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Top 10 Terms You Need to Know About Set-Top Box Advertising

by Amobee, April 15, 2020
terms you need to know about set-top box advertising

The worlds of linear TV and digital are rapidly converging and creating enormous potential for advertisers and media owners. But without an understanding of the important role set-top box video-on-demand (VOD) plays in bridging the billion-dollar linear TV marketplace with TV-informed digital advertising, marketers are not fully harnessing the revenue opportunities and audience reach of converged solutions.

While set-top box inventory is still an underutilized advertising segment, cable VOD racked up $27.3 billion in ad impressions last year, and it’s considered some of the highest-value inventory in media.

In a first-ever integration, Amobee and Beachfront Media, an independent video ad management platform, have partnered to enable premium set-top box inventory to be programmatically transacted with the same precision and optimization as connected TV through the Amobee platform.

By empowering TV investment teams to tap into fraud-free video from multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) and content from dozens of broadcast networks, advertisers now have a richer, more expansive source of targeting and measurement for addressable campaigns.

This important collaboration underscores Amobee’s ability to add addressable VOD inventory to the converged solutions it brings to market that drive results in any format, across any screen.

“VOD has been out of the programmatic loop, and out of the upfront buying loop as well, because it’s been much harder to predict volumes against it,” Philip Smolin, Amobee’s Chief Strategy Officer, told AdWeek. “So it’s this big missing link in the industry that’s now getting connected together.”

To stay on top of the converging marketplace, here’s an advertiser primer on the basic set-top box-related terms you need to know:


The ability to target or address specific households by showing different ads to different viewers within the same program. Put another way, the same ad slot is filled with different ads depending on who is watching.


Connected TV (CTV) is similar to OTT in that it’s transmitted through a streaming internet connection, but CTV refers specifically to video watched on a TV that’s connected to the internet. CTV can be transmitted through anything from OTT devices and apps to set-top boxes (boxes that sit on top or below your television set) like Roku and AppleTV.


Cross-Screen Measurement measures metrics across different devices such as mobile, CTV, desktop, and traditional TV. Because consumers are now spread out across numerous platforms — TV, streaming online video, and scrolling through the internet — cross-platform integrated media campaigns are growing into more important elements of overall advertising strategies.


A demand-side platform (DSP) is a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchanges and data exchange accounts through one interface. 


Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) gives flexible access to ad slots within on-demand content, targeting relevant audiences. This brings advanced advertising into the non-linear viewing world. DAI is what finances free video-on-demand content.


With Household Addressable, advertisers have the ability to target households with specific characteristics like geographical areas. 


While linear TV relies heavily on Nielsen data, current set-top boxes are able to log a wide array of data regarding household viewer profiles. This gives advertisers the ability to target indexed (such as income, hobbies, or food preferences) viewership data. So while a program might have a low “traditional” rating, it may reach the exact index an advertiser is looking to target.


Programmatic Linear TV is traditional television advertising, except smarter — it’s data-based. The purchasing of TV ad slots is automated based on viewer data through DSPs, making it a more efficient experience for buyers who can better target viewers. This is only for traditional television broadcasts, not for CTV streaming services.


SVOD, or Subscription Video-On-Demand, are apps like Hulu and Netflix with monthly fees that give subscribers unlimited access to a wide range of content.


VOD Addressable ads are advertisements that are inserted into VOD cable programs provided by a cable provider set-top box.

To read more about the Amobee, Beachfront partnership, please read the latest in AdWeek.


About Amobee

Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tremor International, a collection of brands built to unite creativity, data and technology across the open internet.

If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.

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