• Demystifying Mobile in an OTT World

    With services such as Netflix being viewed over 70 percent of the time on connected televisions (CTVs), when a media buyer thinks of over-the-top (OTT) their first thought is not usually mobile or laptop-first. But the truth is, OTT can come in many shapes and sizes and merely represents how a piece of video is delivered. With viewing trends shifting so drastically, should the size of the screen really matter? Many viewers are shifting their consumption habits of live, linear and VOD television content to devices they can access whenever, and wherever. A study by Deloitte Insights, showed mobile-first viewers consume a comparatively large portion of long-form video on their smartphones, almost three times the average streamer. With TV being made available everywhere, mobile OTT has become a new norm.

    Mobile OTT allows users to have (almost) endless connectivity to stream high quality TV content anywhere. While this is particularly appealing to the end user, mobile OTT brings tremendous value to advertisers. What better place for a brand to share their messages than in the physical hands of a potential consumer? According to eMarketer, more than one-third of all U.S. ecommerce sales will be attributed to smartphones in 2019.

    From ad exposure to executing a transaction, the series of events to purchase a product has become all too convenient. In addition to the highly intimate, lean-forward experience, mobile devices are measurable with device attributes commonly understood by DSPs (demand side platforms) and DMPs (data management platforms) alike. With the rise of big screen OTT environments (connected devices & set-top boxes, or STBs), real-time measurability is quite appealing to linear TV buyers. However, while it may be familiar to purchase the big screen, it seems buyers are overlooking the tremendous value that mobile OTT brings to the table.

    Mobile OTT brings a more sophisticated understanding to buyers about the end user. With the mobile device Identifier for Advertising (IFA) having been around for over six years, the state of maturation enables buyers to leverage an array of data management platforms (DMPs) and demand-side platforms (DSPs) to find their audience more readily. While the device IFA across CTVs and STBs are gaining momentum, it's still in its infancy, with many devices not even having an IFA resulting in a lack of universal adoption from the buy side. While buyers can still leverage the IP address of a CTV or STB, it is inherently less enriched than that of a unique mobile device IFA which 99 percent of the time is tied to a specific user versus a household, which may have multiple different users all tied to one ID.

    More often than not, buyers tend to associate mobile with social platforms. It's imperative that the mindset shifts to accept mobile OTT as a part of the new era of TV. According to a study by Conviva, video streaming across all devices has increased by 115 percent year over year, with mobile video accounting for 49 percent of viewing, followed by TVs at 27 percent and PCs at 24 percent. Aside from its scalability, the economics alone are enticing with the eCPM across mobile OTT being $6 USD less than that of the big screen. Therefore, clustering mobile OTT and CTVs/STBs will bring scale, measurability, and operational efficiencies to buyers.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, our cell phone is the glue connecting our world: family, friends, the internet, groceries, TV and much, much more.  While traditional linear TV buyers are still getting acclimated to this new era of TV, it's important to remember that OTT may look different depending on where it’s consumed and merely represents how a piece of video is delivered. If buyers are not differentiating ad opportunities running on a 20 inch TV versus a 90 inch TV, why can't the same methodology be applied to a user tuning in from their mobile device versus the big screen?