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A Definitive Visual Guide To CTV Advertising

As Connected TV (CTV) and CTV Advertising approaches a milestone in its adoption over traditional/linear TV, we want to share a simple, concise, factual and relevant guide to this incredible industry.


First and foremost - CTV is not OTT. It is a subset of OTT.

Put simply, whereas 'Over The Top' (OTT) is an umbrella term under which all content streaming exists (mobile, tablet, phablet, laptop, desktop and internet connected TVs). CTV on the other hand refers solely and exclusively to the internet connected TV screen.

This visual helps explain in more detail how CTV screens are different to the other screens in the OTT content universe.

If you wish to dive deeper into this distinction, here are two articles you might like here and here.


Many agree that the roots of CTV can be traced back to 1999 when TiVo made it possible to digitally record TV shows so you could watch them in your own time. However, arguably the biggest moment for CTV came in 2007 when Netflix introduced its streaming service to complement its thriving DVD rental business.

From this moment onward, the world of television entertainment was put on a trajectory that would change its course forever.

In the same year (2007), HP released its Mediasmart TV and it wasn't long after that every major manufacturer started installing chipsets into their TV's that allowed them to be connected directly to the internet. Shortly after this in 2008, Roku released its first Roku Player - a standalone device which had originally been designed as the standalone device for streaming Netflix (bet you didn't know that). The rest, as they say, is history - manufacturers started producing their own App Stores and all of a sudden, CTV made television a democratic marketplace for media owners to create, launch and ultimately monetize content. Which brings us to...


For a multitude of reasons, CTV advertising spend has grown at an almost exponential rate since the first day the first ad ran. In fact, according to the IAB, between 2020 and 2022, CTV ad spend is projected to more than double (118%). In fact, 76% of video buyers now label CTV ad buying as a 'must buy' in their media planning budgets.

Here is a brief summary of US CTV ad spend from 2017 - 2024:

  • 2017 - $2.65bn

  • 2018 - $4.36bn

  • 2019 - $6.4bn

  • 2020 - $9.1bn

  • 2021 - $15.2bn

  • 2022 - $21.2bn

  • 2023 - $24.4b

  • 2024 - $29.5bn


One of the most beautiful things about CTV advertising is how it has opened up the living room to be a more effective place for brands and agencies to invest. Here is a short list of must-knows as you start to imagine how/where/why/when you might invest in CTV advertising:


Dynamic Creative Optimization is a vital component of standing out in the living room. Read more here.


Third party data platforms such as LiveRamp allow CTV advertisers to combine 1st and 3rd party data with the goal of creating a more efficient and more effective CTV ad campaign. On top of that, new solutions in market such as IRIS.TV allow advertisers to consider the contextual relevance of where their solutions run. Read more here.


While it is correct that the right use of 1st and 3rd party data can help put the right ad in the right home, there is a drastic difference between an ad being relevant and an ad being personal. Read more here.


While traditional TV advertising has always been seen as useful for 'brand awareness', the agility of CTV creatives and ability to measure/track your return on ad spend (ROAS) means it can also be used to elevate consideration, intent, preference and even outcomes.


This is a hot topic. The first thing you want to do is separate your CTV key performance indicators from your CTV ad campaign objectives. This visual will help -

With that out the way, you want to pick what matters. You can run brand studies with solutions such as LoopMe or Lucid, attention studies through solutions such as TVision Insights and of course, you can run 'shoppable' CTV units that use QR codes which give you directly attributable data on what's happening with your investment. Read more here.


While the traditional 'flat' ad format remains the predominant CTV ad format, the technology that underpins CTV advertising has allowed solutions to surface which make the living room ad experience more engaging and potentially more enjoyable. According to the IAB's 2021 report that outlines Creative Best Practices for CTV, there are several solutions - including Origin's own first to market Native CTV ad formats. Read more here.


Every screen has its own unique benefits and CTV is no exception which you can read more about here.


While there is so much to know and understand about CTV and CTV advertising, we hope this gave you enough of an insight into this blooming industry for you to start thinking more about it. If you have any questions at all or simply want to talk a little about our Native CTV ad solutions, drop us a line and we will be here -



Origin is a creative technology company whose pioneering Native CTV advertising solutions are reshaping the way brands engage and activate consumers on the largest screen in the home.

Fusing dynamic content animation with proprietary ad serving technology, Origin's Native CTV ad formats elevate attention, recall, consideration and outcomes for brands who want to amplify their presence on Connected TV.

Origin was founded by media veterans Fred Godfrey and Stephen Strong whose careers have been shaped by their relentless commitment to enraging the status quo. Learn more at


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