Linear TV + OTT: 3 Ways to Deliver Better Ad Campaign Results

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
May 02, 2019

It is undeniable that the TV landscape is vastly different today compared to a decade ago. The biggest change we’ve seen in the television industry is the rise of over-the-top (OTT) digital video media and its services.

According to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), 70% of households now have access to an internet-enabled, TV-connected device, and total time spent streaming OTT is up 28% from 2017. Yet, despite this growth opportunity, only 15% of advertisers regularly include connected TV in their media plans.

With this growing significant opportunity, there is a need for better clarity, deeper understanding, and insightful analysis. In this blog post, we will address the question advertisers and marketers struggle with:

How do linear TV and ad-supported OTT work together to impact advertising campaigns?

A significant amount of what’s being watched today on OTT apps is ad supported.

According to ZypMedia’s groundbreaking survey* of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, nearly half of audiences are tuning in to local (i.e., NewsOn and CBSLocal) or free, ad-supported streaming services (i.e., Pluto TV, XUMO, and Roku) to watch their favorite TV shows and movies, at 47% and 46%, respectively.

Ad-supported OTT should be part of a campaign’s overall advertising mix, as it offers the same engaging, premium, brand-safe programming found on linear TV.  


Here are three ways that augmenting linear TV campaigns with ad-supported OTT can deliver better ad campaign results for advertisers

1) Increased Viewer Engagement

The vast majority of what people are watching on linear TV and OTT is long-form content, which enhances viewing experiences and increases the opportunity for viewer engagement. These viewers are very attractive to advertisers as they are more attentive and consider themselves knowledgeable across a variety of product categories, making them opinion-makers and organic brand-promoters.

According to the VAB’s 2018 report:

  • Viewers prefer enjoying this long-form content on a television screen. Eighty-nine percent of adults “highly enjoy” viewing TV programs on a television and 75% of streamers prefer to watch OTT content on a connected TV rather than on a smartphone or tablet.
  • The ad recall on TV screens is 32%+ higher than the next closest device.
  • The combination of linear TV and OTT drives brand health and advertising impact as viewing an ad on both platforms leads to more than a two-fold increase in brand favorability lift.


2) Greater Audience Reach and Message Reinforcement

Using ad-supported OTT as a part of a media strategy improves a brand’s health metrics and advertising impact. Seventy-three percent of adults who watch streaming video say they watch ad-supported OTT video. Viewers of ad-supported OTT are particularly receptive to advertising and take action. As a result, viewers are much more engaged with connected TV ads.

The combination of linear TV and OTT extends the ad campaign reach and reinforces the brand’s message.

The VAB reports that:

  • Viewers spend an average of two times longer engaging on connected TV versus similar ads online.
  • Thirty-six percent of adults between 18 and 34 can be reached via OTT alone or in combination with linear TV.


3) More Premium Ad Opportunities and Outcomes

Ad-supported OTT isn't replacing TV. It’s extending the reach of advertisers to deliver premium, engaging, 100%-verifiable, brand-safe content.

Data-fueled OTT (with targeting abilities) buys add valuable reach in the form of a brand’s best potential customers, improving business outcomes. As per the VAB’s 2018 report,

  • Thirty-four percent of OTT streaming viewers say their second-screen activity is completely or mostly related to the program or commercials.
  • Twenty-five percent of ad-supported OTT viewers say they buy more products directly from the brand online versus in stores.

Thus, OTT ad spend drives website traffic across all categories, for advertisers and media companies of all sizes.


Extend Your Reach with Premium OTT Inventory

It’s no secret that people love long-form video entertainment, which dates as far back as the early days of television in the mid-1900s. As it evolves, the combination of television and the digital attributes that OTT digital video provides together play a powerful role in delivering better ad campaign results.

The real value of bringing data and technology to TV is better targeting and measurement and will lead to growth within the TV ecosystem itself. It’s about using the best of digital to the benefit of the TV market and allowing TV to evolve by narrowing the gap between traditional TV and digital.

Smart media professionals are turning to ad-supported OTT to extend their reach as audiences everywhere are adopting streaming television into their viewing habits.

Sixty-two percent of marketers now take an omnichannel approach to planning an ad campaign versus only 29% just four years ago.

For advertisers looking to access cutting-edge digital advertising technology, ZypMedia promises the full package. We help advertisers plan and execute their OTT advertising campaigns and help media companies augment their offerings with OTT products, service, and training.

Learn how to include ad-supported OTT as an element in your overall ad-campaign mix.



*Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of ZypMedia from March 11-13, 2019, polling 2,043 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 241 are cord-cutters (used to watch cable or satellite but now only watch streaming) and 681 are cord-shavers (watch both cable TV and use subscription or free, ad-supported streaming services). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Picture of Amrita Hemdev

Amrita Hemdev

Amrita is an inbound marketer. She studied marketing and project management at UC Berkeley and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, digital advertising tech startup, with a goal of increasing brand awareness. She is currently the Content Marketing Specialist at ZypMedia. Passionate about digital marketing and having six years of experience in this field, she also started her digital marketing and creative agency, Sociato, based in India.