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A Winning Combination: OTT Advertising and Linear TV

February 21st, 2019   ||    by Callie Wheeler

Is 2019 the year we embrace the OTT advertising and linear TV mashup? Like Wendy’s Frosty and fries, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, or socks and sandals, this unexpected match actually makes perfect sense. And we now have the data to prove it.

Different but Compatible

While both enjoyable on their own, the combination of linear TV and OTT advertising creates a unique value for brands. The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) released the Linear TV and OTT: Living Together in Harmony report earlier this month, and its findings provide a clear look at the power of the two advertising channels both apart and together. Take these key stats from the report:

  • Millennials still prefer watching linear TV, and linear TV provides the greatest audience reach, accounting for 88 percent of weekly viewing for adults
  • 73 percent of adults who watch streaming video watch ad-supported OTT content
  • While the majority of reach is via linear TV, OTT gives brands the opportunity for incremental reach and message reinforcement
  • Viewers who watch both linear and OTT TV are more committed, engaged viewers compared to the average adult

Proving the Combination’s Value

The report cited a few interesting case studies, including one in which a combination of both Roku and linear TV ads led to a higher conversion rate than one or the other alone. In the example, a tune-in promotion delivered on both channels led to a 16.5 percent increase in linear viewership—3.2 percent higher than linear TV ads alone and 14.6 percent higher than Roku ads alone.

Taking a Thoughtful Approach

The VAB made the argument that OTT is simply an extension of linear TV, pointing to stats like this: 64 percent of millennial streamers are motivated to stream when they find content they previously consumed via traditional media. This familiar content bridges the gap between the two media, and stats are similar even in older audiences. With this in mind, brands can build campaigns that leverage both channels intentionally, creating reinforcement of similar messages in formats best suited to the channel.

This is good news for broadcasters and advertisers alike, as it only further illustrates the necessity of a multi-pronged approach to viewers, with linear TV acting as a strong foundation.

Using the Winning Combination

Adweek shared this message from the VAB’s president and CEO Sean Cunningham: “Combining linear TV and ad-supported OTT inventory can deliver even stronger campaign results and increased business outcomes for marketers.” It’s a good summary of an even greater message—savvy marketers will deploy both OTT advertising and linear TV advertising to reach their audiences.

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