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MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for October: Media and live streaming giants’ tie-up snares top spot

This month’s top stories are a mix of APAC-wide and local stories, but the region of Southeast Asia steals the spotlight for the month with announcements and launches from the region grabbing readers’ interest the most. 

For one, we have the Malaysia team of a digital-first agency unveiling its new business director for the country. A travel tech platform headquartered in Singapore, meanwhile, has also successfully raised funds in a seed round in order to expand operations to Europe. 

The industry of esports has also made its way to this month’s top stories with a feature on a Filipino super app’s business journey coming out as a favorite. 

In APAC meanwhile, we have digital platforms announcing exciting new business movements and partnerships. 

A global adtech has announced its new vice president for OTT business in APAC, while two giants in media and live streaming have unveiled a partnership that will see advertisers having more access to the region’s gaming audience. 

Get to know more about this month’s top 5 stories. 

Top 5: PubMatic names Vijay Anand Kunduri as new VP of OTT business for APAC

PubMatic Kunduri

PubMatic, the global programmatic digital advertising company, has appointed Vijay Anand Kunduri, former managing director of video advertising platform Unruly for Asia, to assume the role of regional vice president of OTT business for APAC.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Kunduri to know more about the current landscape of OTT in the region.

“The consumers have been continuing to embrace OTT across APAC and this has led to the increased consumption of the streaming content, which could be attributed to the prevailing COVID pandemic situation,” said Kunduri in the interview.

Kunduri shared that adtech platforms have a very important role to play in seeing OTT reach its full potential, and are critical in ensuring better OTT experiences for consumers.

“What that brings us to is it’s important to have the right tech infrastructure, as it’s an important factor in ensuring the ad experience on OTT whether the people are consuming on a connected TV or mobile device,” he said.

While tasked to drive the growth of PubMatic’s OTT and video business across the region, Kunduri will also be consulting with existing publishers, creating new relationships, and further establishing PubMatic as a preferred platform for media buyers and publishers.

Top 4: Esports super app KALARO on MARKETECH Spotlight

MARKETECH Spotlight_KALARO_esports_superapp_Philippines

Esports super app in the Philippines KALARO has entered the top stories this month, gracing the latest episode of MARKETECH Spotlight.

At MARKETECH Spotlight, we take a closer look at different industries through the perspective of burgeoning organizations that are currently stealing the scene for their innovations and current industry achievements. 

For this episode, we sat down with KALARO’s Founder and CEO Jun D. Lasco as they finally release their public version 1.0 last September after a year into beta and delta testing. 

Since its pilot launch last year, KALARO has grown to be more than a platform for people to compete and enjoy in esports. Now, KALARO is truly living up to its name as a super app as it forges partnerships and launches features to answer to stakeholders’ mental and health well-being. 

From the interview, Lasco revealed that it has partnered with UnionBank, one of the top banks in the country to boost its financial offerings. He shared that on this front, a Visa card for KALARO and even an insurance offering is not a distant possibility. Lasco said crypto- and blockchain-related features are also underway.

Top 3: Lion & Lion appoints Wai Sim Liew as new business director for Malaysia 

Lion-&-Lion-Business-Director-Malaysia-Wai-Sim-Liew

This month, digital marketing agency in Asia, Lion & Lion, has announced the appointment of Wai Sim Liew as the new business director for its Malaysia team. 

Prior to joining Lion & Lion, Wai Sim’s experience expands working with agencies Publicis, Leo Burnett, BBDO/Proximity, and most recently, Ogilvy, where she was a client service director.

In an exclusive interview, we checked in with Wia Sim who shared with us her view on the current digital marketing landscape among Malaysian brands. 

While pointing out the current boom in e-commerce, Wai Sim shared an interesting observation on the growth of one product category in e-commerce. 

“I think one of the slowest categories for e-commerce adoption is Fast Moving Consumer Goods because I think [it has more stress] on quantity and you want to see the label, and you want to see the cooking instructions and whatnot.”

However, Wai Sim continues, “But now, you notice that actually, hey, people talk about live commerce even for grocery items.” 

“It’s interesting to see that way Malaysians have actually chosen to incorporate e-commerce into their lives,” she added. 

Top 2: Travel tech Vouch expands to Europe with US$1.1m seed funding

Vouch-Travel-Tech-Seed-Funding-Europe-Expansion

Vouch, a Singapore-based travel tech company, which has recently raised US$1.1m seed funding, is targeting a Europe market expansion, starting off with a new office in London.

The company’s guest experience platform allows guests to check-in, make room requests, order food and beverage and get instant answers to commonly asked questions, just by scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.

In an interview with Joseph Ling, founder and CEO at Vouch, he said that improving guest experience platforms are is not just for enhancing user experience, but also responding to the interest of hotels, now that travelers will look forward to checking in.

“We also recognize that hotels, the ones that we actually partner with, are going to want to capture the value [of these customers]. So we are really looking at how we build revenue-generating product features, and how we make it easy for them to cross-sell different things within the hotel to their guests.”

He also stated that they are also looking forward to expanding the use of their travel technologies towards other travel verticals, like tourist attractions and museums.

Ling further added that with regulations ever-changing to various industries due to the disruption by the global pandemic, it only makes sense that digitizing guest experiences in the travel industry is ‘inevitable’.

“Besides increasing productivity, you are giving guests a more comfortable and familiar way of interacting with the hotel, as well as opening up more opportunities, meaning that hotels could now understand the needs and preferences of their guests,” he concluded.

Top 1: GroupM, Twitch to tap diverse APAC gaming audience for advertising in latest tie-up

A partnership that opens up new opportunities for brands to tap into the gaming demographic: this is the number one story of MARKETECH APAC for the month, as media investment company GroupM has signed in a partnership with Twitch, top streaming platform, which gives advertisers access to the flourishing gaming demographic in the region.

Through the partnership, GroupM’s clients will enjoy access to insights on Twitch audiences in a fragmented Asia-Pacific region that stream Alpha, Beta, and Early Access games, as well as access to Twitch CTV. Moreover, an upcoming co-authored playbook by these two companies will be released in the future to aid FMCG advertisers to tap APAC gaming audiences.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, John Miskelly, APAC investment director at GroupM, stated that the reason they chose specifically to deal with FMCG brands for the playbook is that aside from their large heritage of working with these brands they also want to aid them in placing their advertisements across new channels, aside from traditional ones like television.

“If there is an area where we can reach 1.2 billion people, that’s definitely a space where clients would want to work on,” Miskelly said, pertaining to the large gaming demographic in the region, and the potential reach advertisers can get.

He further added that most of these FMCG brands are now migrating to e-commerce platforms, since most of them are present only in-stores, and don’t have the transactional data that they can use to bolster their e-commerce offerings.

“The gaming audience is important for brands in terms of reach and engagement. And obviously, with the potential engagement seen in this demographic, there is a highly immersive audience which can get a lot of attention [for brands],” Miskelly stated.

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Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.