CTV Inventory
November 03, 20227 min read

Planning an OTT Campaign? Traditional Adtech is Failing You

Streaming TV is regarded by many advertisers as the holy grail. 

It combines the precision of digital with the brand-building power of TV. 

It allows advertisers to really understand how their OTT (over the top) campaigns perform. Buyers can match footfall data back to campaign impressions, assess how many people visited a website after watching an ad, and much more.

But successfully forecasting and planning an OTT campaign can be tricky business — and most traditional ad tech platforms aren’t getting it right.

What is OTT audience forecasting?

To plan a successful OTT campaign, you must be able to forecast where your ads will end up and who will see them. 

Audience forecasting is the process of defining your target audience segment and predicting how best to reach them: through what content, on which devices, and when. Understanding what CTV or OTT inventory will be available for your programmatic campaign and how many people it will reach from your target audience are key factors that will help advertisers make strategic decisions about their campaigns. 

Robust forecasting is important for both media owners and advertisers alike. Media owners must be able to predict what they have available to sell, and ad buyers must be able to predict how to successfully reach their audiences.

Related content: OTT Advertising—Everything You Need to Know About Over the Top

What’s so hard about forecasting for an OTT campaign?

Consumers are watching more TV than ever, but information about how and where they watch isn’t centralized in one place. Viewer behavior is fragmented across devices (from phones and tablets to gaming consoles to smart TV screen) and across an ever-growing list of streaming services (like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Disney+, etc.)

And unlike in traditional TV advertising on cable TV, there is no widely adopted currency for digital TV measurement.

The point is that there’s a TON of data to weed through.

It requires massive technical overhead to consolidate the data you need to accurately forecast delivery of OTT streaming campaigns. 

Real-time data is clutch in OTT advertising

Successful OTT marketing not only relies on a lot of data—it also relies on FAST data. Real-time insights are critical to beating your competitors to the punch. 

The best forecasting tools can ingest more data signals and updates faster than competing solutions. Your ads are inserted into OTT content and played on consumers’ screens while your competitor is still searching for an old IP address or mobile ad ID. 

Real-time OTT data also allows you to optimize faster as your campaigns play out, reducing less effective ad spend and doubling down on what works.

Why traditional ad tech is failing OTT campaigns

Any company looking to make an accurate forecaster must figure out the complex data science required to ingest, organize, and analyze billions of signals each second — and make that available to customers instantly. 

This is certainly no easy task.

Challenges with your demand-side platform

The good news is that many DSPs have access to all streaming ad opportunities — not just those that become impressions. 

The bad news is that most of them are still new to OTT and CTV, which means they still struggle to provide accurate forecasting tools for OTT campaigns. They don’t have the benefit of years’ worth of data to help them successfully predict avails. 

Adding to this problem, the majority of DSPs don’t store the entire bid stream. Because ingesting the billions of signals that flood in from the bid stream is a massive technical challenge, many ingest one of every ten or twenty that come in. 

Every ad request that is not ingested and cataloged is a missed opportunity to make a more accurate forecasting tool.

What about video advertising measurement companies?

Measurement companies have their own unique challenges when it comes to building accurate forecasting tools. 

These vendors only have access to the OTT campaign data their customers give them. This means their forecasts are often biased due to small sample size. They also only see ad opportunities that their customers bid on and won, and they miss out on the billions of opportunities that did not ultimately become impressions.

Plan better campaigns with Madhive’s audience planner

We built our planner to overcome all these challenges. It’s designed to help you and your clients understand what will perform best — so you can run more successful OTT campaigns. 

Access the entire bidstream

Because of our industry-leading bidder and cloud infrastructure, we have the support to access the entire bidstream. Coupling this with data from our device graph, we can determine which household a device is most often associated with, thereby giving our clients unique transparency and a truly representative preview of the OTT universe.

Reach new audiences

Our device graph holds 100 million households in its history — households that are constantly refreshed every time a device leaves or enters it. This offers both national and local advertisers breadth, depth, and precision to find exactly the right people for their OTT campaigns, no matter how remote or bustling their zip code is. The device graph also allows these OTT advertisers accurately to measure footfall attribution during and after the OTT ads run. 

For example, a national quick service restaurant (QSR) may introduce new and different products in different locales. This restaurant can use OTT campaigns to find new customers that are likely to enjoy each local offering and entice them to make a visit. Then, this QSR brand can determine which ad viewers decided to dine with them, for a concrete measure of return on ad spend (ROAS).

Other brands with highly specific parameters — like gambling apps, healthcare providers, and CBD purveyors — are also able to find new audiences and acquire new customers without crossing any lines.

Years’ worth of OTT insights

We were one of the first platforms designed specifically for OTT campaigns, so we’ve been ingesting billions of signals from videos streamed on millions of devices for several years. That means a significantly bigger sample size, plus robust algorithms built from years of learnings, that inform future outcomes.

Just plain fast 

We update our device graph continuously, in truly real time — up to 72 hours sooner than other forecasters. This helps your advertisers beat their competitors to the bid. It’s not enough to update periodically. When it comes to identity resolution, ad fraud prevention, frequency capping, and precision targeting, real-time is the only way. 

Buyers who use our planner can also see economic efficiencies, since speed also means that in many cases we are able to opportunistically acquire media at a lower price. 

All of this upside means highly accurate forecasting and actionable data to get you to market faster — with a more effective OTT campaign.

Ready to forecast and plan better OTT campaigns?

While the precision of digital combined with the brand building power of television may be the holy grail,  finding that grail can still be a treacherous journey. You and your clients need accurate, real-time data to nail their next OTT campaigns, but many ad tech vendors and OTT services are still falling short on their delivery promises.

If you’re ready to do better, get the scoop on our Audience Planner — and get in touch.