top of page

What Is Cable-Authenticated OTT?

Updated: Jul 18

Not all OTT (or CTV) is created equal. One type of OTT that we often recommend for our clients is cable-authenticated OTT.

What exactly is cable-authenticated OTT and why is it more valuable for some advertisers?

Cable authentication is a process where viewers of certain streaming content must provide credentials to "prove" they have a cable or satellite subscription. This is usually required for access to apps that have premium content that is only available to cable subscribers watching via traditional cable or streaming, like Fox News, CNN, HGTV, Discovery, etc.

Cable-authenticated audiences are valuable because they are traditional cable subscribers who also stream. This makes cable-authenticated OTT a great place to drive tune-in to linear TV, like local news, because there is less waste reaching cord-nevers, who are less likely to sample linear programming.

These viewers can be found in a variety of places and are generally not large enough to be the only audience for a campaign, but they should certainly be in the mix. They are not available through every digital provider, so we make sure we know all the places we can find cable-authenticated audiences.

Another strong use of cable-authenticated OTT is to supplement traditional cable buys and increase the overall reach of a campaign. Because cable-authenticated ads are served digitally, there is the opportunity to track the behavior of ad recipients using attribution technology, which can help businesses understand advertising outcomes. They can use that data for placing other media, like cable.

Imagine you are Ford and running a large national cable campaign. With a cable and broadcast campaign, you might not be able to directly attribute website and dealership visits. However, if you add in cable-authenticated OTT, you may be able to see if someone was exposed to an ad and went to the website. This process is called cross-device attribution and uses IP addresses to see behavior.

Foot-traffic attribution can be used to track if someone is exposed to an ad and visits a dealership. Typically, foot-traffic attribution uses mobile device ID's that are matched to the customer's home IP address and tracks their movements. This kind of campaign is best for larger advertisers with many storefronts, because the data has to be anonymous and many users are opting out of allowing data sharing.

There is a lot of talk about the "death of cable." It's true that linear streaming has surpassed cable, but it's important to note that a lot of streaming viewing is through cable-authenticated audiences. My own parents are DirecTV Now customers, but their cable and broadcast is delivered 100% via the internet.

As viewership habits change, we are staying on top of the best ways to drive outcomes for our advertisers. We have found that cable-authenticated OTT is a strong option for some clients. Drop us a line if you think it might be a fit for your business needs!

- Lauren

164 views0 comments
bottom of page