As a business owner, there is certainly no shortage of options available to you when it comes to marketing your products and services. Nevertheless, one of the most impactful is over-the-top (OTT) media, content delivered directly to viewers over the internet. 

Given that OTT media bypasses traditional media distribution avenues like cable or broadcast TV, you have more control over what it includes and the audiences you target with it. The question, however, lies in knowing how you can tell whether your OTT advertising efforts are actually working. 

Enter OTT attribution. Below, we’ll dive deeper into the concept and highlight the metrics you need to keep an eye on.

What Is OTT Attribution?

OTT attribution refers to the process of tracking and attributing user actions, like app downloads or purchases, back to the OTT ads they have seen. In other words, it is a means of pinpointing which ad acted as the tipping point for the customer and spurred them into action. 

Doing so can be a bit tricky compared to traditional digital platforms, as there are several different devices and environments through which OTT content is consumed. Nevertheless, you can engage in precise OTT attribution, provided you’re using the right tactics and metrics. 

OTT Attribution Metrics That Matter

As you work to discover which of your OTT ads are making the biggest impact on your bottom line, focus on metrics such as:

View-Through Rate

Your ad’s view-through rate (VTR) is the OTT equivalent of a click-through rate (CTR): It is the percentage of its completed views over the total number of impressions delivered, and a high VTR indicates that your content is keeping your audience engaged from start to finish. 

Conversion Rate

An ad’s conversion rate tracks how many viewers took a desired action (like making a purchase or signing up) after seeing it. It’s a direct indicator of the ad’s effectiveness in driving tangible results.


Knowing how much you’re spending to acquire a customer is crucial. Aim for a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) that aligns with your profitability goals. A high CPA will erode your profits, whereas a low CPA will fuel your growth. 

Incremental Reach 

OTT media platforms can help you reach audiences that are no longer accessible through traditional TV, namely, the 54.4% of Americans who have ditched traditional cable. Measuring incremental reach tells you how many additional viewers you’re capturing specifically through OTT advertising.

How to Improve Your OTT Attribution Process

Optimizing your OTT attribution process requires a multifaceted approach. Some strategies to consider include the following:

Multi-Touch Attribution

In a world where your customer’s path to purchase is rarely linear, multi-touch attribution (MTA) helps you understand the impact of each touchpoint, including your OTT ads and social media content, among others.

Ad Tech

Invest in ad technology that facilitates cross-device tracking. Doing so will help you attribute actions on one device (like a smartphone) to an ad viewed on another (like a smart TV). The goal is to obtain a holistic view of the customer journey so you can identify the most influential touchpoints. 

Experimentation and Testing

Don’t shy away from A/B testing different creatives or targeting strategies, as what works on one platform may not yield the same results on an OTT platform. Similarly, don’t be afraid to take chances during testing; you never know when your content might be a huge hit with your customer base. 

Leveraging First-Party Data

If you have a customer database, use its information to create targeted OTT ads — personalization can significantly boost engagement and conversion. 

With that said, if you aren’t already gathering first-party data, now is a great time to start. Third-party cookies are on their way out, meaning you’ll have to rely on your own database if you want to stay connected to your customers. 

Partnering With the Right Platforms

Choose OTT platforms that offer robust analytics and attribution tools. The more insights you can gather, the better, but be wary of information overload and focus on the foundational metrics outlined above. 

The Future of OTT Attribution

With millions of Americans making the jump from cable to digital media platforms, OTT attribution is becoming more important by the day. Staying apprised of the latest changes can help you maintain an edge over the competition. 

However, the road to better OTT attribution begins with the right tech. Adopting a modern attribution solution will provide the data and insights you need to maximize your reach and engage your audience. 


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