“What TV shows have you been watching recently?”

For the past several years, this topic has been breaking the ice at family gatherings, company retreats, and class reunions as the popularity of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime & Disney+ Hotstar has skyrocketed.

There’s no surprise that the number of individuals streaming content in their houses has expanded dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. But, even before the worldwide lockdowns began, the OTT market had grown by 15% in 2019. That being said, with a plethora of OTT platforms, it’s crucial to execute the campaign correctly if you want to derive the best results. 

With that in mind, we’ve created a comprehensive guide that you can use to effectively launch an OTT advertising campaign in 2022. 

What is OTT Advertising?

OTT, which stands for over-the-top, refers to the fact that these advertisements bypass regular channels in order to reach audiences directly. OTT advertising reaches internet users via video streaming services and devices.  

While the structure of OTT commercials is similar to that of television ads, they are more complex since they allow data-driven targeting and personalization. Moreover, OTT commercials are affecting TV advertising in the same way that streaming has impacted traditional broadcasters. 

The Growth of OTT Ads

You could immediately compare the rise of OTT advertising to the collapse of traditional cable TV. As more individuals cut the cord and go to streaming services, advertisers have increased their revenue prospects significantly.

Google’s $1.65 billion purchase of the fledgling YouTube in 2006 provided the green signal to others who saw which way the tide was turning. By 2010, Netflix had almost completely abandoned their DVD delivery mechanism in favor of streaming, owing to Amazon’s introduction of Prime Video.

At the same time, traditional pay-TV viewership was steadily declining. So, what does this mean for advertisers? According to TAM statistics, ad insertions on Indian OTT platforms more than doubled in April, the first full month of the COVID-19 lockout, compared to March, the pre-COVID-19 timeframe. 

Moreover, there is a lot of speculation on whether OTT platforms will replace traditional TV entirely, and based on the data, it’s inevitable. 

What are the Benefits of OTT Advertising?

OTT advertising, like TV ads, is an excellent method to raise brand awareness for your company. They do, however, have additional advantages and applications.

1. They’re Less Expensive 

OTT ads are comparatively more affordable than TV advertisements, both in terms of creation and broadcasting. As a result, OTT commercials are now available to smaller firms, including those who cannot afford to undertake a TV campaign.

Furthermore, because you are not constrained by predefined timetables or geographical boundaries, less of your advertising budget is wasted on presenting adverts to irrelevant audiences. As a result, you get more value for money.

2. Improved Targeting

Targeting options differ by platform, but the majority of them allow you to create an audience based on demographics, geography, device, interests, and activity.

This means you can target your OTT advertisements to the right people, increasing conversions, brand visibility, and recognition. According to eMarketer, 58 percent of advertisers believe the most significant advantage of OTT ads is their targeting capabilities.

3. Dynamic Advertising Options

You can automatically adjust the content of your ad based on who is viewing it. Giving your audience a tailored experience is more likely to impact their behavior and should improve the overall outcomes of your campaign. 

It is also feasible to retarget your audience across several channels using technology such as device fingerprinting, website retargeting, and IP retargeting. So, if someone visits your website, you can serve them an ad when they turn on their smart TV.

Moreover, OTT ads may help brands boost performance at any point of the sales funnel if they invest effort in establishing specialized audiences and targeted content. 

4. Increased Rates of Engagement

Your OTT advertising will naturally engage more viewers than traditional television ads if better targeting and customization are used. However, there’s a lot more to it than that.

Many television commercials go unnoticed because viewers are too preoccupied with checking their phones, preparing tea, or using the restroom. In fact, 29 percent of TV commercials aren’t considered visible since no one is in the room when they’re on. 

OTT advertising, on the other hand, totally engages viewers because they are brief and non-skippable. Advertisement filters are also ineffective on most platforms.

Challenges of OTT Ads

While the benefits are numerous, because OTT advertising is still in its early stages, there are certain teething concerns associated with the medium. Here are a few of the difficulties you should be aware of.

There Are Tracking Limitations

In recent years, investment in OTT advertising has been limited by reporting gaps and measurement difficulties.

Because OTT ads aren’t clickable, and unlike web browsers, OTT devices can’t employ cookies or tracking pixels to follow your audience and attribute conversions, tracking is tough.

This implies that advertisers can’t trace their consumers’ journeys as they can with PPC advertisements on Google or Facebook. They, too, are unable to constantly see where their advertisements appear.

While advanced tracking tools, such as device fingerprinting and IP retargeting, are available, they require additional effort to set up and provide limited information.

According to a recent study, 57 percent of families that have adopted linked TV have at least three streaming devices. Furthermore, each member of the household has their own account or profile on numerous streaming sites. There is currently no tracking solution that can decipher these complex conditions and tell you exactly who has viewed your adverts.

Diverse OTT Providers

According to Tubi’s latest audience insights survey, two-fifths of marketers are unsure how streaming-based advertising works. This isn’t surprising given the variety of approaches available.

There are multiple OTT streaming providers accessible in India. While some services, like Netflix, are ad-free, many others have OTT advertising alternatives.

Because there are so many platforms, each with its own economic strategy, things may become confusing and complicated for advertising.

How to Get Started with OTT Advertising?

The stages involved in beginning an OTT ad campaign will vary based on the ad provider you choose, but they are often the following.

1. Design Your Ad

There are different types of videos that you can create in your ad. Most networks permit adverts that are 15-30 seconds long, so keep your video brief. However, you should check each platform’s individual ad specifications for the optimum length, size, aspect ratio, and file size. A branded supplementary banner may also be required.

It’s also a good idea to make a range of videos to target various personas and demographics, as well as customers at various phases of the sales funnel.

2. Add Tags to Your Videos

Make sure your video appears well on any device and include VAST tags so that different video players can handle your ad. This is especially significant if your ad will be displayed on different ad servers.

Some platforms additionally support VPAID tags, which allow for more accurate performance tracking. They also enable you to add interactive features and personalization to your advertisements.

3. Determine Your Audience

You have the option of targeting people based on their age, gender, location, and interests. In some circumstances, you can also select the genre of shows they watch or a specific TV program to target.

Your chosen platform will begin matching your audience with real-life individuals once you’ve formed your audience.

4. Begin Running Your Ads

Your ads will appear on all of your provider’s OTT platforms. To guarantee that your ad appears appropriately, your VAST or VPAID tags will communicate with the platform’s video player.

5. Examine Your Reports

The majority of OTT providers return data on impressions and costs, which is subsequently compiled into a report for advertisers. They may also include third-party data. Ad interaction data, including mutes, full screens, replays, and completion rates, may be captured by your VAST and VPAd tags.

The Top OTT Platforms In India

Streaming sites that enable OTT commercials can be somewhat narrow at times, but let’s get a feel of who the major streamers that accept ads are in general:

That being said, there are other bigger OTT platforms in India, which are currently ad-free. Companies could consider using their stats to make some educated predictions regarding OTT platforms that do offer prospects for advertisers. Those who replicate these experiences are more likely to be prudent investments. Here are three of the top OTT platforms in India: 

  • Netflix 
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • JioCinema 

How To Measure The Success of Your OTT Ad Campaign 

Your KPI may differ depending on what you’re attempting to achieve and how your consumer funnel and journey appear, but the most typical is video completion rate or VCR. While this is the most commonly used statistic, there are other performance metrics available. You can build “upstream” approaches that allow you to measure the effectiveness of a campaign without using click-through rates or impressions. You must have a control group before you can measure the “upstream” perceptions and results.

Focus on the precise call to action in your ad and assess how effectively your OTT campaign is functioning while developing a mechanism for determining “upstream” impressions. Some ads, for example, are focused on boosting the download of an app, and with OTT and digital TV, impressions to app download or app install may be measured. This is only one of the reasons why OTT is significantly preferable to traditional TV, where quantifying app downloads based on impressions is impossible.

Other criteria you can use to assess the effectiveness of an OTT campaign for your company include:

  • Is there an increase in web traffic since the beginning of the ad campaign versus the current situation?
  • How much inventory has been moved since the ad campaign was initiated?
  • Since the launch of the campaign, have more people searched for directions or visited your business?


Advertising on linked devices is one of the most recent developments in the field of entertainment advertising. Platforms will continue to evolve as they grow and expand, but it’s never too early to try your hand at running advertisements on India’s major OTT platforms. 

Now It’s Your Turn.

I hope you enjoyed this ultimate guide to OTT advertising.

Please feel free to share your thoughts or if you have any additional information, please let me know in the comments section below.

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