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What Is an OTT Platform?

Internet video streaming and other internet-enabled technologies have revolutionized the way consumers access content and communicate. Over-the-top (OTT) content can be accessed on demand anywhere there’s an internet connection. According to Comscore’s 2021 State of OTT report, 82 million U.S. households watch an average of 100 hours of OTT content monthly. Since January 2020, the number of households adopting at least one OTT platform has increased by more than 20%. This upward trajectory is projected to continue, presenting new ways for advertisers to look beyond traditional TV and radio for new ways to reach their target audiences. Let’s explore how OTT platforms enable highly targeted advertising and provide optimization opportunities using a variety of data sources

What Is an OTT Platform? 

An OTT platform delivers digital content via the internet, bypassing traditional media such as TV and radio by streaming on-demand content directly to consumers. Popular examples include video streaming services such as Amazon Fire, Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube. But OTT platforms also include other forms of internet-enabled content, such as music and podcasts. Popular OTT platforms in these spaces include brands such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. 

Today’s media audiences interact with content across a range of devices, switching from one to another based on location and the type of media being consumed. Mobile devices, smart TVs, tablets, video game consoles, personal computers, and more can all be used to access OTT content, giving consumers many methods for viewing entertainment.

OTT Platform Advertising: Opportunities for Marketers

OTT platforms are ideal advertising opportunities for businesses looking for highly targeted, more measurable alternatives to traditional media. According to BIA Advisory Services, OTT advertising spend hit $990 million in 2020, and that number is anticipated to exceed $2.3 billion in 2025. As this space continues to grow and mature, OTT advertising offers brands unique advantages. 

Robust tracking 

With traditional radio and TV ads, tracking the effectiveness of marketing investment is difficult. However, OTT advertisers can easily track actions including website visits, app downloads, or even visits to a brick-and-mortar storefront by using a third-party attribution tracking service like the ones offered by Nielsen or Oracle. This fine-grained view makes it easy to optimize marketing strategies based on data. As a bonus, very few OTT ads are skippable, meaning your target audience will almost always see your ads in their entirety. 

Take advantage of personalization  and cross-targeting

OTT platforms give advertisers the opportunity to truly personalize the consumer ad experience. By leveraging first-, second-, and third-party data—such as data from the Snowflake Data Marketplace—advertisers can ensure that they are serving the most relevant ad to their audience, creating a better experience for the consumer and maximizing ad effectiveness and cost for the advertiser.  

With consumers dividing their time across multiple screens and channels, this advertising strategy is also rich with cross-targeting opportunities, allowing marketers to present ads to a target audience as they move from one platform to another. This advertising strategy also allows advertisers to retarget ads to specific audience subsets, such as those who have visited your website or who previously viewed your ads on other audio or video OTT platforms.

Future-proof targeting and measurement

As data privacy changes upend traditional performance marketing tactics, advertisers have begun to invest in channels that offer opportunities for highly targeted placement with easily measurable results. TV advertising via content streaming services doesn’t use cookies or common identifiers, so future changes to privacy laws are less likely to negatively impact OTT TV advertising targeting and measurement efforts.

OTT Growth Offers Growth for Advertisers

As the popularity of video and audio streaming services continues to grow, so do advertising opportunities on OTT platforms. By incorporating the OTT platform’s viewer demographics data and layering on proprietary data, advertisers can optimize ad spend in ways not possible with traditional advertising channels. 

Snowflake for OTT Platform Data

Snowflake makes processing, storing, and analyzing OTT data simple. Snowflake’s Snowpipe solution detects when new data is generated and regularly loads that data into Snowflake. Having the ability to access OTT data in real time allows marketers to proactively make informed decisions about ad spend and react to emerging trends in the way consumers interact with their content. In addition, the Snowflake Data Marketplace provides advertisers with direct access to live and ready-to-query data sets from over 200 third-party data providers and data service providers, including Comscore and 

To see Snowflake’s streaming data capabilities firsthand, sign up for a free trial