Marketing Featured APAC

PubMatic’s new playbook lays out how mobile app publishers capture increased brand spend

Singapore – Digital adtech company PubMatic has recently launched a new playbook which lays out strategies for mobile app publishers in the Asia-Pacific region on how to capture increased brand spend.

Titled ‘ The Brand Opportunity Playbook’, the new PubMatic playbook explains benefits of leveraging brand spend for mobile app publishers in APAC and identifies key challenges publishers must solve in order to capture spend.

Publishers can find insights into the opportunities and challenges presented by increased brand advertising interest in mobile app, including an overview of the trends driving in-app advertising and brand spend, key challenges and opportunities for app publishers today, among others.

“Mobile in-app has long been associated with delivering short-term performance goals, however as more consumers migrate onto apps, brand advertisers are increasingly embracing the channel to deliver long-term business goals, including brand objectives,” PubMatic said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Lashanne Phang, senior director for mobile at PubMatic, said, “Digital brand ads do what traditional advertising was built to do – be memorable, change opinions, and stay with users long after they see the ad. Unlike direct response or performance ads, brand ads require no action from the user, which means publishers can benefit from ad revenue without users having to navigate away from their app.”

Phang added, “But to access global brand demand, it is important for publishers understand brand advertisers’ expectations and to work with an SSP partner that has strong relationships and access to key media buyers in the desired markets.”

Marketing Featured South Asia

Uber discontinues ride-hailing services in five Pakistani cities

Pakistan – Technology company Uber is discontinuing its ride-hailing services in five Pakistani cities namely Karachi, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad and Peshawar.

According to a report by Reuters, the exit is a move by Uber to reduce market overlap between the U.S. firm and its Middle East unit Careem.

However, Uber will still remain in the city of Lahore, where Uber is aiming at launching new products.

Former Uber drivers that are from the five cities can switch to Careem, a Dubai-based company purchased by Uber for US$3.1b in 2019 to dominate the ride-hailing markets in the Middle East and Pakistan.

“We know this is a difficult time for the teams who have worked incredibly hard to build this business over the past few years. We greatly appreciate everyone’s contributions and our priority is to minimise the impact to our employees, drivers, riders, and Hero partners who use the Uber app during this change in Karachi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar,” the company said in a statement.

Uber first entered into Pakistan in 2016 as part of a US$250m push to expand into the Middle East and North Africa. Uber had also recently offloaded its food delivery services to Zomato, a local rival, and sold its shares in the company recently at an assumed unrealized loss of US$707m.

Platforms Featured South Asia

Google faces pressure to stop illegal digital lending applications in India

India – Tech giant Google is in hot water recently, as it is being asked by Indian authorities and the central bank to put stringent measures in place against illegal digital lending applications uploaded on Google’s Play Store, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.

According to the report, Google and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been meeting in the past few months to urge tougher checks and balances that can help in weeding out such apps.

Multiple local regulators have long pushed Indian lenders to have stricter checking on new lending app players. Some of the ‘red flags’ for illegal lender apps include charging excessive interest rates and fees or in recovery practices which are not authorised by the central bank or violate money laundering and other government guidelines.

A Google spokesperson said, “We have removed over 2,000 personal loan apps targeting India from the Play Store for violation of the Play policy requirements. We will continue to engage with law enforcement agencies and industry bodies to help address this issue.”

While India’s central bank requires that any lending apps listed on app stores be backed by regulated entities, it is up to Google to enforce this and monitor compliance. The tech giant has also been asked to look at curtailing the rise of such apps via other distribution channels such as websites and other means of downloads.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

J&T Express SG updates flagship mobile app to allow international delivery to Malaysia

Singapore – Logistics company J&T Express in Singapore has announced its latest update to its flagship mobile app – J&T Singapore App – to offer international delivery to Malaysia, with more destinations to be added gradually. This new feature comes on top of the app’s existing domestic delivery service.

The new app update comes alongside the launch of J&T Express’ new web-based intelligent transport management system, known as JMS, to drive greater operational efficiency

The J&T Singapore App aims to provide a simple and convenient way for everyone – from individuals to small business owners and e-commerce sellers – to access competitively priced delivery services. This is part of J&T Express’ strategic expansion into the consumer market to diversify its offerings and meet growing consumer demand for both domestic and international delivery.

To kickstart the launch of J&T Singapore App’s international delivery feature, J&T Express Singapore is offering a discounted price for shipments to West Malaysia starting from S$4.30–exclusive to prevailing charges–from now till 31 August 2022.

Alice Yeung, sales and marketing director of J&T Express Singapore, said, “The enhancement of the J&T Singapore App and launch of JMS are a testament to our commitment to investing in new technologies and advancing our offerings to reach wider audiences.” 

She added, “As a tech-driven e-commerce logistics company, we are always seeking innovative ways to improve the customer journey and optimise every key touchpoint, from upgrading our back-end operational system to strengthening the user experience with more delivery options.” 

Marketing Featured APAC

FWD Group launches new mobile app ‘omne’ in bid to change people’s views on insurance

Hong Kong – Insurance company FWD Group has launched a new mobile app called ‘omne’, which aims to empower individuals with a unique set of value propositions centred on personalised goal-based journeys.

‘omne’ is designed to help people celebrate living through tools that foster micro-habits and achieve daily goals. It also provides a suite of activities and content – including music, mini-games, sketching, and health, as well as wellbeing, and a vast array of engaging features – that are personalised to an individual’s preferences and interests. Additionally, the app intends to expand its capabilities to offer self-service functions for FWD Insurance customers in the coming weeks and months.

Troy Barnes, FWD’s group chief transformation officer, shared that a critical part of how they’re changing the way people feel about insurance is reimagining how they bring value to, and anticipate, the evolving demands of Asia’s ever-more digital and mobile population.

“‘omne’ brings a new dimension to how people achieve their personal goals, with an engaging experience that creates micro-habits from the convenience of their mobile device,” said Barnes.

‘omne’ is now available in all FWD markets, and can be downloaded for free on both the Apple and Google app stores.

In June 2022, FWD announced its foray into launching its first-ever NFT collection. The move aims to further enhance customer experiences with a diverse suite of engagement activities extended to the metaverse so that people can pursue their passions and live life to the fullest anywhere, anytime.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

E-commerce most downloaded app by Indonesians during Ramadan 

Jakarta, Indonesia – Amidst the observance of Ramadan, Indonesians have downloaded e-commerce apps more than any other category during the said time period, according to the latest data from

According to the data, Indonesia’s e-commerce app downloads took a 27% increase from the overall app downloads in Indonesia from April to May this year. This is followed by buy-now, pay later (BNPL) apps (9%), coupons and rewards (8%), and overall shopping (4%).

Shopee ranked first for breakout time spent in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In Indonesia, home-grown Tokopedia ranked second by breakout time spent. Tokopedia also saw strong growth in Malaysia during Ramadan, ranking fourth by breakout time spent.

In terms of overall shopping, Shopee still ranks first in breakout downloads, followed by Bilibili and Alibaba. Other apps that ranked include Lazada in fourth, UNIQLO Indonesia in fifth, and Zalora in sixth.

“Shopee’s increased share of advertiser impressions and share of creative impressions indicates this video ad was likely resonating with viewers and driving downloads. The ad was seen in 49 apps, with a high volume of games. The video ad also emphasised vouchers — appealing to the sale period,” explained regarding the top ranking of Shopee.

Globally, consumers turned to mobile to engage during Ramadan, particularly for prayer. Downloads of the top 10 Quran apps grew 120% during Ramadan versus the 30 days prior. Time spent grew even faster at 135% — fueled by both a larger audience of mobile users and deeper per-user engagement. Average daily time spent per user in top Quran apps grew 55% to approach 20 minutes during the 30 day period.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Women’s health ecosystem Ease Healthcare launches mobile app in PH

Manila, Philippines – Women’s health ecosystem in Asia, Ease Healthcare, has officially launched its digital health services and mobile app in the Philippines, aimed at empowering Filipinas with the tools and support they need to make informed decisions about their sexual, reproductive, and menstrual health and wellness. 

Through the Ease app, users can gain access to convenient, affordable, personalised, and credible women’s health information and services from the comfort of their own homes. Users can access teleconsultations with leading local medical professionals for their various women’s health needs, as well as opt for discreet medication delivered right to their doorsteps within one to two business days in Metro Manila and Antipolo, and three to 10 days for the rest of the Philippines. Ease will also be building more in-app community features localised to the specific needs of Filipino women.

As part of the app launch, Ease has partnered with ‘It’s OK to Delay’, an SBC (social and behaviour change) campaign by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ReachHealth project, to educate young adults in the Philippines about family planning and contraception. This partnership has launched a virtual live event, ‘Girls Helping Girls’, which was held in April 2022, focused on family planning.

Together with local organisations such as Philippine Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), Ease also aims to address four key access gaps for women’s health in the Philippines through its services, namely inconvenience, high costs, stigma, and lack of education. 

Juan Antonio A. Perez III, POPCOM’s executive director, said that in a conservative society like the Philippines, women’s health is not often openly discussed, which has led many young women to come unprepared in making informed decisions about family planning and their own sexual and reproductive health matters. 

“We’re excited to democratise conversations on women’s health with Ease, and we look forward to more partnerships with them in the future,” added Perez.

Meanwhile, Guadalupe Lazaro, Ease Healthcare’s co-founder, noted, “Besides providing greater education, we also wanted to build a safe community for women to exchange information and ideas without feeling judged so that more could make informed decisions about their own health. Through these efforts, we hope to change the landscape of women’s health in the Philippines.”

Rio Ho, Ease Healthcare’s co-founder, shared that today, they have over 12,000 women in the Philippines alone using their app and teleconsultation services, and they look forward to growing this community with this official launch. 

“We hope to establish ourselves as a trusted and reliable source for women’s health services and education in the country,” said Ho.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Only 42% push notifications are successfully delivered in SEA

Manila, Philippines – In regards to the impact of users’ app activity on push notification delivery, a new report from insights-led customer engagement platform MoEngage shows that only 42% of these push notifications are successfully delivered in SEA.

According to the report, the reason why these push notifications go undelivered is due to the tight battery optimizations by Chinese Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that kill background app activity.

Industry-wise, e-commerce suffered the most, with only 45% of their push notifications successfully delivered. This is followed by financial apps (28%), travel and hospitality (28%), media and entertainment (7%), and other categories (37%). In addition, while recency and number of clicks have an 18% impact on user reachability, the number of app sessions have a 7% impact on push notification deliverability.

The report also noted that there is a direct correlation between the users’ last activity on the app and the push notification delivery rate. The highest delivery rate of over 80% has been observed for apps that had app activity in the last 24 hours. This figure drops by half after a week to 44% and lower. Of all the consumers who successfully received push notifications, around 73% were last active within the previous 2 weeks.

Saurabh Madan, vice president and general manager of SEA and ANZ at MoEngage, said, “Our data shows that to improve user reachability via push notifications in 2022, it’s imperative for any digital business in Southeast Asia to optimise and improve the users’ app interaction.”

He added, “This is why we developed the Push Amplification™ technology, to bridge this gap and help organisations in a mobile-first economy boost push notification deliverability while ensuring that Northstar metrics continue to grow – and we’ve seen great success so far.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Indonesians spent 156 billion hours on mobile in 2021

Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesia is fastly moving towards being a growing mobile market globally, with the latest data from app analytics company unveiling that Indonesians have spent 156 billion hours on mobile during 2021. In addition, the report also noted that new app downloads in Indonesia surpassed 7.3 billion in 2021, a 33% increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Total time spent among the top 20 video streaming apps surpassed 27 billion hours in Indonesia, up by 93% since 2019, the highest percent increase among all markets analysed and nearly three times the growth rate worldwide. Top apps included global brands such as YouTube, MX Player, Netflix, YouTube Kids and Viu. And for Indonesia-based Vidio, time spent surpassed 174 million hours, landing it at number 8 in 2021.

In addition, shopping apps were another category that saw tremendous growth in total time spent in Indonesia. Since 2019, time spent on retail apps rose from 2 billion to nearly 5.6 billion in 2021, a 180% increase. The pandemic accelerated the momentum as the 2-year growth rate for Indonesia was the 6th highest in the world. In fact, even compared to 2020, time spent in retail apps in Indonesia saw a 52% increase YoY — growing 2.9x faster than the global market at 18% YoY. 

“It is clear that Indonesia is a rapidly growing retail market, and publishers should take note of consumer trends, demographic preferences and cultural differences to succeed in this mobile-first market,” the company said in a press statement.

The report noted that the top 4 shopping apps by breakout downloads in Indonesia, namely Akulaku, MyPoin, Tokopedia and Mitra Bukalapak were all homegrown apps, signalling a potential opportunity for local app publishers as well as marketers looking to craft campaigns and partnerships relevant to their local audience.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Upmesh launches mobile cross-platform streaming app

Singapore – Live commerce enabler Upmesh has announced the launch of ‘Upmesh Live’, a cross-platform live selling mobile application which is a first in Southeast Asia.

Upmesh Live allows sellers to create personalised overlays in their live streams without the need for any prior technical knowledge, allowing them to integrate customisable branded content such as customizable graphics, brand imagery and professional content tools within minutes. 

Through the app, sellers are now able to further achieve virality and engage with their communities on top of real-time order management provided by Upmesh.

The Upmesh Live application is only compatible with Android 8.0 and above as well as ios 11.0 and above

Sellers go live on social media platforms such as Facebook Live or Instagram Live, and Upmesh captures orders through a merchant’s live stream comments and incentivises the buyers to share through discovery, giveaways and drip messaging.

“Upmesh is committed to constantly launching new engaging and interactive features that aim to enable live commerce merchants to reach their full sales and creative potential through multi-channel discovery and sharing to unlock value and virality,” the company said in a press statement.

Wong Zi Yang, CEO and co-founder at Upmesh, said, “While there is much more work to be done, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of the ever-changing retail landscape that we are in, and we’re thrilled to be expanding further to help live sellers across SEA grow their businesses and create a new future for e-commerce through innovative products such as Upmesh Live.”