Learn everything you need to know about over-the-top (OTT) advertising with Adjust.

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What does OTT mean?

OTT stands for “over-the-top” and refers to technology (OTT services or platforms) that delivers streamed content via internet-connected devices.

In mobile marketing, OTT is often discussed specifically within the context of video content. In the recent past, viewers consumed all video content from a TV set connected to a cable TV or satellite provider. However, viewers can now watch video content across multiple devices; no longer needing to be connected to cable or broadcast TV. But before we jump into OTT advertising and how to leverage OTT targeting, let’s clear up some confusion.

What is OTT streaming?

OTT streaming is video or audio content that is played over the internet. There are two types of OTT streaming; pay-to-access and free-to-access. Many OTT services now operate on a paid subscription basis. However, there are several monetization methods used, and a large number run advertisements on their platform as an alternative to subscription-based monetization. Some platforms offer a mix, providing tiered packages that allow users to either access for free with ads or pay for an ad-free experience.

OTT monetization methods

Ad-supported: Content is free, and revenue is generated through paid ads displayed within the content.

Subscription: Users pay a recurring fee for on-demand access to a content library.

Transactional: Users can pay a one-time fee to access specific content.

Premium: Users can pay a premium fee for early or exclusive access to specific content.

Hybrid: Use of multiple of the above monetization models in tandem.

What is the difference between OTT and live streaming?

OTT describes the technology that delivers on-demand content via the internet across devices like mobile phones, CTVs, computers, and tablets. Live streaming is the broadcasting of content in real-time over the internet, allowing viewers to tune in and watch as it actively happens.

What are the major OTT platforms?

The most commonly referred to OTT service is video streaming. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, and YouTube are OTT providers in the video streaming space. Spotify is considered an OTT platform in the audio streaming space for both music and podcasts, while WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, and Signal are considered OTT platforms in the communication space.