IAB-Singapore-Programmatic-Know your-CTV-from-your-OTT-when-it-comes-to-programmatic-video-final

Click to download a printable handout below.

Programmatic TV (PTV) heralds the next wave of growth for programmatic advertising. With 6 Asia countries (China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) in the top 10 watchers of online TV and streaming in the Digital versus Traditional Media Consumption report, this has opened up new ways of reaching TV audiences in this region using programmatic.

As with all things programmatic, we need a good acronym before we can begin – when it comes to PTV we’re spoiled for choice. Here we explain the difference between the terms that exist today.


Out with the old…
  • Linear TV: This refers to TV that is transmitted and watched as scheduled. One ad is delivered to many consumers – this is how TV has traditionally been watched.
  • Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD): A distributor of multiple channels or linear streams of programming. e.g. Cable companies like Sky Cable, MyRepublic, StarHub.


In with the new…
  • Connected TV (CTV): The umbrella term for any TV that is connected to the internet and able to access digital content.
  • Smart TV: Many TVs now come equipped with ‘smart’ capabilities and multiple apps that can access digital content when connected to wifi. A Smart TV is considered a form of CTV.
  • Set Top Box: An electronic device that connects to a TV, enabling internet access. e.g. Apple TV
  • Over-the-top (OTT): Refers to the delivery of content via the internet. This often takes the form of an app that can be accessed across multiple devices (mobile / laptop / connected TV). e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, HOOQ
  • Addressable TV advertising: Enables marketers to create profiles of households using data and segment them based on criteria e.g. income, families with children, geographic location. This allows for individual households watching the same programme to be targeted and served different ads.
  • Programmatic TV (PTV): The use of programmatic technology for the planning, buying, measurement and optimisation of addressable television.


Globally, online forms of TV are capturing over a third of total daily TV time, according to the Global Web Index Online TV Audience Report 2018. Asia Pacific consumers spend the greatest percentage of TV viewing time online at 44%, compared to Europe (28%) and North America (29%), largely driven by demand in local OTT services. As infrastructure and connectivity improves particularly across the region, online TV and consequently PTV will steadily grow in adoption. We expect to see more of these terms around, so ensure that you are familiar with the definitions laid out in this article!

IAB Singapore Programmatic Committee
  • Katherine McHugh, Director, Demand Facilitation, SpotX
  • Lachlan Kean, Sales Director, APAC, RhythmOne
  • Matt Ware, Head of Programmatic, APAC, MediaCom
  • Nilesh Jadhav, Regional Director of Programmatic Supply, APAC, Innity
  • Vivek Misra, Director of Strategic Initiatives, AnyMind Group
  • Yu Yan Tay, Sales Manager, dataxu