The Complete Terminology Guide for Media Buying

When it comes to advertising, there are a lot of terms and acronyms to keep track of, which can make your head spin and lead to major confusion. However, if you understand all the terms, you can make informed decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars – or what money-making opportunities you’re missing out on by not participating in the latest technologies. 

Whether you’re trying to reach the largest number of customers possible, or you’re trying to go for a smaller but more targeted group, there are various TV advertising methods and many acronyms that go along with them. 

What is Linear TV?

Linear TV is the traditional way that business owners advertise on TV. Your commercial airs in a set time slot on a specific channel, and viewers see it as they watch their favorite show. Advertisers pay ad agencies that buy space from media outlets such as television networks, cable channels or online streaming services. 

What are Nonlinear shows?

Nonlinear shows are those that viewers can watch whenever they want, without adhering to a schedule. This contrasts with linear shows, which air at a specific time and must be watched live or recorded. 

You can advertise on nonlinear shows by purchasing ad space on platforms like CTV, OTT, and AVOD. It’s worth noting that these types of advertising opportunities offer many benefits to brands: namely, the opportunity to tailor content specifically for each audience segment (e.g., parents, women) and make ads as long as you want. Here are the most common acronyms and definitions in media buying today so you can stay on top of all the latest changes.

Connected TV (CTV)

CTV stands for connected TV and refers to any internet-enabled TV or device that can be used to stream content. This includes devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Business owners who want to advertise on TV can use CTV to reach their target audience. 

CTV offers several advantages, including the ability to target specific demographics and the ability to track viewership data. For these reasons, business owners increasingly turn to CTV as an advertising platform. 

On-Demand Ads

These ads are embedded within a program, meaning that viewers need to be engaged enough with the show to pause and view the message. As a result, on-demand ads may be more effective than TV ads because you know exactly how long someone watched your ad. 

This strategy also ensures that consumers pay attention to what you have to say instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media posts. In addition, with on-demand advertising, marketers can target specific audiences based on age group, gender, geographic location, and other factors.

Free Video on Demand (FVOD)

Free Video on Demand (FVOD) is a type of video content that viewers can watch without paying. This includes content funded by advertising or sponsorship and content provided free of charge by the provider. 

FVOD can be found on various platforms, including TV broadcasts, websites, and apps. In addition, viewers can access this content via television sets, computers, tablets, and smartphones. Examples of providers are PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)

Another term related to FVOD is SVOD which stands for Subscription Video On Demand. Viewers who want to sign up for SVOD pay a monthly fee like Netflix or Amazon Prime. However, these are streaming services that are subscription based. 

The content can be streamed on demand, and users can typically watch as much or as little as they want. In addition, SVOD services are usually ad-free. Some popular SVOD services include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

Other streaming services, such as HBO Now, offer stand-alone subscriptions without requiring a cable subscription. These are over-the-top (OTT) services because they don’t require an existing TV provider. In contrast, Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) does require a TV provider subscription. 

Ad-supported Video on Demand 

AVOD is online video advertising that allows viewers to watch pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads in exchange for free content. Advertisers only pay when someone watches their ad. This model differs from traditional TV advertising, which requires viewers to watch commercials to see programming. 

Streaming platforms typically offer AVOD to generate revenue while charging viewers a reduced subscription rate – or without any cost at all. Some popular examples of AVOD platforms include YouTube, Hulu, or Crackle. With these services you either elect to see ads in exchange for free or reduced-cost content. An ad that plays before your chosen video starts playing is part of the AVOD model. 

Over-the-top (OTT) 

Over-the-top (OTT) media services are delivered via the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite television providers. OTT services can be accessed on various devices, including smart TVs, digital media players, game consoles, and mobile phones. OTT is over the top and refers to delivering content via the internet without needing a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription. 

This means you can watch shows and movies from your favorite streaming platforms without paying for a separate cable TV package. Not only are these services cheaper than most traditional subscriptions, but they also offer more freedom in terms of viewing. 

Knowledge Is Power! 

If you’re looking to advertise on TV, it’s important to understand the different types of media buying options available. CTV, OTT and AVOD are all great options depending on your budget and advertising goals. 

With so many options available, partnering with a media buying agency is important to help you navigate the process and choose the right option for your business. In addition, a good media buying agency will have experience in handling CTV, OTT and AVOD campaigns.

In conclusion, these are just a few of the many terms you need to be familiar with when buying media. As the industry continues to grow and change, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest terminology. After all, knowledge is power! 

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