Distinguishing OTT from CTV

Distinguishing OTT from CTV

The difference between CTV and OTT

With Streaming TV, a lot of confusion often arises around the differences between Connected TV (CTV) vs. Over-The-Top (OTT). Often these terms are used interchangeably, however, they do refer to two different factors of the Streaming TV ecosystem. So to ensure you have your lingo locked down, let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

OTT can be simply understood as film and television content distributed via the internet (over the top) rather than through traditional cable or satellite connections. Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max are all examples of OTT services providing video content that can be consumed through devices connected to the internet.

CTV, on the other hand, speaks to one of the different types of devices that enable OTT content to be consumed. Smart TVs are the main devices in this category, however, other pieces of tech that enable your TV to stream via the internet, such as Chromecast, AppleTV, and Roku, also fall under the CTV umbrella.

Simply put, OTT refers to content, CTV refers to a specific device. The main thing to note is that although CTVs are one of the most common way of consuming OTT content; laptops, desktops, and mobiles also support OTT streaming but don’t fall under the CTV category.

To simplify things, we can refer to the combination of CTV and OTT as Streaming TV.