For marketers and advertisers, CTV provides opportunities to reach viewers that ordinarily would be unreachable without traditional TV commercials. 

CTV has a growing audience known as Cord Cutters, who don’t have cable TV. With its superior targeting capabilities, CTV helps marketers and advertisers reach such “unreached” audiences and ensure that their marketing spend goes towards their most valuable viewers. 

Moreover, CTV delivers measurable digital and traditional results including video completion rates.

What is OTT?

While CTV is the device used to watch TV content via the internet, OTT is the delivery mechanism for online TV content. 

OTT delivers such content through video on demand or streaming over the top of traditional providers versus passing through cable, satellite, or broadcast TV providers. 

Consumers can stream via their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or TVs from platforms such as Hulu, Prime Video, Netflix, NBC’s Peacock, Disney+, and Apple TV+ among others.

OTT is more appealing to consumers as it has the luxury of being on the viewer’s schedule. Plus, users don’t need to pay a satellite or cable company or subscribe to watch video content as most of it is served online.

As more consumers convert to OTT over traditional TV viewing options, smart marketers and advertisers are allocating more resources and budgets towards OTT platforms. 

The benefits OTT delivers to marketers and advertisers include 100% view-ability as ads run full screen. In addition, OTT offers brand safety as ads are delivered on-demand or during live TV, meaning viewers are reached across popular content and top-tier networks. 

OTT also delivers an average ad completion rate of 98% as viewers watch the ads through to the end.

Develop Your Own OTT App

MAZ helps you create world-class OTT apps for a beautiful TV streaming experience on every app platform.

Interested in tapping into CTV and OTT for your next campaign? Get in touch with us or schedule a demo today.

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