Cross-ChannelMobile GrowthOTTProduct Updates

Announcing Deep Linking and Attribution Support for Over-the-Top (OTT) Platforms

By November 17, 2020 No Comments

The mobile web, desktop, social media, and even other apps are part of many brand’s growth strategies. But what about OTT platforms like streaming devices and even gaming consoles that have the potential to make your users — and your growth efforts — even more cross-platform?

We’re incredibly pleased to announce our deep linking and attribution support for OTT. This product will enable you to provide users a world-class experience and measure your marketing performance on these platforms. Before we dive into what we’re offering, let’s get a quick recap of what exactly OTT is and why it’s important:

What is OTT?

Over-the-top (OTT) platforms are those where content is delivered via an internet connection, and most often refers to TV and video platforms that are streamed over the internet rather than cable or broadcast. Examples of OTT channels are streaming services like Netflix/Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire — essentially any Smart TV that has built-in internet connection. This also includes gaming platforms with streaming capabilities and internet connection like Xbox and PlayStation. Brands like Skype, Spotify, and WhatsApp are also considered OTT because their content is served “over the top” of your internet provider. 

Why does it matter?

OTT channels/platforms have emerged as an increasingly important player to have in any cross-platform, cross-device marketing strategy. Connected TV usage has increased due to pandemic and continues to stay higher than pre-pandemic levels even as various governments ease lockdowns and restrictions; in fact, homes with connected devices streamed a collective 12.5 billion hours per month. Considering how much time users are spending on OTT, there’s a huge opportunity for marketers to tap into this lucrative channel. 

Even though OTT presents enticing opportunities, problems have prevented advertisers from really integrating their campaigns over OTT. Traditionally, marketers haven’t been able to receive insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns over OTT, so they don’t know where their money is going or if their campaigns are working. They’ve also struggled without a neutral attribution provider to verify that attribution claims are correct, detect fraud, and provide real-time analytics. 

However, all that has changed with Branch’s OTT support — to allow you to provide best-in-class experiences to your users and get full visibility into your campaigns across OTT devices. 

What Branch Supports on OTT

Our support for OTT includes ad attribution, app-to-app linking (including deferred deep linking), and preinstall tracking. Depending on each aspect of support, devices included in support are Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung TV, Xbox, LG, Panasonic, and more. 

Ad attribution

We’re providing attribution to help you measure your results from the ads you run on platforms like Roku or Fire TV, or other apps on OTT. You’ll be able to better understand the ROI of your OTT marketing efforts and compare their effectiveness against your other campaigns. 

We support same-device last-click attribution for the following: 

Engagement & install ads: We attribute installs and conversion events back to ad impressions and clicks.

App to app activity: We attribute deep links between apps, as well as installs driven from links on a Smart TV home screen or embedded in other apps.

Conversions: We attribute subscription events, logins, views, opens, etc. back to the last ad seen or Branch link clicked.

Attribution is supported for the following platforms via SDKs:

  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV

While Samsung TV, Xbox, LG, and Panasonic are supported via server-to-server. We also forward events from customer data platforms on most major platforms, and can add S2S support for any platform not listed here. Reference our docs for detailed information on technical implementation. 

We also support cross-device ad attribution as well. When we identify that a user engaged with an ad on desktop or mobile, then converted on an OTT device, we attribute back to that ad.

App-to-app linking, including deferred deep linking 

Allow your users in one app to install and go straight into content in a second app. We support app-to-app linking and deferred deep linking on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV. Using our server-to-server integration, we can support even more platforms such as Samsung Smart TV. 

For instance, say you’re promoting content for your sports app from within your flagship app. A user can click on a Branch link to the sporting event from inside your flagship app. If the sports app is installed, the user is taken directly to the sporting event within the sports app. If it’s not installed, the user is taken to the App or Play Store and, upon opening your sports app for the first time, will be taken straight to the specific sporting event they were trying to view.

By deep linking on OTT devices, you improve the consumer’s experience and increase conversion events by taking users directly to relevant content. Say goodbye to dropoff and churn, and start crushing your install and conversion KPIs!

Note that every platform is slightly different when it comes to enabling deep linking, so for technical details pertaining to your use case, visit our docs and reach out to your customer success manager. 

Preinstall tracking

Our preinstall tracking support allows you to track installs coming from your software bundled with partner devices. Now you can easily understand which apps tied to your partner platforms drove which installs. This is available on all platforms via our SDKs and server-to-server API calls — click here for more details. 

Conclusion

By rolling out support for deep linking and attribution over OTT, we aim to give you the tools you need to better understand your ad performance and provide users a hassle-free, seamless experience. To learn more about how you can level up your cross-platform growth strategy with OTT, contact our sales team today.

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Branch is a mobile linking platform providing unified mobile experiences and measurement for more than 50,000 mobile apps, including Airbnb, Pinterest, BuzzFeed, Tinder, Foursquare, Yelp, and Sephora. Branch’s linking platform can help you grow your mobile app through features like deep linking, sharing, referrals, mobile banners and interstitials, custom app onboarding, and unified attribution across platforms and channels. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.
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