The good news for TV watchers is that there are many different ways to watch Over-The-Top (OTT) television, the kind that comes to your TV, Roku box, Apple TV or computer over the internet.
The bad news for advertisers is that there are many different ways, meaning there are different requirements for ads.
To solve this dilemma, video platform Innovid is out on Thursday with its OTT Composer. The company said this is the first self-service tool for creating an interactive video ad that can run on any of the platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, Samsung, Amazon Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, LG TV, Hulu and Fox’s true[X].
How it works. CTO and co-founder Tal Chalozin said that the OTT market is highly fragmented, but Composer allows a user to create an interactive video ad with the ease of using PowerPoint. Once created, it can then be published to Roku or wherever, and Composer will render the ad for that format before it is deployed. Chalozin said that an interactive ad can be created in as little as two hours.
Compared to the web, interactivity on OTT TV is still often limited by the capability of the remote control, although that might change at some point. The kinds of interactive engagement offered by Carousel include overlays, a product carousel, skipping the ad and extending the video. This video presents an idea of the interactivity available:
Composer employs pre-existing assets, such as video clips that have been edited in another tool. Audio is always attached to video clips, so that there must be an underlying bit of a video clip if the creator, for instance, wants to lay a music bed under the entire interactive ad.
Why you should care. Interactive ads could become one of the ways that advertisers save the day for TV-based ads, since so many viewers (raising my hand) skip through ads on pre-recorded shows, change channels during commercial breaks or watch ad-free premium program services like HBO.
In May, Chalozin told an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) gathering of the boffo engagement stats resulting from interactive ads like one for Volvo on Samsung smart TVs and one for DirectTV on Roku.
Fifty-eight percent of viewers completed those kinds of choice-based ads, he said, with an average of 103 more seconds spent on the ad than was required to access the info.
Although Composer doesn’t yet support the emerging ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) 3.0 standard, Chalozin said it will in the future. And, if ATSC achieves its goal of becoming the standard for all TV, interactive ads may become the norm.