ott vs linear tv

What is Linear TV? The Difference Between Linear TV vs OTT

Discover More about OTT TV App

Traditional television industry is outgrowing through changes as there is increased popularity in the way of consuming content by the audience. This disrupts the market of linear TV. According to statistics linear television viewers are weighed towards the category of older set of audiences. This is because viewers are of 35 or a little older, as compared to average age of a regular viewer of linear TV that’s 55.  

Here comes to the focus, about the mighty brands who need to keep in mind, while thinking about linear TV viewership, that is these audiences are mostly found relative to affluent groups. As Newer non-linear TV technology manifests a paradigm shift, it has not divulged in making linear TV obsolete. 

Moreover, there is a plus factor when live TV events still gain the attraction & draws audience’s attention of all ages no matter where they are placed. They turn to capture with a unique viewing trendsetters as compared to any other marketing channel. 

 Furthermore, linear streaming continues to play a role when it comes to broadcast viewing events with wider audience such as live sports, concerts, etc. Having said that, still non-linear viewing is in reign & assures to receive unprecedented popularity. 

Besides that, viewing habits & new preferences tend to vary by age group in demographic study, which is latter found that younger audiences are completely in four of non-linear viewing. 

What is Linear TV?

what is linear tv

Linear TV is conventional TV broadcasting where viewers watch pre-scheduled programs in real time. This type of TV viewing is also known as live or broadcast TV.

With a linear TV, viewers must tune in to a specific channel at an exact time to watch a particular program.

The network or the channel predetermines the programming. So, viewers are restricted to the programming schedule and cannot pause, rewind, or fast-forward the content. 

This also means that viewers cannot consume content on demand. 

The Benefits of Linear TV

Non-linear TV has certainly has a tendency of disruptiveness on the television market, giving viewers complete control over television consumption. It arms advertisers with the best mode of targeting that’s powerful.

Several factors shield linear TV’s future for the current being. Live events are one of those which support continuous rely. Whether it’s to do with sports, or live game shows where audience can participate by casting their votes, linear television is still to be marked as undisputed leader.  

Since linear platform is traditionally an expensive solution & highly regulated medium, consumers are bought at a belief stating that linear TV advertisers are more trustworthy. And therefore, they attribute to a greater level of credibility to these big brands. 

However, TV providing a solution for brands, search for alternative growth as skepticism grows around the effectiveness of digital advertising that tends to have a rise. 

Does Linear TV Still Have a Future?

Major industry players understand the need of changing media landscape & show their willingness to adopt new technology. Some have launched their own OTT services to take a higher leap of repurposing themselves & get their piece of pie, such as Disney plus, NBC’s Peacock. And other companies like Vodafone, Viacom18 have decided to take linear TV entirely to a new level by transforming their platform to Cloud TV. 

Linear TV operators are now readily leveraging cloud TV that’s developed in cloud-based infrastructure to distribute their services as well as OTT streaming services. All the more, its beneficial as they can also get access to digital technology in which advanced audience targeting & personalization are major takeaways. 

But at the same time, they are also looking to maintain the scalability of linear TV. In simpler words, cloud TV brings the best of both technologies streamlined into one medium for operators. 

Thinking Of Creating Your Own TV App For Your Brand?

What is OTT?

What is OTT?

Over-the-top television that is abbreviated as OTT refers to the content that is delivered in different media formats such as audio or video. It is delivered through wireless internet connection in live streaming format. Possibly, the content stays accessible to viewers without any involvement of cable or satellite service operators. All that is required is to have a stable internet connection and a compatible hardware device that can stream content to TV or any other internet-enabled devices.

Some of the examples of OTT devices primarily include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, gaming consoles, etc. These devices are then required to pair them to HDMI port of TV streams where then relevant content is streamed from popular OTT providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. Smartphones or connected devices can download OTT apps which allows streaming in real-time.  

OTT services give viewers complete control over consumption and unlimited access to high-quality content that’s viewable across various devices. They can be customizable to enhance maximized viewing experience, & allow users to watch whatever they want to from available titles.  With varied OTT packages, they can now easily gain the freedom to watch from anywhere at anytime.  

Viewers can pre-schedule their show time, & leisurely watch any genre of content with zero interrupted service. This is very valuable for them, who can’t afford to view TV shows at a fixed time in a particular location. There is also a possibility to pause content when watching shows & provide flexible viewing space for continued watching if necessary. 

There are predictions that cable television industry in the U.S is forecasted to shrink by more than one forth by the year 2025. This clearly shows that the OTT market is expected to boom furthermore where video segment is going to mount up to 3,508 Million users by 2027. Indeed, this makes them one of the world’s significant sources of entertainment. 

The OTT Advantage

Over-the-top is defined as long form video content which is shown premium over the internet through an application or device such as TV, Smartphone, Web, PC, etc. There is no need to subscribe to a wired cable, telco or satellite service for users. OTT incudes content that is streamed via popular apps like Netflix, Sling TV, Hulu, etc. It’s a collection of video packages where anyone can access the high-quality of content once they pay for the subscription. 

There are thousands of programs that audiences can easily procure access to it via a monthly subscription. It doesn’t just stop there, but OTT media provides complete freedom to access international web series, live sports telecasts and favorite videos on the go. This is one of the greatest pros for any target audience furnished from OTT streaming platforms

Many consumers who devotedly watch linear TV, express their frustration at number of adverts interrupting in-between the content. While there are loads of ads occurrence a fact is predominant. Users have little interest in the ads shows & this is recognized by the advertisers as there more need for creative, data-driven & accurate target OTT advertising experiences. And OTT environment gives them this opportunity.  

Also, the higher playback speed is, it gets better with auditory & visual content as there is perfect sync due to smooth playability online. Also, you can customize the video & audio quality according to your liking. While you being the platform owner, you can manage entire operations on your own without any intervention from external sources & reap maximum profitability. 

Difference Between Linear TV vs OTT

Despite their close resemblance, these terms are different from each other & aren’t interchangeable. To avoid confusion, let’s break down them into two sections. 

difference between OTT vs linear tv

Linear TV 

Linear TV is a traditional TV that refers to television broadcasts where viewers watch content at specific times that’s available only on particular channels. Shows that aired was a live telecast but weren’t DVR’d (digitally recorded) & were allotted to watch in other duration which came into that category. While linear TV still carries largest video advertising market, the scenario seems to get scrupulous since its declining in recent time. 

Over The Top (OTT)

OTT has been used to refer as Over-the-top where services were filled with variety of content with smoothly-enabled delivery environments occupy their space. However, the most basic definition is associated with the video or audio getting delivered through the source of internet rater than traditional cable TV box. To simply put it, OTT platform is a new term that essentially becomes a medium & is relative to a digital content. For an example, it can mean OTT TV apps content which distributed to a large-format screen, but the same asset can also be delivered in a mediocre quality to an old cellphone. 

Content services of OTT include Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. Some of the top-most media brands have started to launch their own OTT services like Disney+, HBO, Peacock from NBC & more. 

Also Read: How Does Amazon Prime Video Makes Money?


Gone are the days when televised content was broadcasted to a mass audience via a few channel which predetermined followed a schedule. Now with the advent of streaming services there has been a huge upsurge & transformation of technology. This has directly led to better levels of continued connectivity & has thereafter brought a change in media viewing habits. Audiences are no longer limited to viewing terrestrial linear broadcasts. 

The world is now seeing leaps and bounds of technology innovation & is no longer consuming TV as a family. Mostly people carry devices that are paired to latest technology & are streaming on mobile phones, PCs & smart TVs. After all, viewers can decide what, when & where to watch at the click of a button. All in all this is shaping a new mindset where big OTT broadcast networks need to primarily consider different ways to entice viewer-base & deliver the best service to stay up in the market. 

If You Already have an idea about launching a Tv App, Schedule a free demo and We’ll Get You On The Road To Video Streaming Success!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What are Linear TV Platforms?

Linear TV is a traditional approach in which a viewer watches a predetermined Television show on its original channel. The program can be recorded and viewed later with a DVR. Linear TV platforms continue to hold a sizable market share; nevertheless, reach is fragmented as the TV landscape becomes more competitive.

2. What are the advantages of Linear TV?

The top 3 advantages of Linear TV are as follows: 
1. Audiences are targeted depending on channel and time, with demographics matched to programming.
2. Since most users pay for linear TV in addition to their streaming subscriptions, mass reach still exists.
3. When it comes to sports or live game shows in which the public can participate by voting, linear television remains the unchallenged leader.

3. What is the difference between linear TV & OTT?

Linear TV is a traditional approach in which a viewer watches a recorded TV show when it airs on its original channel. OTT, on the other hand, is a way of providing television and film content through the internet at the request and to the preferences of the individual consumer. Simply said, Linear TV is intended for all age groups, whereas OTT is primarily focused on young adults aged 18 to 29.

4. What Is Linear TV Advertising?

Linear advertising refers to a systematic schedule in which advertisements are designed to run for a particular time. This strategy allows you to target certain audiences or marketing segments by carefully selecting channels and air times. Certain demographics will watch specific channels, allowing you to market your product to these segments.

5. What are the advertising benefits of Linear TV?

Linear TV still offers the largest viewership and may provide advertisers with the broadest reach when introducing their brand to new consumers. Some of its benefits include: Reaching undiscovered audiences, eliminating ad fatigue, testing, evaluating, and adjusting advertising efforts, optimizing reach, and much more.

Video Monetization & OTT Expert at CONTUS VPlayed. Interested in digging deep into video/audio streaming media tools, and Love to blog, discuss and share views on the legal OTT app development' & latest technologies tips, and tricks. He's also passionate about photography loves to capture the pure essence of life.


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