Connected TV advertising 101


The way we watch TV is changing rapidly. In fact, more than half of all US homes with broadband subscribe to both a pay-TV service and at least one streaming video service. As a marketing professional, reaching highly engaged streaming audiences is made possible by Connected TV (CTV) advertising.

Take full advantage of this high-impact format by getting to know the key definitions, guidelines, and best practices:

What is Connected TV?

TV screens that can stream digital video, inclusive of television content. Smart TVs and gaming consoles are two examples of technology that allows CTV content to be streamed to viewers. CTV advertising is the buying of TV ads that air on internet-enabled streaming devices at full resolution.

How does CTV advertising work?

CTV ads are sold as impressions using software automation and advanced data, reaching viewers who stream content on demand. Ad spots are purchased when a viewer matches your desired audience, creative messaging then appears in full-screen, 100% viewable environments.

1. Viewers stream live and on-demand content to their Connected TV or Connected TV device.2. Ad spots are purchased when viewers match your desired audience.3. Ads appear in full screen, 100% viewable environments in real-time.4. Performance and analytics are captures on your programmatic platform.

Use CTV when you want to:

Reach elusive audiences: Reach cord cutters and streaming TV viewers in a world where traditional TV viewership is shrinking.
Maintain relevance across channels: Extend 3rd-party audience targeting to TV and retarget digital audiences on TV.
Meet direct response KPIs: Measure sales against TV exposure.

CTV best practices

Campaign management

  • Manage frequency across CTV and other devices at the household level.
  • Ensure attribution measurement is in place to track critical KPIs against CTV exposure.


  • Ads should conform to the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio; 1280 x 720 and 1920 x 1080
  • Video bitrate should be at least 5,000 kbps
  • Utilize ad tags that are VAST only (most CTV applications reject VPAID technology)
  • Provide 15- and 30-second creative variations

CTV insiders tip

Include a call-to-action in your ad. Keep in mind, this action will take place on another device or in-person.
(Because CTV ads play on TV screens, viewers will not click through to a landing page.)