Programmatic vs. OTT Advertising: What’s the Difference?

ott advertising

If you’re running a business, you know that advertising can make or break your company. If people don’t know about your product or service, they won’t buy it! It’s that simple. But you need to consider two major types of advertising strategies—programmatic and OTT (over-the-top) advertising. 

With programmatic advertising, your ads are displayed in various places throughout the internet based on certain criteria, such as what kind of products or services you offer or where your target audience lives and shops.

Let’s look at the differences between programmatic and OTT advertising so you can choose the right option to promote your business or brand online.

What Is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is any online advertising that uses automated processes to buy and place ads through an ad exchange. This includes real-time bidding on ad space, using data to target ads, and algorithms to optimize ad delivery. 

Business owners can use programmatic ad buying to reach their target audiences more effectively and efficiently. Some people think this is not good because it relies heavily on technology. However, many companies also think this makes marketing campaigns much easier and quicker to implement.

What Is Over-the-Top (OTT) Advertising?

OTT advertising is a form of programmatic marketing that uses an OTT advertising platform to deliver ads to consumers through internet-connected devices. Business owners can use OTT advertising to reach a wide range of consumers watching content on their computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. 

Advertisers may want to use this type of advertising because it provides more flexibility than traditional TV or digital advertisements. For example, advertisers will often be able to select what they want the ad to look like, which audience they want it shown to, and when they want it aired. 

Often, these ads will be automatically inserted into the video so that users don’t even realize they’re being advertised to. Different OTT ads are available for purchase, including:

● Mobile app prerolls.

● In-feed video ads.

● Interstitial videos between videos you watch online.

● Pre-game ads in mobile games. 

The advertiser decides whether they want to buy an impression (the number of times their ad appears) or pay per view (a set price per time someone watches the entire ad). When there is little competition among advertisers within a particular demographic niche, impressions can be bought at very low prices.

Differences Between Programmatic and OTT Advertising

To clarify further, programmatic advertising is the process of automated ad buying and selling which usually includes both OTT and CTV ads.

OTT advertising is a type of programmatic advertising focused on internet-connected devices such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc.

One more important distinction is that of connected TV. Connected TV, or CTV for short, is another type of programmatic advertising that focus exclusively on content delivered through smart TVs.

The main difference then, between CTV and OTT, is simply the device.

The Bottom Line

Programmatic advertising is buying and selling ad space using the software. OTT advertising targets people who are watching content on streaming platforms like Roku, Hulu, and Netflix, regardless of the device they’re using. 

The ads can be seen as either in-stream (i.e., shown during an episode) or preroll (i.e., shown before an episode). The main difference between these two types of ads is how long the viewer views them. 

With traditional TV commercials, there’s always some break when the commercial ends and programming continues. However, with OTT ads, viewers watch the entire ad without interruption.

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About the Author: Barry Lachey

Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources "Joe Joe." he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.