Which Devices Support OTT Ads?

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
February 28, 2019

The IAB defines OTT devices as those that “can connect to a TV (or functionality within the TV itself) to facilitate the delivery of internet-based video content (i.e., streaming boxes, media-streaming devices, smart TVs, and gaming consoles).”

Viewers favor these OTT devices because they directly connect to OTT services that aggregate their favorite content in a single location, providing a one-stop shop for premium video. OTT holds advantages for advertisers because the large CTV screen is often in the living room, leading to higher engagement. The Video Completion Rate (VCR) on OTT devices typically averages 95% or higher.

As the digital world continues to develop and evolve, diversifying your media strategy by adding OTT advertising will help you stay ahead of your advertising game and extend campaign reach beyond cable subscribers. Advertising on OTT devices is similar to advertising on TV, but it is delivered through internet-connected streaming devices on OTT platforms instead of through traditional broadcast connections. The impressions are delivered in a TV-like environment but offer a higher engagement rate spurred from digital capabilities like targeting beyond basic demographic categories.

With OTT ad spending forecasted to hit $2 billion in 2019, failing to commit now will put you behind the pack.

OTT content can be accessed via different OTT devices. If you are selling digital advertising, it is imperative for you to understand OTT devices in depth to effectively pitch and guide your advertising clients. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of devices where OTT ads can be delivered.


Connected TV (CTV)

A majority of long-form viewing occurs on CTV, a subset of all the devices that can be used to watch OTT content. Last year CTV overtook mobile as the screen on which the most digital video impressions were served.

At ZypMedia, we’ve seen a year-over-year dramatic increase of advertisers incorporating CTV into their advertising campaigns to get their message in front of the rapidly increasing amount of people watching digital video content on CTVs.

The share of CTV ad impressions we served compared to other video ads increased by 340% between Q2’17 and Q2’18, primarily replacing desktop impressions.




CTV refers to any TV that can be connected to the internet and access content beyond what is available through a cable subscription. It also refers to devices that use a television as a display and can connect to the internet to access content.

For example, if someone is streaming Roku Channel through its app installed on their Samsung smart TV, they are accessing that content over-the-top and they are watching it on their connected TV.

There are many types of CTV devices that offer opportunities to advertisers looking to advertise on CTV.




Streaming Devices or Set-Top Boxes

A streaming device, also known as an ‘OTT device,’ connects your television or home theater to the internet and allows you to stream video and music from online services. These are devices that don’t have screens of their own, but which can be connected to a regular television to give it “smart” capabilities.

They're typically very basic devices with only a few connections, such as video (HDMI and/or composite), audio (RCA and/or digital), and Ethernet-networking jacks.

Many streaming media devices also feature built-in Wi-Fi for wireless network connections, and most include their own dedicated remote control.

Approximately 60% of young adults say the primary way they watch television is through streaming services.

Recent figures from Nielsen show widening penetration of streaming devices. In Q4’17, approximately 70% of the U.S. population two-years-old and older (including 72% of Gen Z and Millennials) had access to a smart TV, internet-connected device (such as a streaming stick) and/or video game console, up from 64% from the previous year.

Streaming devices connect TVs to the internet to stream consumers’ favorite content onto any TV no matter if it has built-in internet connectivity to the hardware or not.

Popular streaming devices include Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Google Chromecast, and more.


Smart TVs

No longer just a screen, smart TVs are equipped with a built-in operating system (e.g., Android TV) and connectivity hardware that allows them to connect to the internet and directly stream content. Viewers can then surf and access video content through its pre-installed apps.


Gaming Devices

These are freestanding devices that must be connected to televisions to display game visuals. While their main purpose is gaming, users can also surf the web, listen to music online, or watch digital video.

Examples of gaming devices include: Xbox One, PlayStation, Wii U, and more.



Users can access OTT content through their personal computers (PCs) or laptops by logging in to their favorite streaming channels like sling.com or Amazon Prime Video to watch digital video content at their own convenience anywhere, anytime.




Mobile Devices

Audiences can access OTT content through internet-connected devices such as smartphones (iPhones, Android phones, and Windows phones) and tablets.

Mobile apps allow consumers to stream content on mobile phones anytime, anywhere. Users can also directly “cast” or project from a smartphone to televisions, which allows the mobile device to serve as the new universal remote.




With over-the-top becoming the gold mine catching advertisers' eyes, the Video Advertising Bureau issued a new report arguing that OTT advertising is most effective in combination with traditional linear TV. Successful media companies are open to dynamic collaborations and partnerships. As video storytelling evolves alongside viewers and technology, successful TV revenue models will leverage the combined powers of linear and ad-supported OTT to extend their reach to cover all the places viewers are accessing video content while providing advertisers with relevant metrics to measure the impact of their campaigns.

Including OTT advertising in your media mix will increase your overall market exposure. It will help in spending your ad dollars toward reaching an audience with purchase intent, who have an affinity to browse and consume relevant content that interests them.

When you're ready to grow your OTT sales, we're here to help you accelerate your success!

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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.