The cord cutting movement has been on the rise since the day videos became available on the internet. Now audiences can watch any of their favorite shows on platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime and Peacock. For advertisers, that means shifting with the audience from traditional TV buys to CTV and OTT. Whenever there is a paradigm shift in media consumption, advertisers must keep up, or risk being left behind.

What is CTV and OTT? 

CTV is “Connected Television,” meaning smart TVs that are connected to the internet. CTV connects to apps that stream media. OTT stands for “Over-the-Top,” referring to its ability to stack “on top” of traditional content providers. Think of OTT as an umbrella term. OTT is the media delivered via the internet. OTT can be watched on devices like a Roku stick, Amazon Fire Stick, or simply a mobile phone. So, OTT can be accessed through CTV and other devices..

How is YouTube relevant?

YouTube launched in 2005, revolutionizing the world with viral videos like “Charlie Bit My Finger” and “Chocolate Rain.” YouTube now boasts 2.5 billion users accessing the platform at least once a month. While YouTube offers feature-length content like television series and films to stream, the platform is most widely known for videos generated by everyday people and influencers. This creates opportunities to access content that appeals to a niche audience, which is not possible with platforms that only offer standard film and television content. By using CTV to serve video ads, advertisers can serve messages in environments that are easy for users to navigate while also maintaining high levels of engagement that comes with traditional television.

As of 2022, about “83% of ALL adults” are watching YouTube on TV screens. Additionally, over 40% of Gen Z and Millennials responded to surveys that they watch YouTube on TV “very often.”  Part of this popularity can be attributed to how YouTube content that doesn’t need to be approved and funded by an entertainment network. Content on YouTube can be almost anything, serving any niche audience, which creates opportunity for advertisers who are looking to reach these niche audiences.

How does YouTube compare to traditional television and streaming?

The rise of the YouTube influencer has challenged the entertainment industry. Top performing YouTube creators are stacking up nearly double the viewership rates compared to prime time television shows. Influencers like Mr. Beast are achieving viewership counts up to 250 million on their most popular videos while top performing television shows like Cobra Kai are pulling in 135 million viewers. Leading shows like Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” premiere episode got 25 million views. While this premiere broke records for Amazon, it still is only a fraction of the viewership numbers that popular influencers can post. 

What does this mean for advertisers?

The shift in popularity within the mediascape from studio-produced films to homegrown content should signal to advertisers that ad dollars need to be diversified. The industry is changing at breakneck speed and it is important to leverage these watershed moments. Media partners like YouTube can offer clients access to niche markets with the 100% view ability benefits of CTV. Less noise means more focus on the brand. This creates greater opportunity for advertisers to present their brand to audiences in ways that will stick.