Five Myths About CTV Advertising

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Traditional TV advertising is becoming increasingly expensive, and many companies are struggling to justify the cost. CTV advertising offers a more budget-friendly alternative that can still provide significant exposure. While the CTV market is growing, it remains relatively untapped, providing opportunities for early adopters. In addition, CTV allows you to target specific demographics more effectively than traditional TV. As a result, it is an excellent option for companies looking to get the most bang for their advertising buck.

CTV and over-the-top (OTT) are not the same thing, though they are often referred to as synonymous. CTV is a television or internet-connected device that enables viewers to access content through applications, some of which may come preinstalled on a TV. Unlike linear TV, CTV includes smart TVs, streaming devices like Roku, TiVo, and Apple TV, as well as gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. OTT refers to the delivery of content via the internet without the need for a traditional cable or satellite subscription.

 This means that viewers can watch OTT content on any internet-connected device, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. While CTV and OTT are both growing in popularity, there are some key differences between the two. For one, CTV is typically viewed on a larger screen than OTT content. Additionally, CTV offers a more immersive viewing experience with access to features like pause, rewind, and fast-forward.

CTV Is Fraud Free. Unfortunately, however, that is not the case and in fact, CTV is a target for fraud. It is particularly attractive to fraudsters as a result of high CPMs (cost per thousand impressions or ‘mile’). In addition, CTV demand outstrips supply and advertisers are flocking to buy programmatically, which introduces new risks not present in direct buys.

Within the last year there have been numerous cases of fraudsters creating lookalike domains to popular streaming apps like HULU, ESPN and others in order to dupe ad tech platforms into thinking they are real. Once an ad tech platform has been tricked into thinking a domain is real, the fraudster can then fill it with all sorts of bogus content and serve up ads against it to generate revenue. This type of fraud is known as ‘domain spoofing’ and it is one of the most common types of CTV ad fraud. 

Fraudsters are also resorting to more sophisticated techniques like ‘pixel stuffing’ wherein they insert hidden pixels into video streams that go undetected by humans but can be counted by ad tech platforms as viewable impressions. These fraudulent impressions can then be sold programmatically at a premium to unsuspecting advertisers.

CTV uses Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI), which stitches the ad within the content being streamed, giving viewers a seamless viewing experience (read: no buffering). However, it makes it increasingly more difficult to detect fraud. For example, if an ad is inserted into a stream that is then viewed by a bot, the advertiser will be charged for the view even though the user never saw the ad.

All CTV Inventory is the Same. When it comes to online advertising, there’s a lot of talk about inventory. In the simplest terms, inventory is just the space on a website where ads can be placed. And programmatic inventory is inventory that’s bought and sold using automated processes. Currently, most programmatic inventory is bought through private marketplace deals directly with publishers. This is done in order to avoid running into inventory that’s likely to be fraudulent. But that means that the leftover inventory that’s bought programmatically through the Open Exchange is perceived to be lower in quality because it has a higher risk for fraud.

However, TV networks and streaming-only sellers like Amazon, Roku and streaming pay-TV provider FuboTV make their top-shelf CTV inventory available for programmatic purchase. Usually, this takes the form of programmatic guaranteed (PG) and private marketplace (PMP) deals so sellers can maintain some scarcity and not open themselves up to the lowest bidder in the programmatic open. And that’s good news for both buyers and sellers of TV advertising. By making their inventory available for programmatic purchase, TV networks and streaming providers are opening up a whole new world of opportunities for themselves. Not only can they sell more advertising inventory, but they can also do so at higher prices. And that’s good news for everyone involved in the TV ecosystem.

CTV Audiences are the Same: When I hear someone say that they don’t want to advertise on CTV because “it’s only for millennials” I can’t help but laugh. Because nearly every new TV is a smart TV and most of them require an internet connection the second you turn them on- something even the non-techie person can likely accomplish. Most of the CTV options are built right in. So when someone says that advertising on CTV wouldn’t reach their target market- I say they’re wrong. Plain and simple. CTV is for everyone. And that’s why it’s such an effective way to reach your target market, no matter who they are.


According to MediaPost, “among U.S. CTV consumers, the median age is 45.” In other words, CTV isn’t just for young people – it’s for anyone who wants to enjoy the advantages of streaming television. A recent article from eMarketer’s Insider Intelligence shows that four in 10 US seniors are also CTV users. That’s right: your grandparents are probably watching more CTV than you are. 

So why are seniors so into CTV? Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, CTV is incredibly convenient. Seniors can watch their favorite shows without having to leave the comfort of their homes. Additionally, CTV is much cheaper than traditional cable TV, which is ideal for budget-conscious seniors. Finally, CTV provides a level of flexibility that older adults appreciate. They can watch what they want, when they want, and they don’t have to deal with commercials.

CTV Is Super Expensive When it comes to connected TV (CTV), many advertisers believe that it is an expensive platform compared to other options like digital or traditional television. However, our findings show that CTV has one of the highest completion rates out there.

In fact, according to a study by Advertiser Perceptions, CTV had a 95% completion rate in Q2 2018, compared to just 66% for desktop and 72% for mobile. And when you compare CTV’s cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) to other digital platforms, CTV is actually cheaper on average.

So why is CTV so successful? There are several reasons. First, viewers are more engaged with CTV ads than with other forms of advertising. In fact, according to Nielsen, people are 11% more likely to remember an ad they saw on CTV than on traditional television.

Second, CTV offers a more immersive experience than other digital platforms. With no banner ads or pop-ups, viewers are less likely to be distracted from the ad they’re watching. And finally, because CTV viewership is growing rapidly, brands have an opportunity to reach a large and engaged audience at a relatively low cost.

So if your KPI is the headline CPM, then it could be deemed expensive, but studies show that connected TV has one of the highest completion rates out there. So don’t be afraid to invest in this growing platform – it could be the key to reaching your target audience.

While it is clear that CTV advertising still has a lot of room to grow, we should not buy into the fake news about it and ignore the myths. There is a lot of good reason to advertise on CTV – from its growing viewership numbers to its ad capabilities. What do you think? Are you convinced that now is the time to start advertising on CTV? Let us know in the comments on LinkedIn

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