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Over-the-top (OTT) video is thriving and is widely embraced by consumers in APAC — a market with fierce competition among global OTT giants and regional players. OTT reaches a diverse demographic in the APAC region, as SpotX’s “OTT Is for Everyone” research revealed. The audience tends to skew young, with many viewers between the ages of 18 to 35, and mid-income earners dominate. The APAC video streamer is also an engaged one, with a majority of OTT viewers watching more than two hours of content per day. While mobile leads device usage, connected TV (CTV) is accelerating in popularity.
OTT’s premium content, full-funnel marketing effectiveness, and brand-safe environment have drawn in advertisers eager to unleash the potential of this high-impact channel and engage hard-to-reach audiences. Quality, measurement, and fraud reduction remain challenges and are top of mind for advertisers.
To break down the OTT opportunity, SpotX joined DoubleVerify for a webinar that busts seven common myths about OTT and CTV. Here they are:
Myth No. 1: OTT and CTV are the same
OTT and CTV have often been referred to interchangeably, but the reality is that they are not identical. OTT refers to premium, television content streamed over the internet to a connected device like a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or TV. CTV, on the other hand, is a television set that is connected to the internet, whether directly itself as a smart TV, or through a gaming console or streaming device, and used to stream video content through the big screen.
Myth No. 2: OTT ads are less effective than TV or user-generated content
On the contrary, SpotX research reveals that OTT ads are equally as effective as ads on video-sharing platforms in attracting viewer attention, and are often more impactful than traditional TV ads. The most effective ads according to viewers are those with an interesting story, funny or feel-good content, good music, and that maintain brand relevance.
As OTT grows in scale and data capabilities, advertisers can deliver a more targeted and bespoke advertising experience to audiences, increasing the efficacy of OTT campaigns.
Myth No. 3: OTT is mainly ad-free, subscription-based content
While global players providing subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) are ubiquitous, ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) is in fact the most popular access method for video content in the APAC region. Most video viewers (67%) prefer to watch free, ad-supported content versus only 24% who prefer to pay for an ad-free streaming service. APAC consumers are receptive to ad-supported viewing, and the majority of viewers report one to five minutes of ads per hour of content acceptable.
Myth No. 4: OTT only works for top-of-funnel branding
While OTT’s strength is often seen as driving brand awareness at a level rivaling that of TV, research proves that OTT is also effective at activating sales. Across APAC, 30 to 40% of video viewers made a purchase (in-store, online, or by redeeming a voucher/promotion) after seeing an OTT ad.
Interactive OTT ads were also found to drive greater post-ad action as compared to standard video. Interactive ads delivered a 54% higher click-through rate (CTR), with a 29% uplift on viewers’ likelihood to visit a brand’s website and a 17% uplift on the viewer’s likelihood to click on the ad to learn more.
Myth No. 5: Consistent, quality OTT measurement is impossible
Quality video ad measurement can be complex, with inconsistent viewability measurement, inadequate protection controls, transparency challenges, and operational inefficiencies. Yet, comprehensive cross-screen measurement is possible. Being a mobile-first region, mobile measurement is a key focus in Asia Pacific. DoubleVerify reports a 90% increase in mobile web and a 350% increase in mobile app impressions that support viewability, as well as growing adoption of IAB’s Open Measurement SDK.
Measurement partners, like DoubleVerify, can utilize VAST tags to achieve complete coverage and measurement. The DV Video OmniTag offers a see-through rate of 99.7%, gathering key data points such as device type, IP address, user agent, and more, ensuring that ads are viewable and seen by a real person. Viewability measurement is not a given on CTV due to industry limitations, however, there are solutions to help to address the gap.
Myth No. 6: Fraud is low in OTT
Many assume that OTT, being a relatively new platform, has low fraud rates. In reality, this depends on the device. From 2019 to 2020, DoubleVerify saw a 37% increase in CTV video fraud despite a 13% drop in fraud for video across other devices.
Fraud goes where the money flows. This is especially applicable for emerging channels like CTV, which is seeing increased spend and premium CPMs. Certification has helped greatly to reduce CTV fraud. Compared to the overall programmatic ecosystem, DoubleVerify saw over 80% lower fraud and invalid traffic rates from certified platforms that have demonstrated the ability to prevent fraud by applying DoubleVerify’s pre-bid app and device protection. We’ve instituted this plus additional controls at SpotX, resulting in fraud rates 96% lower than the general programmatic ecosystem.
Myth No. 7: Quality coverage is limited on OTT
In reality, complete coverage on OTT is possible through pre-bid avoidance to stay away from unsuitable, fraudulent content and post-bid blocking to provide the last line of defense against brand safety incidents. There are some gaps that remain when it comes to OTT, including pre-bid struggles to obtain information such as URL, device type, IP address, and ad format, as well as a lack of geographical coverage. For post-bid blocking, DoubleVerify data shows less than 40% of video impressions are eligible for blocking globally across desktop and mobile due to the lack of VPAID access.
The good news is these gaps can be addressed for well-rounded coverage. DoubleVerify’s Video Filtering technology provides protection against fraud, geographical, and brand suitability incidents before an ad is served. It is estimated to further reduce non-compliant video inventory by an average of 40%.
Video consumption habits are evolving quickly throughout APAC. Now is the time to add OTT to your media plan, and as you do so, be sure to keep these realities in mind.
Watch the full webinar to learn more:
Doris Sun is the Marketing Manager, APAC at SpotX. She creates and executes the SpotX marketing strategy in one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Based in Singapore, she started her marketing journey in the food and beverage and hotel industries before diving into ad tech. When not at work, you’ll find her planning her next travel adventure, food-hunting with friends, or attempting to be artsy with flowers, crafts, and cakes.