5 Big Myths of Connected TV Advertising, Debunked

Connected TV Advertising

As consumers continue to cut the cord and leave traditional cable and satellite TV behind, connected TV, or CTV, has become an increasingly popular way to access video content — and it also represents a growing opportunity for advertisers who are interested in reaching their target audience through these modern platforms. 

However, because CTV advertising is still a relatively young marketing medium, there are several popular myths and misconceptions surrounding it that deserve to be accurately addressed. 

Many of these myths had a kernel of truth when CTV technology was in its infancy, while others simply grew out of misunderstandings or deliberate rumors spread by competitors. Here are five of the most common myths you’re likely to come across:

Myth 1: CTV Metrics Are Hard to Track

So many advertisers still believe that CTV metrics are hard to track. It’s unclear how exactly this myth started, but despite what some traditional advertising platforms will tell you, CTV metrics go far beyond just tracking delivered ad impressions. 

CTV reporting tools and dashboards are as sophisticated as those available through any other digital advertising channel. It’s possible to track conversion rates, acquisition costs, return on ad spend, and any other key performance indicators necessary to monitor and analyze an effective ad campaign. 

You can also conduct A/B tests to see how ad creatives stack up against each other and compare metrics in real-time. 

Myth 2: CTV Advertising Requires a Large Budget

Another persistent misconception is that small and medium-sized businesses simply can’t keep up with the pace of content creation and the financial resources required to fully leverage the benefits of CTV advertising. 

While the cost-per-mille (CPM) of connected TV advertising might appear higher on paper, it’s important to place that number in the context of its correspondingly higher return on investment compared to linear TV advertising or other traditional approaches. 

It’s also important to understand that existing video assets used for social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be repurposed for CTV with little additional effort, making it more accessible to smaller businesses that want to increase their reach and drive new customer acquisition without breaking the bank. 

Myth 3: CTV Only Supports Video Ads

Perhaps the most understandable myth surrounding CTV advertising is that it only supports video ads. While the bulk of CTV ad inventory is attached to streamable video, static ad real estate is also available on most smart TV home screens.

In addition, marketers are increasingly experimenting with interactive CTV ad approaches like scannable QR codes and links that allow viewers to explore advertised products and services directly through the ads themselves. 

Myth 4: CTV Competes with Linear TV at the Top of the Funnel

Although many marketers view CTV and linear TV as rival advertising channels, they are more complementary than they might appear at first glance. 

Even their approach to the sales funnel is quite different, with CTV situating itself as more of a full-funnel medium that can take advantage of innovative direct purchase and shoppable ad opportunities.

And although CTV is often billed as its streamlined, modern replacement, linear TV advertising shows no signs of going away any time soon. Savvy advertisers would do well to recognize that the key to success is finding an ideal marketing mix that takes advantage of the unique qualities of both approaches. 

Myth 5: CTV and OTT Are the Same Thing

While the acronyms CTV and OTT are often used interchangeably in discussions about CTV advertising, it’s important to clarify the difference between the two terms. 

Connected TV (CTV) refers to the device that the viewer is watching content on — typically a smart TV.

Over-the-top (OTT) describes how the content is accessed. This term predates connected TV technology; it originally described the way TV networks allowed customers to stream shows on the internet, effectively going “over the top” of their satellite dishes. 

In other words, OTT is just a slightly older term for what most people would call streaming. 

As connected TV trends become an increasingly common part of the average consumer’s viewing experience, it’s important for advertisers who want to tap into this growing market to have a clear, accurate picture of the CTV landscape before placing ads. 

By keeping these common misconceptions in mind when exploring what CTV has to offer, advertisers can separate fact from fiction and make more informed decisions about how to incorporate it into their marketing mix.