Advertising, Connected TV

Connected TV Platforms: A Brief History

A look at the past - because the only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come.

Connected TV Platforms: A Brief History

6 Min Read

We always like to look forward to what’s to come, especially in the exciting world that is Connected TV. However, in order to innovate, we also need to learn from the past. Connected TV has been around for over a solid decade, and more networks and CTV platforms are jumping on the bandwagon. But only recently has Connected TV advertising taken off.

Let’s take a closer look at the ebbs and flows in the industry – it’s been quite a ride and we’re only getting started.

What Is a Connected TV Platform?

Connected TV refers to streaming content (free ad-supported or premium ad-free content) on smart TVs or other over-the-top devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.).

Therefore, CTV advertising platforms refer to providers that streamline the advertising and reporting process for marketers on these channels through a process called programmatic advertising.

What is the difference between OTT and CTV Advertising?

The terms OTT and CTV are often used interchangeably because they’re essentially the same thing with a slight distinction. OTT (over-the-top) is all of the streaming content viewed on OTT devices, whereas CTV (Connected TV) usually refers to the OTT content that is viewed on a smart TV.

Therefore, CTV advertising is essentially streaming TV advertising with living room quality content. But again, using CTV and OTT interchangeably is normal for this industry.

What is the difference between OTT and linear TV?

Now that we know what OTT is, let’s define linear.

Linear TV is defined as TV programming viewed on a predetermined schedule through a traditional satellite or cable box setup. Rather than the on-demand viewing that you’d get from streaming services, you’ll need to tune in at specific times on specific channels to see the shows you want on linear.

Therefore, traditional linear TV advertising is the act of marketing your business or service to this market during prime time viewing.

CTV Platforms Timeline

A Timeline of Connected TV

CTV Advertising Platforms

MNTN is a Connected TV advertising platform rooted in performance marketing, which is the North Star of everything that we do.

We first started out as a digital advertising platform to help brands automate and retarget their marketing efforts. We also wanted to streamline communications between marketers and creative teams to launch campaigns at scale in a matter of minutes with our Ad Builder solution. However, as we mentioned – driving results for marketers (and making their lives that much easier) is our first priority, which is why our analytics and reporting can be accessed and customized all in one place.

Through our experience in the industry, we noticed something amiss. Linear television always had the reach and prestige as an advertising channel, however many brands struggled to find a way to link it to ROI and justify it in their marketing spend – completion rates on this channel also hovered at a low 14%.

We also noticed more and more Connected TV platforms popping up in the late 2000s, which revolutionized the way television content was consumed. For the first time ever, television became audience-first instead of content-first. Consumers only needed an internet connection to be able to watch television on their time schedule – and entirely on their terms. If television content could be viewed in this way, shouldn’t advertising content be treated the same?

We turned this concept into reality with MNTN Performance TV – keeping all of the best parts of television advertising, while at the same time treating it as a direct-response channel that could be tracked and measured like any other in their marketing mix.

Benefits of Connected TV Ad Platforms

Keeping the themes of automation, performance, and branding running strong, we elevated our solution offering to include Connected TV. Now, brands could run ads on Connected TV – but with the added benefit of automating the entire process so marketers can simply “plug and play” their campaign parameters such as timeline and budget and focus on driving performance.

Here are some of the other features added to the platform to keep advertisers one step ahead:

  • Premium Content: Our Living Room Quality feature serves non-skippable 15 or 30-second ads across 125+ premium, handpicked networks only on Connected TV. We’re not talking about any old network either, but household brands like CNN, FOX, CNBC, and Food Network. Such ads score an average 97% completion rate, which means viewers are truly engaged with this content.
  • Precise Targeting: Pinpoint your audience (or find new ones!) with MNTN Matched, the world’s first keyword-based audience builder for CTV, which lets advertisers match with the consumers who are most likely to buy their products.
  • Retarget Your Way: We always meet our customers where they are – whether that be on the desktop/laptop or their TV. Whichever is their first point of contact, our television retargeting solution will enhance the overall ad experience and keep your audience engaged across all channels, until the point of conversion on your website.
  • Transparent Tracking: This is where our performance solution really kicks into gear. Our Cross-Device Verified Visits proprietary TV attribution model monitors how, when, and where your users are coming across your various touchpoints – down to the device that they’re using to interact with your brand. Our CTV advertising platform is also integrated with Google Analytics – an industry favorite – which pulls in this data and shows how your Connected TV ad is performing alongside your other marketing channels. This allows performance marketers to get a holistic view of their campaigns on a single dashboard, and then optimize accordingly for the best results.
  • Performance, Performance, Performance: A word so nice, we had to say it thrice! We funnel all of your performance data, tracking, and marketing metrics within a single user interface, which gives advertisers a view into how their campaign is performing at every level and metric (around 900 of them). Our reporting capabilities puts traditional spreadsheets to shame since you can tailor and customize reports to your liking.

CTV Platforms Overview: Final Thoughts

Well, that’s one for the history books! Whether or not you’re a Connected TV ads convert or a seasoned performance marketer well versed in all things CTV, welcome – we hope you’ll stay awhile. Check out some of our other resources or sign up for our CTV/OTT report below.