Connected TV

Performance TV versus OTT

New year…new battles? We’re bringing back our coveted series once again with digital advertising’s most talked about topics.

Performance TV versus OTT

4 Min Read

Remember our battle series, where we’ve continued to explore Performance TV’s place amid the other players in the digital advertising space? Whether you’re a first time reader or long time lurker, it’s time to bring back this much coveted series. This time, we’re digging a little deeper into some of digital’s most talked about topics, including attribution, creative and so much more. But, before we have a chance to get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the basics (or, not so basic, depending on how you look at it). Performance TV and Over-the-top (OTT) have often been lumped into the same category, but are they really the same? Let’s set the record straight.

What Are They?

  • Performance TV: Is a form of CTV advertising that is focused on performance outcomes. MNTN Performance TV serves only Living Room Quality — high definition, non-skippable 15 second or 30 second ads. Not only does this help drive attention to your brand in the best way possible, but it keeps your brand top of mind long after the ad has finished running.
  • OTT: A method of delivering video content to viewers over the internet. In other words, OTT refers to any content that goes “over” your cable box and gives viewers access to TV content using an internet connection rather than cable or satellite. The content streamed via OTT runs the range from high-quality to not-so-great. OTT ads are thus paired with this content.


  • Performance TV: Not all CTV networks are considered equal, so it’s important to do your due diligence on the type of ad inventory when shopping around for a CTV advertising solution. That’s why MNTN Performance TV takes both the legwork and guesswork out of the equation, by partnering with 125+ top tier networks like CNN, ESPN, CNBC — all household names known to drive performance. Since these are all brand safe networks, there’s no need to worry about where your ad will end up when it streams on Connected TV. Advertisers can be confident that their ad dollars will be spent on the right networks and to the right audience every time. 
  • OTT: There’s a lot less transparency when it comes to general advertising on OTT. Most brands buying OTT think they’re buying ad space on top streaming shows — only to find out later that the majority of their hard earned budget is actually being served on lower quality inventory that goes beyond the top tier networks. You have a lot less control on brand safety and run into brand misalignment risks, too. We’ll elaborate on that a little later down the page, so keep reading.


  • Performance TV: Ah, attribution…often known as the wild, wild, west to many a marketer. First-touch and last-touch are the most commonly known attribution models, but both of them lack accuracy when it comes to crediting performance to CTV. That’s why MNTN created Cross-Device Verified Visits, a proprietary attribution model that takes into account the entire buyer’s journey—including their interactions with other marketing channels — to accurately assess who should take credit for what. Advertisers have insight into when CTV ads capture the viewer’s attention and drives them to visit their brand’s site — all without the influence of a secondary marketing channel. In other words, if a viewer watches your ad and then visits your site, MNTN counts it as a win for Performance TV. But, if a viewer watches your ad and doesn’t visit your site; then later, they click on your social ad to visit your site, we would not count that as a win for Performance TV (though congrats on the site visit, social ad). This specific attribution ensures Performance TV is only being given credit when credit is due. That way, when a marketer sees that same viewer perform a secondary action, like a purchase or a lead form submission, they’ll know exactly when Performance TV was the proven, primary channel driving the conversion.
  • OTT:  Most OTT providers apply the first-touch attribution model, which means the first touchpoint that the viewer has with your brand takes all of the credit for a site visit (and later, a conversion). In other words, let’s say a viewer is served your ad on their iPhone, and simply scrolls past without taking any action. Then a couple days later, they see your Facebook ad and decide to click through to your site. There’s a good chance that OTT provider just took all the credit for that visit. You’re probably thinking the same thing as us — this isn’t a fair, nor credible way to measure attribution! And you’re right — especially when we know there are multiple touchpoints involved from first exposure to that coveted conversion (Salesforce cited that from their research that advertisers should expect between six to eight touchpoints). By leaning on a first-touch attribution model,  most OTT advertising solutions are able to take more credit than they’re actually due for site visits — and later conversions — that they “drove” through the first-touch attribution model.