5 Reasons Why You Should OTT This Holiday Season

Amrita Hemdev
By Amrita Hemdev
October 17, 2018

It’s about to be the most wonderful time of the year again — and that goes for your digital ad campaigns, too.

The 2017 holiday season exceeded the NRF’s sales estimations, making it the best holiday season in terms of sales since 2011. 2018 should be another strong year as eMarketer predicts the 2018 holiday e-commerce sales to rise 15.3 percent.

The U.S. market is starting to move with new over-the-top (OTT) services launching, smartphone adoption, and changing media consumption habits pushing the OTT space forward.

For advertisers, this means that opportunities to serve highly targeted OTT digital video ads in premium environments are quickly growing in scale. Audiences are watching broadcast-quality content on desktop, mobile, and connected TV devices. They’re engaged in a TV-like viewing experience and are watching as targetable individuals, rather than non-defined viewers of a timeslot or general TV audience.


Is your digital advertising strategy ready for the upcoming holiday season? Make sure it includes OTT!

While it’s really never too early to start thinking about the holiday shopping season, now is the time to make sure that you have a robust advertising and marketing plan that includes OTT advertising, especially if you are looking to capture local consumers.

This year we want to help make it easier than ever for you to boost your OTT sales, even if you’ve never sold OTT advertising before. The 2018 holiday season is a great opportunity for you to get your or your client’s word out to your targeted audience, and drive sales via OTT advertising.


So, what exactly is OTT advertising?

According to IAB, OTT video is “video content transported from a video provider to a connected device over the internet outside the closed networks of telecom and cable providers.” It’s high-quality content, often broadcast or HD in quality, and usually long form (movies and TV shows), rather than the shorter clips you might find on news publisher websites. And, given that it’s delivered via a digital stream, it comes with granular targeting capabilities. Learn more about OTT here.


Why OTT advertising this holiday season:

Advertisers have been consistently adding OTT to other U.S. holiday campaigns throughout the year, and we expect no different for the winter holidays.

In 2018, the major chunk of audience targeted for the U.S. holidays like Memorial Day and Valentine’s Day campaigns were connected TV (CTV) users. OTT digital video campaigns' high performance is related to high delivery from CTV devices.

OTT campaigns can be run for a shorter duration, unlike other digital campaigns that need a longer duration of time to see the results of optimizations.

This year, OTT advertising use doubled in volume during the holidays and compared to last year’s holidays. OTT advertising is a fairly new concept that started in 2016 and since then has been growing by leaps and bounds. Capture the most sales during this shopping-focused season with OTT digital video advertising.


Consumers are ready to lean back to consume content during the holidays.

Advertising through OTT grants access to the living room, where families spend time together, especially during the holidays, as children, parents, and other family members are enjoying their time off from their respective schools and workplaces.




OTT content is viewed by cord-cutters generally on their television sets by leaning back as the content is usually longer format, like a movie. To digest so much information or content, viewers lean back. They relax into the experience and let it wash over them.

Moreover, unlike on the browser screen, OTT video ads tend to be displayed full-screen without the controls to either minimize or skip them. OTT devices aggregate viewers’ favorite content in a single location, providing a one-stop shop for premium video. Thus, OTT holds advantages for advertisers — the large screen is intrinsically viewable and the living room environment leads to higher engagement.


Take the opportunity for targeting holiday shoppers.

OTT advertising gives advertisers a tremendous opportunity to home in on their target audiences during the holiday season.

Brands can use their previous year’s holiday campaign data to target their audiences this year via OTT and alter their digital campaigns accordingly. With available data sets, marketers and advertisers can target a range of variables, like demographics, psychographics, and even past ad exposures to enable sequential messaging.

Then, they can use location and other details to hit a bull's eye with those viewers. For example, ads can be based on viewer location. If you’re a business like a retail store or a salon offering holiday specials during Christmas; your ads will be served to your potential consumers around the area of your service.


For TV advertisers, OTT is a smooth segue to selling digital.

American consumers are canceling conventional pay-TV service at a much faster rate than previously expected. According to an analysis of Nielsen data published last week, the erosion of traditional cable TV subscriptions is accelerating, declining by 3.1%, based on Nielsen’s new May 2018 cable network universe estimates.

Over-the-top platforms and viewers are growing in number and size. This year, the number of OTT viewers will increase by 2.7% to reach 198.6 million, estimated by eMarketer. Further, an estimated 181.5 million U.S. consumers will use connected TVs at least once every month -- that’s more than 55% of the U.S. population. And by 2021, that number will expand to 194.4 million, which is almost 58% of the population.




It is easier for advertisers who have never sold digital ads before to sell OTT ads. Broadcast stations are used to selling TV ads, and OTT ads give a similar end experience to viewers.

ZypMedia captures spend traditionally reserved for local television and redirects it into OTT to enable more effectively planned and executed video advertising campaigns. The data available in OTT allows us to identify precise groups of consumers within local areas.


Capture budgets during the holiday season.

Due to the nature of the technology and delivery options, there is often more video inventory available in OTT than in broadcast.

During the holiday season, holiday special ads capture the majority of slots of advertisements on TV by pouring in dollars and bidding high for space. Other verticals like automotive, retail, food & drink, etc. are pushed out from the holiday broadcast due to this.

Don’t let business get away from you during the holiday sales cycle. Instead, capture their budgets by selling them OTT as an alternative lean-back solution. There is an excellent opportunity to win the budgets from these verticals by selling them OTT ads.


The key to successfully driving sales in the 2018 holiday season is OTT advertising.

At ZypMedia, we anticipate that OTT is going to be a significant platform for investing your digital advertising budgets throughout the rest of Q4, right up to the New Year.

OTT helps you and your clients reach the right consumers with a more personalized message at the local level. The close touch provided via local digital ads is a substantial opportunity for advertisers and media companies to use local targeting to increase awareness and close sales.

For advertisers and media agencies looking to access cutting-edge marketing technology, ZypMedia delivers the full package. We help large media companies with local outlets, like television and radio stations, plan and execute massive holiday advertising campaigns.

Due to the technological advancements in OTT at the industry level, we anticipate that running holiday ad campaigns via OTT is going to be a significant trend this holiday season.

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

SpotX has ranked ZypMedia as one of the top 5 DSPs to help it reach 18x year-over-year growth in advertiser dollars spent on OTT in 2017. We help professionals like you sell more over-the-top advertising every day.

You have questions about selling OTT advertising this holiday season. We have answers. Learn more about how an OTT solution can support your business growth and drive holiday sales in 2018.


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.