What is the difference between CTV and OTT?

CTV and OTT are acronyms that are commonly confused and interchanged for one another. What is CTV and OTT and what is the difference between the two?

CTV stands for Connected TV. It is also commonly known as a smart TV or any television that allows you to consume content by connecting to the internet. Traditional televisions only allow you to connect to cable boxes and antennas, connected TVs detect and utilize your wifi connection or allow you to connect your ethernet cable to access the internet. While many connected TVs come equipped with web browsers that allow you to browse websites, when we refer to CTV/OTT content we are talking about content consumed through apps such as Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Almost every new TV is a connected TV today, the most common and popular brands are Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio, Insignia and TCL.

OTT stands for Over-the-top. The most popular OTT platforms today are Roku, Amazon FireTV, Google Chromecast, Apple TV. There is also a subclass of OTT platforms that come with gaming platforms like Playstation or Xbox. You are consuming this content independent of your cable provider. For example when you subscribe to Netflix it is a separate fee you pay to Netflix and it has nothing to do with your cable provider. In return you get exclusive content from the Netflix app. Your cable provider is bypassed and hence the term “over-the-top”.