What Are "Pause Ads" in OTT TV?

Over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms have made a definite mark in the modern marketing world. Advertising methods for OTT TV have evolved to meet today's consumer expectations and to increase consumer engagement with advertisers and platforms. Read on to find out about one of these highly effective methods: pause ads.

OTT TV and the Ad Conundrum

Viewers are drawn to OTT platforms because of the ease and convenience they provide. With streaming services, you can access content when you want it and where you want it. Better yet, you largely avoid the problem that has plagued traditional TV watchers for decades: the intrusive commercial.

Television advertising incorporated into network and cable programming is often loathed by consumers because it interrupts the flow and viewing engagement with favorite shows. Resentful watchers routinely use a regular commercial time-out to take a bathroom break, get a snack, or even fast-forward the content. As a result, the advertiser has lost the opportunity to reach a sizeable portion of an audience.

A Better Approach

Because of these drawbacks, streaming OTT services go out of their way to avoid a typical television advertising framework and embrace newer methods. This revised approach has resulted in ideas such as an ad-based tier in subscription streaming, wherein a consumer chooses a viewing experience knowing in advance it will contain advertisements.

In addition, ads have become shorter, more interactive, and more strategically placed (like interstitial ads) in portions of the content where they will have the least intrusive impact.

Pause Ads: The Perfect Pitch

Pause ads are quickly carving a niche in OTT advertising because they meet all the standards above. Distributors from AT&T to Hulu have invested in this relative newcomer into the OTT world. In the simplest terms, a pause ad is an advertisement that appears when a user has paused—or temporarily halted-content.

The ads may present in different ways. For example, a static image or text may appear on the screen (full screen or in a separate gradient) touting a product or service while the content is paused. Or a brief video might begin playing a set number of seconds after pausing has taken place. In any case, the ad will usually conclude once the user has unpaused and resumed watching the content.

Benefits for Advertisers and Platforms

Foremost, a happy content consumer tends to become a loyal and consistent consumer. Pause ads work for users because they do what all effective OTT content does: gift choice and convenience. With pause ads, users initiate the experience and get an advertisement at a time of their choosing: a time when they are naturally on a break and therefore more receptive to messaging.

Moreover, the ad does not irritate the user by disrupting an enjoyable experience. Advertisers and platforms benefit from consumer goodwill while also reaping the rewards of an approach that is easy to deploy and highly customizable.

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