Work in marketing and advertising long enough and you will come across over the top ads. OTT (over the top) advertising are streaming tv ads that deliver media programmatically across streaming tv devices such as Fire TV, Roku, Hulu, Chromecast and more.

OTT ads are extremely effective for brands seeking to expand their business across specific demographics and targeting. Since OTT ads are delivered programmatic within a demand side platform, agencies are able to select audiences that meet the brand’s target business objectives.

OTT (Over The Top) Advertising Benefits

OTT Advertising provides an effective channel for brands looks to scale beyond their traditional media buys. However, there are significantly more effective benefits to OTT vs traditional ads.

Benefits of OTT:

  1. Control over audience targeting
  2. Dynamic ad delivery
  3. Creative personalization
  4. Better campaign measurement
OTT ads are delivered on streaming and ctv devices
OTT ads are delivered on streaming tv devices such as FireTV

Where do OTT ads play?

The most common question that comes up regarding over the top advertising has to do with placement. Ad delivery is mostly delivered across streaming devices while the users are logged on and viewing their respective streaming apps. OTT ads are served through a demand side platform (DSP) which focuses on targeting the audiences available across that specific platform. For example, if you are looking to serve a streaming tv ad about the new 2023 Jeep Wrangler towards expanding families who recently had a baby. The ad would be served only to the user who meets the audience filters and is logged on to their device.

OTT advertising generally is delivered across ad-supported apps and publishers which ensures that wherever your target audiences are streaming so will your ads. This method of ad delivery provides advertisers a much more effective way to deliver media and maintain lower overall cost.

ott ads are served on ad supported apps and publishers
ott advertising is served across ad supported apps and publishers

We all love a good competition right? I mean the world wouldn’t be a better place if we didn’t all try to get better everyday. When we look at the landscape for over the top advertising, we can’t help but feel this way. The market is full of marketing channels, programmatic advertisers, and platforms that make ott advertising a difficult landscape to understand.

OTT (Over-The-Top) Advertising Definition

OTT Advertising or Over-the-top (OTT) video advertising which is also known as streaming TV, refers to content and video advertising that is delivered to viewers via a streaming app over the internet. Unlike traditional cable boxes and linear TV sets that you would watch on TV.

Streaming TV ads fall under the umbrella of programmatic advertising which is delivered through a demand side platform.

Understanding the Landscape

OTT is still a very new channel, with many providers all working to portray their business as the market leader. This has led to a lot of confusion across the marketplace as to who has the most scale. Furthermore, in addition to scale and marketshare what we really want to ensure we understand are all the differentiating factors that make each OTT provider better than the other.

ott provider comparisons for fire tv, spectrum reach, roku, and hulu
Comparing OTT Providers

Winning OTT Advertising Is Not Just About Market Share

In addition to device usage and reach OTT is all about usage. Fire TV is a clear example of why Amazon has taken a significant lead from competing OTT providers.

Fire TV delivers the best OTT advertising experience with over 50+ ad supported publishers, advertisers can take advantage of ample ad inventory that also maximizes Amazon’s e-commerce audiences. Since 81% of the US has an Amazon account, OTT delivered on a Fire TV device has the potential to deliver significantly higher purchase intent.

Fire TV users are 20% more likely to covert over the average consumer and watch over 2+ hours a day on their streaming devices.

Delivering media on Fire TV has one amazing advantage over Spectrum, Roku, and Hulu. Amazon OTT provides direct match back reporting in the AMC (Amazon Marketing Cloud) which lets advertisers measure offline attribution to their media exposure.

If you want a deeper dive on read the Guide on Amazon OTT.

Is Spectrum OTT Worth It?

Unfortunately, most advertisers are just starting to learn about Fire TV and have been more familiarized with first movers such as Spectrum Reach. I could really rant about the many flaws we’ve seen with Spectrum but we’ll just bullet a few points to make this more simple to compare.

  1. You are unable to match back offline attribution
  2. Audiences are extremely broad and tend to be legacy publisher relationships under the Spectrum Umbrella
  3. Spectrum maximizes profits and margins over customer success. Average DSP Fees are north of 70%
  4. Lack of overall integrations and reporting is lackluster

Roku’s Pros and Cons

Roku continues to be the market share leader for overall CTV devices in the marketplace today and continues to double down on market expansion. However, as we discussed previously OTT is about usage more than market share. Who cares if you have a roku device if you never use it.

What brand would want to advertise to a user without delivering effective reach?


  1. Roku is the CTV device market leader
  2. First Mover in the CTV device space
  3. Overall solid ad-supported audience penetration


  1. Lack of overall full funnel reporting (offline match back)
  2. Video/Creative limits ad specs and sizes
  3. Device usage has dwindled

Hulu’s Self Serve Platform

Hulu has taken some significant strides to maximize a self-serve OTT platform. The platform allows advertisers who traditionally did not have direct access to the DSP build their own campaigns and deliver them on Hulu.

Although we would be pretty pleased that Hulu has provided a fairly easy self serve platform to execute media they do lack on the reporting side. Most of the media delivered through the platform provides app-level reporting. Hulu lacks in their ability to provide offline attribution.

Audiences are similar to Roku but may be a good opportunity if you are simply looking for reach in a local market without significant granularity of audience targeting.

In conclusion, we do see Fire TV as the preferred choice from brands looking to deliver full funnel attribution and personalization.