With on-demand streaming services soaring in popularity, OTT digital marketing is the obvious next step in the evolution of TV advertising.

These days, almost everyone seems to be tuning into on-demand streaming video services, such as Netflix and HBO Max. Moreover, demand for these services continues to grow to the point where traditional television broadcasting is undergoing a gradual decline. The decline is being accelerated because streaming services are now readily available via almost all modern standalone TV sets, not to mention web browsers and mobile devices. Furthermore, OTT app installations are increasing rapidly too.

This means a lot for advertisers and content producers, who need to rethink their digital media growth strategies to incorporate streaming solutions. Indeed, there has never been a better time to launch an ad-based streaming service that gives viewers who prefer not to pay a subscription fee access to free advertising-supported content. For content producers, these services offer a dependable way to get movies and TV shows in front of the largest possible audiences.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for over-the-top. The term refers to any device with the capability to stream digital content, which, these days, includes almost any internet-connected device. Examples include computers themselves, smartphones, game consoles, and internet-connected TVs. Older TVs are also capable of streaming online content via external dongles like the Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, or Roku.

What are OTT media and entertainment content marketing?

OTT marketing is the natural next stage of the evolution of traditional television marketing. As cable subscriptions continue to decline, as does conventional TV broadcasting, advertisers and content producers face increasing pressure to adapt. OTT marketing refers to marketing content delivered via OTT platforms, typically via ad-supported free subscription tiers.

While many major streaming services are ad-free, there is an increasingly strong case for offering a free ad-supported solution. This is especially likely to be the case in developing regions of the world, where many people may be unwilling or unable to pay a subscription fee.

Reaching wider audiences with OTT app installation

“With the help of Digital Times, OTT streaming service Aha more than trebled its US-based subscriber count and slashed the cost per acquisition by 72%.”

OTT marketing differs from traditional television advertising in that it isn’t controlled directly by the network or the corporations advertising it. As such, advertisers can bypass traditional TV providers to reach audiences directly, in much the same way it works with ad-supported services like YouTube.

With OTT app installations increasing, digital video content marketing is more effective for media companies to pick up loyal subscribers and build their brands. This is true even in the case of ad-free streaming services.

How OTT marketing fits into media and entertainment digital advertising strategy

A far cry from pushing the hard sell, OTT content marketing is about building interest in your product by solving problems for your target audience or providing entertainment. For example, this might include pointing them in the direction of content they’re likely interested in, based on things like previous browsing history and wish-listed TV shows and movies. For content producers, this is a highly effective way to ensure your content gets in front of the right audiences.

Much the same applies to third-party advertisers. Marketing teams can leverage the enormous visibility of OTT services to advertise their products to highly targeted audiences in much the same way as Google Ads targets its content based on things like browsing habits. Depending on the service, marketers can place their ads in front of current and potential customers across all of their devices.

The relevant ads can then be placed between streaming TV shows or at intervals in movies. This is especially suitable for the common Bollywood movie format, where many movies are three or more hours long and have intervals around the halfway mark. This approach is also far less intrusive than traditional television advertising, where viewers often complain about constant interruptions.

The great thing about OTT marketing is that it doesn’t end with TV. After all, almost all internet-connected devices have the capability to stream on-demand services. This means brands can retarget their viewers through web and mobile traffic too. That cross-channel loop is not possible with traditional TV-based content marketing. For example, if a viewer responds positively to an ad on a streaming service, they can be targeted by an appropriate ad later on another channel, such as your website, social media profiles, or push notification on a mobile device.

OTT Marketing Case Study

What do the statistics say?

It’s no secret that OTT is a rapidly growing space in the media and advertising sector and that growth is showing no signs of slowing down. However, given that some of the largest services, such as Netflix and HBO Max, are ad-free and only available to paid subscribers, it might come as a surprise that more than half of all OTT revenue actually comes from advertising. These are the latest figures according to the Statista Digital Market Outlook – Segment Report:

• 51.58% of revenue comes from advertising video-on-demand (AVOD)
• 40.16% of revenue comes from subscription video-on-demand (SVOD)
• 5.1% comes from pay-per-view transaction video-on-demand (TVOD)
• 3.16% comes from video downloads

The continuing rise of on-demand streaming services has dramatically changed the viewing habits of people the world over. Services like Netflix are no longer a novelty but are now just one of many options. In the past few years, and especially during the coronavirus pandemic, these services have grown and diversified even further. There are now services that cater towards specific demographics and languages. Aha is one of them in that it is India’s first on-demand streaming service to host content exclusively in Telugu. Producers can host their content on the network and earn from advertising revenue by making their content available to non-subscribers or from subscription revenues by making it available only to subscribers.

What does this mean for content producers?

Content producers cannot expect to remain relevant in the years to come if they eschew the benefits of on-demand streaming services. Even if traditional broadcasting is going to be around for the foreseeable future, around two-thirds of adults in countries like the US now primarily use streaming services rather than cable and terrestrial TV.

Streaming services are rapidly growing in India, with online video accounting for 72% of all bandwidth consumption in the country. Given the linear relationship between internet speeds and video consumption, this will continue to grow with the rise of better networks. As such, the time to act is now, both for content producers and third-party advertisers.

Aside from the obvious fact that OTT streaming is now established as the new way to watch TV shows and movies, there are several other important benefits for content producers. Chief among these is that the digital nature of such platforms offers new ways to learn about and analyze your target audience.

OTT Content Monitoring and Protection Services

One of the inherent advantages of digital technology is that every interaction leaves a trail of data, which can be used for analytics. This gives content producers a big-picture look at their audiences and how they are interacting with their content. Content producers can tailor their promotional campaigns based on these insights, such as by targeting users who have enjoyed similar shows and movies. Needless to say, this is much harder with scheduled viewings, as the network itself has full control over what people can watch and when.

Turning to OTT streaming services also offers ways to protect your content. In fact, one of the common misconceptions about OTT services is that it will increase the chances of the content being pirated and shared illegally. The fact is, however, that that is more likely to happen with traditional broadcasting. Streaming services usually offer better protection while discouraging content piracy thanks to convenience and accessibility. With many services, there is also the option to allow people to view your content for free, thanks to the ad-supported model. To that end, media and entertainment content marketing are far more versatile.

Enhanced accessibility is another clear benefit that ties in with those we’ve previously looked at. OTT app installations, for example, are rapidly increasing as people get used to watching shows and movies on the move. OTT content monitoring and protection services give you full visibility into your target audience while safeguarding your content from piracy. At the same time, OTT content marketing is becoming increasingly popular for third-party advertisers who want to tap into the enormous reach of these platforms to promote their own products.

OTT Content Marketing is one of the proven digital media growth strategies

For both content producers and advertisers, digital media growth strategies can’t afford to ignore the meteoric rise of OTT services. Streaming content promotion has become the go-to solution for media and entertainment content marketing, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down. Even if slow internet speeds across much of India remain a barrier, this will change too in the coming years. As such, now is the time to act and take your digital marketing and content production efforts to the next level.

Digital Times is a marketing agency that creates highly effective tailor-made campaigns to help brands greatly expand their reach. We helped Telugu-language OTT streaming service Aha greatly increase their US-based subscriber count while slashing acquisition costs. Our three-pronged approach, which combines app store optimization, search optimization, and in-depth customer profiling and targeting, offers a proven way to increase app installations and deliver real results.