No ‘below the fold’ in OTT advertising - if you know the device

With more than 60% of American households now watching internet-delivered content on their TV, it's clear that advertising on OTT services and Connected TV (CTV) has come of age. This is great for advertisers who wish to reach audiences with targeted digital campaigns while they are in that fullscreen, lean back, immersive context. But for ad platforms, especially in the video space, the challenge is knowing when exactly that is. How do you know you are addressing audiences in a Connected TV context?

The potential to reach audiences using Connected TV has been well rehearsed. Audiences are growing fast, with one third of US based households only watching through video on demand services. eMarketer estimates that there were  22.2 million cord cutters in the US—up some 33.2% over 2016. Completion rates for pre and mid roll video advertising have been measured at as high as 98%, largely due to their highly contextual nature, in addition to the full-screen, at home context.

With growth and engagement rates like this, ad dollars are piling into the OTT environment. That’s good news for video ad platforms. As long as they can reliably target to audiences.


OTT is currently characterized by a marked dependence on attached devices (Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, etc.) which consumers are using to convert their standard TVs to smart TVs. This latter category represent just 5% of OTT/CTV devices in use. The other category of note is made up of games consoles that can connect to the internet. Between 2017-2018, streaming media device shipments will increase globally by 11.1% and rise by 28.1% by 2021, according to SNL Kagan.


Complexity in digital advertising and measurement often stems from devices having different specs. The key to unlocking value is in being able to recognize when traffic is originating from audiences using OTT devices.

This can be achieved by a look-up of the user-agent passed back to the server which, when accurate, will reliably report what category of device is in use. With the right techniques, this can be achieved in real time and at scale. Right now, DeviceAtlas has hundreds of distinct OTT devices in its database — 685 STBs, 562 Smart TVs as well a plethora of different games consoles.

Ad tech players who get it, know that being able to identify and report on these audiences is a serious part of their tech stack. Without device identification, you could be leaving serious money on the table. Either by undervaluing inventory from this channel or misrepresenting it to advertisers bidding on it.

Serious adtech platforms on both the DSP and SSP sides are already going all out on the tools and tech necessary to execute self- serve OTT campaigns. DeviceAtlas is already helping many ad tech companies, across a range of use cases, including:

  • Identifying and verifying OTT originated traffic
  • Targeting campaigns to OTT viewers
  • Providing additional targeting criteria for advertiser
  • Decisioning criteria for ad delivery
  • Cross device measurement

Get access to a free, fully-working local version trial of DeviceAtlas.

Our high performance flagship product - the most complete data set.

Start Your Free Trial Today

DeviceAtlas’ mission is to constantly track the fast evolving device landscape, as well as provide robust tools to build that information into your platform so you are constantly device aware. If you're interested in finding out more or trialing DeviceAtlas, please get in touch.

Device Type Definition Example devices
Set Top Box An OTT device which connects a TV to the internet to provide smart TV functionality. Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV etc
TV A TV with an embedded browser or other means of connectivity to the internet. Samsung, Sharp, Smart TVs etc


Games Console A device that is designed primarily for playing games. Xbox, Sony Playstation etc
Media Player A device which is primarily used for consumption of digital media. Amazon Echo, Apple iPod Touch
Mobile Phone A mobile device for which one of the primary functions is making phone calls. Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S9 etc
Tablet A mobile device with a large touchscreen display. Apple iPad, Amazon Fire 7 (2017) etc

Get started with a local device detection trial

DeviceAtlas is a high-speed device detection solution used by some of the largest companies in the online space to:

  • Optimize UX and conversion rate on mobile
  • Boost web performance
  • Target ads and analyze web traffic
  • Enable App analytics and advertising insights

Get started with a locally-installed trial to test DeviceAtlas at no cost.

Get started