In today’s media world, two of the newer forms of advertising have made a major splash and are commanding a seat at the table with the original power houses. OTT, (Over-The-Top), and Influencer Marketing, have continued to each grow at such rapid rates that brands & advertisers are shifting massive amounts of their original media spend budgets to these mediums to reach audiences that vary in age across the board.
OTT (Over-The-Top), is any app or service that provides a product over the internet and bypasses traditional distribution, or television. In the United States alone there are over 200 OTT providers and as of 2019, 182 million subscribers across the medium, and roughly $2.7 billion in ad spending in 2018. Major players in the industry are Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, and many more are coming from major brands like Disney and NBC.
Influencer Marketing is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placements from individuals on their social media accounts. This can be utilized as the influencer being an expert on the brand or product, or a testimonial of the influencer who the customer will see as a potential buyer like themselves. In 2018 alone, the money spent on influencer marketing was estimated at $4.6 billion and is expected to continue rising, potentially surpassing $6 billion by the end of 2019.
Mavrck, an influencer marketing platform, recently released their Influencer Marketing Quarterly Trend Report: Q2 2019, and a major excerpt from the piece was The Rise of the OTT Influencer, a dive in how tv and social are coming closer together than ever before from updates to social media and streaming services. As brands and advertisers are already spending an increasing number of dollars in each medium, it was only a matter of time before the two industries merged and OTT providers started to utilize influencers in their content & tailor their services on the back end to help these content creators create new content for their OTT services at a rapid pace. Giants in the industry Netflix and Instagram have made changes to their offerings to adapt to the OTT & Influencer combination.
First, YouTube has the highest share of reach and watch-time across the OTT ad supported platforms, the audience and views are far above the likes on television. Back in May of 2019, YouTube hosted their annual 8th Brandcast event, where it unveiled plans to change the Google Preferred offerings, which will help advertisers maximize advertising efforts, and plans to remove their paywall for original series, making them ad supported. With the preferred offerings, they will now support the Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR), which will allow advertisers to compare YouTube and TV reach simultaneously. A major update that will only attract more ad spend towards YouTube over traditional TV because metrics can now be measured against the same metrics as TV. With the paywall gone, advertisers will be able to collaborate with top content creators, and reach a broader organic audience, driving results. TAR metrics will help validate the reach of the influencers and what audience they’re reaching, which can be simultaneously measured against TV metrics.
Next, Instagram, whom some may not realize is an OTT option, has made a play with long form video with their IGTV update to the app. IGTV is a way from brands, influencers, and a typical user to post long form content that’s over the time limit of a video post or Instagram story. What was troublesome for some content creators, was that the videos could only be posted in portrait layout, and if you view your phone on a side angle, it had no landscape option that other apps supported video with. This deterred some away from IGTV because they would need to film separate versions of their videos to meet the necessary requirements to fit the IGTV settings. With this landscape update, content creators are able to use their videos on IGTV that they would’ve posted on other platforms and not have to worry about it not meeting the required settings in a portrait angle, which will attract back the previously deterred brands, influencers, and typical user.
Some are saying that influencer marketing is a fad, that in a few years if it doesn’t adapt to how media has been rated and viewed in the past it will die off as quick as it came. The social media platforms these influencers are using are updating their metrics each quarter, because the ad spend is increasing, which is why other mediums, like OTT, are changing their offerings to better suit influencer marketing and their offerings. OTT platforms are giving more detailed metrics on how this is working, who they’re reaching, and how it compares to other forms media, this will convince brands and advertisers to continue to move budgets away from traditional forms of video to OTT & Influencer Marketing.
A3 Media continues to monitor the changes in this every changing landscape and will be able to utilize and create a plan for your brand or product. Reaching your target audience is key, and by layering these different mediums together that are performing well and continue to grow, we will be able to help you reach your goals.