What is Connected TV (CTV) Advertising?

by Kedet | August 9, 2021

Programmatic advertising has become increasingly popular due to its effectiveness in reaching audiences.

Display, Social Display, Audio…are all popular advertising channels. Today, we’re going to dive a bit deeper into two trending ad types: Connected TV and Over-The-Top (OTT) Advertising.

What is Connected TV?

When we talk about Connected TV, we need to talk about Over-The-Top Advertising.

These two types of advertising are not competitive but instead part of each other.

Connected TV is a subset of Over-The-Top, which encompasses the devices that can connect to the internet and stream videos. Here are some examples of Connected TV devices:

Smart TVs

These cover televisions that have a built-in internet connection and media apps. Examples are Netflix, Tubi, Prime Video, HBOMax, Paramount+, etc.

Gaming Consoles

Consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch can be connected to the TV and have streaming functionalities in their app stores, including Youtube, Twitch, Netflix, etc. Find out why gamers are a target demographic marketers shouldn’t underestimate!

Connected Devices

These are also known as Over-The-Top devices, which can be plugged into TVs (even if they’re not Smart TVs) and connect it to the internet to use apps and stream videos. Examples include Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire Stick.

What is OTT?

Over-The-Top stands for the video content people stream from the internet instead of broadcast, cable, or satellite TV.
OTT platforms include Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Sling, Discovery+, Paramount+, Disney+, NBC Peacock, Tubi…etc.

Be sure to check out our other blog post, “What is OTT Advertising?” for more information.

What’s the Difference Between Connected TV and OTT?

Let’s drill it in:

Connected TV is the over-arching term for all types of advertising on TV that connects to the internet.

Over-The-Top is TV content delivered across the internet that CTV devices (SmartTVs, smartphones, tablets, etc.) can access.

To differentiate the two, remember:

Connected TV is the conduit for delivering Over-The-Top (OTT) video content.

The graphic below are all the devices that are OTT. As you can see, CTV makes up a portion of it.


Do you pay for cable but have channels you never watch? The introduction of on-demand video streaming has revolutionized the way people consume media. You can now binge-watch a series overnight; rewatch your favorite comfort show whenever you want, or check out movies you weren’t able to watch in the theaters before!

With so many options that offer affordable monthly costs, it’s no wonder people are leaving traditional TV behind and flocking to watching OTT content through Connected TV.

Cord Cutters stand for people who don’t have (or chose to opt-out of) cable television.

According to TechJury:

  • 30% of US consumers plan to cut the cord in 2021
  • Almost all Americans aged 25-34 access TV through the internet
  • 90% of young people prefer accessing TV content through the internet
Advertisers have noticed this shift and are moving their ad budget from traditional to digital to capture this emerging audience.

Types of Connected TV Ads

Here are the three types of Connected TV Ads you can choose from:

Home Screen Placement

These are display ads that are on the home screen. It can be a static image, animated image, or short video.

In-Stream Video Ads

These ads are around 15 to 30 seconds long and…drumroll please: they are unskippable! They are served before a show starting or during the run time.

Interactive Pre-Roll Ads

These types of ads are interactive–viewers can click on your ad and be directed to your landing page.

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Benefits of Connected TV Advertising

Precision Targeting

You can laser-focus your advertising dollars on your target audience. Here are options available for CTV ads:

  • Device Type
  • Device Model
  • Frequency Capping
  • Cross-Channel Advertising
  • Lookalike Audiences
  • Retargeting (First-Party and Third-Party)
  • Time of Day
  • Day of Week

Save Time & Effort on Creatives

If you have previous ad creatives for video (like Youtube or Social) or traditional television, you can reuse them for Connected TV! It’s cost-effective and saves your team time and effort!

Brand Safety

You can ensure your ads are reaching engaged audiences on premium channels and content.

Guaranteed Viewability

Most OTT ads are delivered through a full-screen experience, so advertisers can have peace of mind that their ads are properly seen, compared to other formats of digital ads like below-the-fold display ads.

High Ad Completion Rate

CTV Media states that the average completion rate of watching an ad to the end is 98%.

Measurable Ad Results

Compared with traditional television ads, the data you collect from ad campaigns have more audience data. Here are some metrics you can track with CTV ads:
  • Click Rate
  • Video Completion Rate
  • Impressions by:
  • Platform
  • Device
  • Date
  • Day of Week
You will also see how many impressions your original order had, compared to the actually aired impressions.

Connect with Younger Audiences

Earlier, we cited TechJury’s study on Cord Cutters (people who only consume TV content from the internet). The two biggest demographics are Millenials and Generation Z.

If you’re thinking of reaching a younger audience, you should consider running OTT ads through Connected TV!

How Do I Run CTV Ads?

So, have you piqued your interest in this advertising channel? Where do you start?
  • Know your target audience.
    • What is the demographic?
    • What are their interests?
    • What are the types of content they consume?
    • What stage of the customer journey are they currently in?
  • Decide what ad creatives to serve on which OTT channels.
  • Find a Demand Side Platform (DSP) or advertising partner that specializes in Programmatic Connected TV Advertising.

    Programmatic is the automation of digital ad buying. Say goodbye to the days where you had to negotiate and pay high prices for a primetime slot on traditional TV, all while competing with other companies. Programmatic uses Artificial Intelligence and software to purchase ad placements that are served on various digital channels. In this case, programmatic ad tech can help you buy ads programmed for Connected TV devices.

    War Room is an advertising agency that specializes in 100% programmatic. Our team of experts provides hands-on management with your campaigns. By leveraging our in-house programmatic platform, Kedet, we monitor and proactively make optimizations to ensure your ad is driving the best results possible.


    For a takeaway, here is an infographic we created that best explains OTT and Connected TV channels and ads!
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