Most savvy marketers and business owners understand that they cannot effectively compete without an Over The Top (OTT) marketing presence. Over The Top refers to how most video content is viewed today – via streaming and Connected TV (CTV) devices. Satellite and cable are all but over, and OTT marketing and advertising are replacing the traditional linear TV advertising model.
The one barrier to entry for marketers is the vast and rapidly developing OTT landscape, which can be overwhelming. It can all seem like a blur, from the programmatic, platform, and publisher ad placement choices to the different video on-demand formats like SVOD and AVOD.
Then there’s the all-important consideration of OTT devices. Of course, when it comes to advertising, your OTT specs need to match the device you’re targeting. But that’s the least of your worries because first, you need to decide between the many OTT devices available for the consumption of streaming content. But fear not, we’ve got your back on this one!
Before we begin with the most commonly used OTT devices, we need to distinguish between two commonly confused terms in the OTT and streaming landscape – Devices and platforms.
- OTT platforms are the streaming services offered. Examples include Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and all the rest. OTT devices refer to any device that supports streaming content via the internet.
- OTT devices technically include mobile phones and laptops, but when people use the term OTT device, they’re usually referring to other devices dedicated to facilitating streaming content. These include Smart TVs, Android TV, Apple TVs, and many others.
Advertisers, marketers, and business owners will have quite a few choices regarding the platform, device, and type of ads to run their campaigns on. But, as always, it is highly recommended to use an OTT advertising solution provider to get the best advice!
Now that we’re clear on the definitions, it’s time to look at the most commonly used and popular OTT devices.
1 – Amazon Fire Stick 4K
Amazon’s Fire TV platform has been a stalwart in the OTT streaming world for a few years now, and you can’t go wrong with this incredible device. Including Amazon services like Prime Video and Prime Music, you will also have access to other streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.
The device features include an Alexa remote control for convenient voice browsing options. 4K viewing is also supported, so you’ll get the best resolution possible. Amazon Fire Stick is also a surprisingly well-priced device and one of the cheaper OTT device options.
2 – Chromecast With Google TV
Chromecast is another prevalent OTT streaming device with its trademark sleek design and user-friendly interface. In addition, it runs on an Android operating system, which means you have access to all Android apps, including most of the popular streaming services.
The Chromecast is much more portable than the other devices due to its small and discreet design. This, and its relatively reasonable price, make it a firm favorite of millions worldwide.
3 – Roku Streaming Stick+
Roku Streaming Sticks had well-documented issues beforehand, but the latest versions have more than made up for this. In addition, the Roku Streaming Stick+ provides users with access to more apps and streaming services than any of the competitors, which gives it a distinct competitive advantage.
In terms of performance, it more than holds its weight with 4K streaming and HDR10 support. The one downside is that the Roku Streaming Stick doesn’t have a voice search option, a really popular feature among streaming service subscribers. Other than that, it’s a well-priced, compact, and capable device for all your streaming needs.
4 – Apple TV 4K
Apple TV is another OG in the OTT streaming space, and the Apple TV 4K gives you access to pretty much all the content you can subscribe to. Of course, all your Apple TV and iTunes content are available, too, and you will also get more storage than any other competitors.
However, as with most Apple products, the price is the pain point for many consumers. Apple TV 4K is by far the most expensive device out of the lot, and since you don’t get as many extra features as others, many won’t consider this good value.
5 – NVIDIA Shield TV
NVIDIA Shield TV is one of the most powerful and robust streaming devices. It also includes some excellent features for gamers. Users can access thousands of apps, and streaming services, and gamers are also able to turn their TV into a gaming console.
It is built on the Android TV operating system, which means you can access virtually any content via Google Play Store. With its massive variety of content and games to choose from, it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for many people. The price is slightly higher than some competitors but not as bad as Apple! For what you get, however, it remains a great deal.
Advertisers and marketers have a lot of research and thinking about their all-important OTT marketing strategy, and deciding which type of platform to advertise on is one of them. But, as always, it’s always best to use the professionals, especially if you’re brand new to the OTT marketing environment!