Navigating OTT and CTV Data Analysis Challenges to Boost Performance Copywriting Department
Vipika Kotangale
Jun 6, 2023

Cracking the code: Navigating OTT & CTV data analysis challenges to boost performance, gain valuable insights, and stay ahead in the streaming era of connected devices and digital dominance.

The ever-increasing volume of user intent data generated through online activities presents a pressing need for an effective intervention system to extract meaningful insights from it.

Crafting a strategic approach to advertising campaigns on OTT and CTV streaming platforms requires precise targeting of user identities, analysis of their ID graphs, and a shift toward the appropriate channels for data activation. However, this endeavor comes with its fair share of challenges.

Fortunately, technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain, have empowered businesses to tackle these challenges head-on. Leveraging big data and analytics techniques, a strategy for navigating the complexities of OTT and CTV data analytics has become feasible.

Platforms like Attentity are emerging as beacons of hope for advertising, publishing, and marketing teams at small and medium-sized businesses, enabling them to scale their operations through informed decision-making regarding ad spend on OTT and CTV platforms.

Supercharge your marketing campaigns with Attentity's data activation services. Start maximizing your ROI now!

In this article, delve into the key challenges faced by OTT and CTV data analysis and explore how Attentity can effectively overcome these obstacles, ultimately enhancing ad performance. Join this journey to unlock the potential of data analytics in OTT and CTV advertising.

Challenges in OTT and CTV Data Analysis: Businesses Face

OTT and CTV data analysis face challenges in standardization, consistency, and comparison across platforms, devices, and providers. Unlike traditional TV, OTT and CTV lack a universal measurement system, resulting in different data collection, reporting, and definitions.

The ecosystem is fragmented, with numerous streaming services, devices, and providers, making it challenging to understand consumer behaviour across platforms. Privacy regulations and technical limitations can restrict access to user-level data.

The OTT and CTV landscapes are dynamic, with constant changes in entrants, mergers, partnerships, and consumer preferences, requiring agile and adaptable data analysis. Historical data may not be reliable for future predictions.

Audience Measurement

Quantifying the size and composition of the audience that watches a specific piece of content or ad remains a significant challenge in OTT and CTV advertising. This information is crucial for both content providers, who seek to understand viewership patterns and preferences, and advertisers, who aim to target their campaigns effectively towards the right audience segments.

However, audience measurement in OTT and CTV is not as straightforward as in traditional TV. There are several challenges that need to be addressed:

  1. Fragmentation of unique users and viewers across different platforms or devices: OTT and CTV users access content from multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, or smart TVs. This creates a challenge for data analysis to distinguish between different users who may share the same device or account or between the same user who may switch between different devices or platforms.
  2. Measuring the reach and frequency across different platforms or devices: Reach refers to the number of unique users who have watched a specific content or ad at least once during a given time period, while frequency refers to the average number of times a user has watched a specific content or ad during a given time period.
    These metrics are crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of a content or ad campaign as well as optimizing its delivery and budget allocation. However, measuring reach and frequency in OTT and CTV is challenging due to the lack of standardization and consistency across different platforms or devices, as well as the difficulty of identifying unique users.
  3. Measuring the demographics across different platforms or devices: Demographics refer to the characteristics of the audience, such as age, gender, income, education, or location. These metrics are crucial for advertisers to understand the composition of their target audience and optimize their OTT and CTV advertising strategies.

However, measuring demographics across different platforms or devices presents a significant challenge in audience measurement for OTT and CTV advertising.

Each platform may have its own measurement tools and methodologies, making it difficult to obtain a holistic view of the audience's demographics.

Data Processing and User Engagement Analysis

OTT and CTV platforms generate extensive data from multiple sources, including video players, ad servers, measurement partners, and third-party data providers. Processing and integrating this data is complex, considering the various formats, standards, and protocols involved.

Measuring user engagement on these platforms is challenging, as traditional metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions may not fully capture the breadth of user interaction with video ads.

These are the major aspects of data processing and user engagement analysis that pose challenges in OTT and CTV advertising.

  1. Data Volume and Variety: OTT and CTV platforms generate large amounts of data (user interactions, streaming events, metadata, device info) in different formats. Handling and processing such data requires suitable techniques and technologies.
  2. Real-Time Data Processing: Real-time or near-real-time processing is needed for timely decisions (e.g., personalized recommendations, ad targeting, user segmentation). Efficient streaming data processing architectures like Apache Kafka or Apache Flink are crucial.
  3. Data Quality and Cleansing: Data collected may have quality issues (missing or inaccurate). Pre-processing steps (cleansing, normalization, and outlier detection) enhance data quality and ensure reliable analysis.
  4. User Identification and Privacy: Identifying users across devices while adhering to privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA) is challenging. Techniques like anonymization and pseudonymization balance privacy and analytical usefulness.
  5. Content Consumption Patterns: Understanding user behavior (preferences, binge-watching, session duration) aids content recommendations, personalized experiences, and ad optimization. Advanced analytics techniques (machine learning, natural language processing, and recommendation systems) analyze behavior patterns.
  6. Multi-platform Analysis: Users consume content on various devices. Analyzing cross-platform behavior requires integrating data and reconciling user profiles across devices.
  7. Measuring Ad Effectiveness: OTT and CTV platforms rely on ads for revenue. Measuring ad campaigns, reach, and engagement poses challenges. Attribution modeling, ad viewability measurement, and ad impact analysis provide insights.

To address these challenges, organizations must use data engineering, data science, and analytics techniques. They can also leverage big data technologies, implement scalable processing pipelines, employ machine learning for segmentation and recommendations, and ensure data security while complying with privacy regulations.

Attribution Modeling Data Analysis

Attribution modeling is the process of assigning credit to different touch points along the customer journey that lead to a desired outcome, such as a purchase or a subscription. However, OTT and CTV platforms often lack consistent identifiers or cookies that can link users across devices and platforms. This makes it hard to track users' exposure to ads and their subsequent actions in a cookie-less world.

Ad Fraud Detection

Ad fraud detection is another challenge, as OTT and CTV platforms may be vulnerable to various types of fraud, such as:

  • Invalid traffic (IVT).
  • Bots can commit ad fraud on OTT and CTV platforms through invalid traffic, simulating viewership and ad clicks to inflate impressions. They spoof legitimate devices, imitate CTV characteristics, and stack ads, deceiving advertisers and artificially boosting click-through rates.
  • Spoofing of apps or traffic, where fraudsters falsely represent their inventory as belonging to premium apps and publications.
  • Misrepresentation of geography (fake IP addresses).

Some of the notorious ad fraud schemes include DiCaprio, Monarch, ParrotTerra, and ICEBUCKET, which can potentially rob the key industry players of millions in profits.
Ad fraud detection on OTT and CTV is crucial to maintaining campaign integrity and protecting advertisers. Challenges and approaches include:

  1. Invalid Traffic Detection: Identify bot-generated views, click fraud, and abnormal behavior using advanced algorithms and machine learning.
  2. Device and App Spoofing: Verify device and app authenticity through parameters, metadata, and secure communication protocols.
  3. Viewability Verification: Verify ad viewability using pixel tracking, video player verification, and content recognition.
  4. Geolocation Fraud: Detect suspicious activities by comparing IP geolocation with user-provided data.
  5. Ad Stacking and Ad Injection: Analyze ad delivery patterns, content structure, and user engagement to identify stacking and unauthorized injections.
  6. Collaboration and Industry Standards: Foster collaboration among advertisers, ad networks, streaming platforms, and industry associations to establish best practices and industry standards.
  7. Continuous Monitoring and Real-Time Analysis: Implement real-time systems with machine learning to promptly detect evolving fraud patterns.
  8. Data Privacy and Compliance: Ensure adherence to privacy regulations and protect user data in ad fraud detection systems.

By addressing these challenges through advanced technologies, collaboration, and real-time monitoring, significant progress can be made in detecting and preventing ad fraud on OTT and CTV platforms.

Cross-device Data Analysis

Combining and analyzing data from multiple devices and platforms to gain a holistic view of users' behavior and preferences is the goal of cross-device data analysis in OTT and CTV.

However, OTT and CTV platforms may have limited or inconsistent data on users' demographics, interests, or locations. Cross-device data analysis is a challenge in OTT and CTV advertising due to fragmented user interactions across devices and platforms.

Here are the key challenges in this analysis:

  1. Device Fragmentation: Users access OTT and CTV content through various devices, making it difficult to unify user data.
  2. Data Synchronization: Integrating data from different devices and platforms is crucial for understanding user behavior.
  3. User Identification: Identifying users accurately across devices is a challenge, requiring probabilistic or deterministic techniques.
  4. Data Privacy and Compliance: Privacy concerns arise in cross-device data analysis, requiring compliance with regulations and user consent.
  5. Data Quality and Accuracy: Ensuring accurate and reliable data is challenging due to latency, ad blocking, and measurement differences.
  6. Attribution Challenges: Determining the impact of ads across devices is complex, with users interacting on one device but converting on another.
  7. Cross-Platform Insights: OTT and CTV campaigns span multiple platforms, requiring the integration of diverse data sources.

To address these challenges, advertisers can use advanced analytics techniques and collaborate with third-party providers and platforms. The field is evolving, and new approaches continuously emerge.

Resolving Data Analysis Challenges in OTT and CTV: Strategies and Solutions

In the rapidly evolving OTT and CTV advertising industries, businesses face challenges in data analysis: audience measurement, data processing, user engagement analysis, attribution modeling, ad fraud detection, and cross-device data analysis. Attentity's data intelligence platform offers solutions:

Audience Measurement: Businesses can leverage Attentity's advanced analytics, including data fusion and machine learning, to gain comprehensive audience insights across multiple devices and fragmented data.

Data Processing and User Engagement Analysis: Attentity's robust infrastructure handles large-scale data processing, providing real-time streaming analytics for valuable insights into user behaviour, such as clickstream and sentiment analysis.

Attribution Modeling: Attentity offers advanced techniques and machine learning algorithms to overcome the challenges of multi-device viewership and non-standardized measurement. This enables accurate attribution of user actions.

Ad Fraud Detection: Attentity's platform effectively combats ad fraud with sophisticated algorithms powered by machine learning and AI. By identifying patterns, anomalies, and suspicious activities, businesses can safeguard their ad campaigns.

Attentity employs various strategies, including:

  • Invalid traffic detection through user authentication,
  • Precise measurement of viewability metrics using machine learning and real-time monitoring,
  • Strategic partnerships with trusted verification companies,
  • Robust bot detection systems, and
  • Maintaining vigilance and adaptability

Cross-device Data Analysis: Attentity's platform enables businesses to understand user behavior across smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. By implementing cross-device tracking technologies, such as probabilistic and deterministic methods, it links user identities and accurately analyzes behavior. To tackle the cross-device data analysis challenge in OTT and CTV, businesses can follow these key approaches:

  • Device ID Graphs: Developing and maintaining graphs that map user devices and connect their interactions to provide a comprehensive view of behavior.
  • User Authentication and Tracking: Encouraging authentication across devices to establish persistent user identity, which enables accurate data collection.
  • User-first Approach: Prioritizing privacy, complying with regulations, informing users about data practices, and offering control over data sharing preferences.
  • Data Integration: Combining data from various sources using platforms like DMPs or CDPs to create a unified view of user behavior.

To optimize data analysis, businesses should implement cross-device attribution models, utilize advanced analytics and machine learning, employ contextual targeting, collaborate with third-party experts, experiment and optimize strategies, and stay updated on evolving technologies. It is important to conduct data analysis ethically and transparently, respecting user privacy and adhering to laws and regulations.

By investing in Attentity's data intelligence platform, businesses in the OTT and CTV industries empower themselves to overcome data analysis challenges. They can leverage services such as identity resolution, Attentity ID graphs, and data activation to unlock the potential of data, optimize audience engagement, and drive growth in this dynamic landscape.

Improving Performance with Attribution Modeling and Ad Fraud Detection in OTT and CTV

Improving performance in OTT and CTV advertising involves attribution modeling and ad fraud detection.

Attribution modeling identifies touchpoints in the customer journey that contribute to conversions. It considers cross-device behavior and employs multi-touch attribution and incrementality analysis.

Ad fraud detection is crucial to combating fraudulent activities. It includes invalid traffic detection, anomaly monitoring, brand safety measures, and third-party verification.

Combining these approaches using Attentity’s platform:

  • optimizes campaigns,
  • enhances targeting, and
  • ensures a higher ROI

Continuous monitoring and refinement are essential to adapting to evolving fraud tactics and consumer behaviors.

In a nutshell, overcoming challenges in OTT and CTV data analysis is crucial for digital success. With advanced analytics tools, integrated data sources, and privacy considerations, businesses can gain insights, optimize strategies, and personalize experiences.

Embracing data-driven decision-making in the OTT and CTV advertising landscape allows organizations to excel in streaming and connected devices, staying ahead of the competition. Connect with Attentity to learn more about data intelligence for OTT and CTV platforms.