Before the turn of this century, streaming content via the internet was a distant dream. Fast forward to today, and it’s hard to imagine life without over-the-top (OTT) applications.
From streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat, OTT apps have become an integral part of our lives.
But how did these apps come about—and how are they continuing to impact the work we do as marketers?
Let’s take a look at the history of OTT apps and how they’ve changed over time to gain a better understanding of how we can use them in the future for the most integrated OTT marketing strategy.
Until the 1990s, nobody thought that something like streaming services would ever be possible. In 1995, the world’s first live-streaming event was held (a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners was streamed on ESPN SportsZone)—and from there, things haven’t slowed down. Then came YouTube, iTunes, and Netflix.
This marked the beginning of what would eventually become known as “over-the-top” applications. Over the next few years, more and more companies began launching their own streaming services, including Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. As the popularity of these services grew, so too did their offerings—from streaming movies to TV shows and original content.
Today, there is no shortage of OTT applications available on both mobile devices and desktop computers. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and these OTT apps continue to change to keep up with the growing consumer demand for newer and more innovative technology.
There are lots of benefits to using OTT apps as part of your marketing strategy – and as ubiquitous as they are, it’s clear that if you don’t integrate them somehow, you will certainly be left behind.
With the emergence of OTT platforms, traditional advertising is beginning to change. For the most part, this is for the better, but it’s not without its challenges.
One issue facing marketers is that OTT subscribers tend to be younger than those watching cable or satellite TV (according to most connected TV statistics, the vast majority of OTT users are in the 18-34 age group), which means they may have as much predetermined brand loyalty as an older demographic. This means lots of opportunity to make new lifelong customers—but you’ll need to think carefully about how you craft your message in order to appeal to this audience.
Fortunately, there are steps marketers can take in order to overcome these challenges and make sure their messages are heard by their target audiences.
One way to reach these viewers on OTT platforms is through interactive ads, which allow users to interact with the ad instead of simply skipping it or ignoring it altogether. These types of ads tend to be more engaging than traditional commercials and can help boost brand awareness while also providing valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences.
So, how can marketers capitalize on the growing popularity of these services?
The first step lies in understanding your target audience. This means taking a deep dive into who they are, what they like, and what kind of media they consume.
From there, you can tailor your message accordingly and reach them via the channels they already use.
For example, if your target demographic is 18-24-year-olds who watch Hulu regularly, you can create ad campaigns that appear before or during a show they’re watching.
Another way marketers can capitalize on the OTT app revolution is by utilizing interactive advertising options such as pre-roll ads or sponsored content within streaming services themselves. This allows viewers to engage with your brand directly from within their favorite streaming app without ever leaving it—which is key for providing an uninterrupted viewing experience.
Finally, don’t forget about cross-platform promotion! Utilizing other forms of media such as radio and print ads alongside digital marketing efforts will ensure that your message reaches its intended audience no matter where they are consuming their content from.
OTT apps are continuing to evolve, and marketers need to be aware of the trend in order to stay ahead. The rise in popularity of OTT apps means that more people are spending time streaming content on their devices.
In turn, this gives marketers a new opportunity to reach consumers through targeted ads.
As OTT app usage increases, we can expect to see more businesses invest in marketing strategies that focus on these platforms.