OTT and web series: The new form of advertising by Monaz Todywalla, PHD India CEO

 

With some reports suggesting a 40-50% increase in OTT services during lockdown, brands are looking for ways to enhance consumer experience with interactive content. Spending on sports and original titles has nearly doubled in production as OTT players aim to retain viewers with live and novel content. Brands have already been sponsoring web series to target their audience directly for some time now, and product placements are decades old. So what is new in OTT that is causing the market to disrupt?

 

The three key elements are customisation, engagement and interactivity.

 

Customisation is the prime mover

Since the onset of the pandemic, the audience of SVOD has spiralled. Consumers are streaming more and more every day. Every viewer has a unique home page on their preferred platform, made possible due to cost-effective ad-tech that helps tailor user experience. OTT devices and platforms are facilitating ad delivery to the consumer in different formats through different routes. Ads that consumers ‘had’ to complete watching as unskippable can now be tagged through interactive ad units, catering to individual demand.

 

Engagement, engagement, engagement

With engagement now being a two-way street, advertisers are thinking about customers strategically. Varied media platforms and their features have proliferated a generation of influencers, and anyone today can create a web series and become a brand ambassador for any product. We even have collaborative web series’ delivered through Instagram Stories too!

 

The promise of interactivity

Digitised content can be supplemented with opportunities to create live user-generated commentaries. Needless to reiterate that digital delivery has facilitated better customisation due to the availability of consumer data. With improving digital infrastructure and internet accessibility, interactivity is the promised territory where OTT can land.

 

OTT is the essential media service for content curation and distribution, with quick consumer buy-in and immense potential for brand collaboration. It is the new form of advertising that is here to stay. With the right set of metrics, the impact of OTT is likely to be measured, often leading to a competitive advantage in ad space which will open the road to more innovation.