Three Questions Auto Dealers & Agencies Should Ask any OTT Provider

Submitted by Kevin Bacon
February 7, 2020

In the past two years, use of over-the-top (OTT) services, which Effectv defines as content delivered over an internet connection, has increased 79%*.

As subscription services and ad-supported applications have given viewers new and flexible ways to consume their favorite content and the rise of new streaming services like Disney+, Apple TV+, and Peacock, the reality of content streaming will continue to intensify.

As a result, advertising and media companies have flooded auto dealerships with offerings to reach this new OTT viewing audience. It is not uncommon for a dealer to receive anywhere from three to five OTT solicitations a week.

While it’s not surprising that most, if not all, digital advertising companies have an OTT offering today, it may surprise some that even a dealer’s traditional media vendors may also have an OTT offering to solicit.

A senior vice president of a large dealer group recently said that he has received OTT solicitations from his radio, newspaper, broadcast television, and billboard representatives.

Here’s the challenge: over the last year, many dealership owners, general managers, and operators have said that they are facing increased complexity, competition, and compression. There is a need for more accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness from their advertising strategies and partners.

To help them achieve these objectives, below are three unbiased questions that dealers or agencies should ask any OTT provider they are considering doing business with:


Question 1

How much of your inventory is sourced direct from the publisher or obtained via a programmatic trade desk?

Why it’s Important

According to the Q3 FreeWheel VMR, 79% of ad views are direct from the publisher. There is a scarcity of inventory available programmatically, representing only 20% of the total ad view volume. The OTT provider should be able to explain what that inventory is, where it comes from, and most importantly, how the quality of that inventory is.


Question 2

How do you append the data to achieve identity resolution? In other words, how do you know who will see my ad?

Why it’s Important

85% of ad views occur on a connected TV, mobile app, or set-top box. In this “cookieless” environment, traditional viewability verification is not supported, causing identification and targeting limitations. Many vendors will attempt to solve for this in various ways, including using a third-party data provider or location-based device tracking. What’s most important is that the OTT provider is fully transparent and that the dealer feels comfortable with how credible the data set is.       


Question 3

What type of transparency reporting do you offer? Can I see the networks, content, and brands within which my ad was served?

Why it’s Important

Ad fraud in OTT is real – here’s a recent real example of a scheme in action. In fact, a 2019 study found that 18% of OTT impressions were invalid due to fraud. Transparency reporting verifies the networks, brands, and content within which your commercial was served. Bottom-line: know where and when your ad is running.


According to a recent eMarketer report, 78% of US Ad Agencies plan to increase their spending on Advanced TV in the next 12 months. With the rise of OTT, video on demand (VOD), and streaming, there are a plethora of providers and options to help auto dealers take advantage of this growing medium, but it’s vital to ask the right questions.

These three simple questions should provide dealers with answers that can help save time during their decision-making process and the power to make smart, informed decisions.

To learn more about Effectv’s leading OTT solutions for auto, contact us here to speak with an auto expert today.


*Source: Nielsen Total Audience Report, 2Q19 – 2Q17, based on P18+ daily time spent with Internet Connected Devices

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