Making OTT Your Reach Extension Platform for the Future

By ViacomCBS InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Making OTT Your Reach Extension Platform for the Future

It's true, TV advertising isn't what it used to be; now, it's even better.  During the ongoing "everything in media is being disrupted" narrative, if TV has held onto anything as an ad medium, it's the ability to deliver immediate bursts of big reach.  You want to get in front of 10 million people in one night and tell them about your movie opening?  Run a spot on Monday Night Football.  Want to tell the whole country about your July 4th sale?  Hit them with a few ads on Must See TV (NBC's old Thursday night primetime block, for the younger crowd).  Cool new toy for children?  Telecast an ad during a TV tentpole like The Kids Choice Awards.  Promoting a music release or a new TV program?  Hit the MTV Video Music Awards.  Even as massive as social media and streaming have become, there isn't another medium that can credibly match TV's scale, reach, measurability and brand-safety.  In other words, TV is not going anywhere anytime soon.

However, even the biggest TV proponents -- those of us holding onto our GRP calculators, reach curves and "no other medium can match" maxims -- can't ignore the impact that on-demand viewing has had on live TV consumption.  Yes, it's absolutely true that TV as a whole can claim over five hours, which cumulatively blows away most news feed instreaming and mobile video.  But with younger audiences increasingly shifting from traditional TV to streaming services, OTT is going to play an integral role in continuing to help deliver the massive commercial audiences advertisers have come to know and love.  To put it mildly, as powerful as linear television is and continues to be, it alone won't be enough to deliver these young, hard-to-reach consumers that the telly has historically delivered but that now are flocking in droves to the Hulus and Rokus of the world. 

But here's the good news:  Because Viacom has the youngest audience of any cable network, we are the first to see emerging viewership trends. Our cultural insights team has kept its finger on the pulse of young culture for a long time.  It's in our DNA since the early days of MTV!  Their latest research confirms the two trends that most of us in media and advertising know will define the media landscape for years to come.

  1. People are watching less live, ad-supported TV
  2. They are watching more on-demand, ad-supported content on smart TVs

Here's where the power of OTT comes in.  Over-the-top has digital-esque targeting capabilities, which results in ads being more enjoyable, relevant and memorable on ad-supported platforms like Pluto TV -- according to data released by Christian Kurz, Viacom's Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Insight.  Because bypassing ads is much more difficult on OTT due to the inability to "channel surf," ad completion rates are much greater. When it comes to watching long-form programming, audiences prefer a premium, lean-back experience as opposed to a mobile-centric, lean-forward one.  Not only is complementing linear reach with OTT ads a seamless process, pricing for OTT inventory is comparable to traditional television advertising.

With Viacom's addition of OTT-native companies Awesomeness TV and Pluto TV to its stable of brands, our expertise helps media buyers deliver young, hard-to-reach consumers.  Even in an era of fragmentation, you can reach massive audiences at scale with a premium video experience -- which is why your brand fell in love with TV in the first place.

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