Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for August: Mobile gaming in Indonesia takes reign

For this month of August, we see a compelling lineup of top stories in MARKETECH APAC all coming from the area of technology and platforms. As usual, top stories from brands serve as proof of the changing consumer behavior in APAC amid the unprecedented wave of digitization. 

For one, a Hong Kong startup is responding to the beat of social commerce in Asia where purchasing through social messaging is growing more mature. With a platform that simplifies customer communications for brands across social messaging apps, the SaaS company sees its presence expanding to Singapore and Malaysia.

Another one is mobile gaming in Indonesia. Indonesia is fast earning its name as the market with the strongest mobile engagement in the Asia region, and a report that entered the list presents insights that turn gaming patterns on their head.

Two global adtech platforms have also inducted leaders into new positions of COO, managing director, and into a role helming partner development in order to bolster their presence in APAC. Meanwhile, a recommendation platform for the open web has also unveiled its string of eight new hires for the ANZ, SEA, and APAC region.

Take a look at the top stories this August. Rankings were based on Google Analytics from the period of 16 July to 15 August.

Top 5: SleekFlow expands to Singapore and Malaysia

SeekFlow, the Hong Kong-born SaaS start-up that provides an all-in-one social messaging platform for businesses, is expanding to Singapore and Malaysia. SleekFlow streamlines customer communications in social messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat through a single platform. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Henson Tsai, the founder and CEO of SleekFlow, shared that the company has always been eyeing to make Singapore its regional hub. Aside from Singapore being the headquarters of many brands and companies, the SleekFlow team also found that there are more people familiar with the SEA market in the country compared to those in Hong Kong, making it the “sensible move.” 

Tsai also shared that Indonesia is a target market, where SleekFlow found that 80% of people buy on smartphones with only the remaining 20% buying on desktop. 

“If you actually compare Asia with Europe or America, you realize for example, in China, that kind of behavior [which is] buying through social commerce is kind of very mature…clicking through products and paying through chat is a very mature behavior. If you look at Southeast Asia, people actually purchase more often on mobile,” said Tsai.

Eveyone has that kind of experience right where they buy something and want to talk to someone first. I think these kinds of feelings make you feel more privileged, you feel more [ advantageous] over your peers because you have someone to talk to.

Tsai on the behavior towards social commerce

Top 4: Magnite announces new leadership roster in APAC

Following its acquisition of video ad platform SpotX, global sell-side platform Magnite elevates its leadership to realize the combined capabilities of the two platforms. 

New leaders include Gavin Buxton, who has been appointed managing director for Asia at Magnite Asia, and Yogesh Sehgal, who will assume the role of head of partner development at Magnite APAC.

Gavin Buxton, previously the managing director for Asia at SpotX, will be holding the same position for Magnite Asia, while Yogesh Sehgal, Magnite’s former regional manager for the region, has been promoted to the role of head of partner development. 

Speaking to Juliette Stead, Magnite’s senior vice president and head of JAPAC, in an exclusive interview, she shared that through this fusion, Magnite will be able to solve the needs of publishers more holistically and ensure that they continue to deliver the services and the tech that everybody has already expected from both sides 

Magnite and SpotX have been doing so incredibly well for such a long time, and we want to bring that together, and make sure that we’re not just 1 plus 1 equals 2. The way we see it, we’re better together, and to provide even more for the publishers and buyers in the market.

Juliette Stead, SVP and Head, JAPAC, Magnite

Stead also emphasizes the concept of scale that the newly combined capabilities bring about. 

“All of these publishers across all of these platforms provide the buy-side with a scalable alternative to walled gardens, that’s also really brand-safe, and that has a targeting and addressable functionality.”

Top 3: Adtech Silverpush names new COO

Global adtech Silverpush, known for its AI-powered contextual video technology, has targeted bolstering its global senior leadership by promoting its current chief revenue officer Kartik Mehta to the new role of chief operating officer.

Silverpush, which currently has presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand; targets to penetrate further into the contextual video advertising and moment marketing space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Mehta shares that in his role, he will be driving the company’s vision that they have set for themselves, adding that they are also pushing their ‘3.0 Agenda’ or a strategy simply called as ‘Pi’, which stands for partnerships and investment which then leads to acquisitions.

“Essentially, all of what we do is going to revolve around these key things. You know, the digital media industry is growing, and we firmly believe that we need to be true to our vision on what we have set for ourselves, and to be considered as leaders among most-respected companies in the contextual advertising space,” he said.

Part of what Mehta also shared during the exclusive interview surrounds the question of ‘how could we invest in technologies?’, adding that they pose the aforementioned question in a bid to help companies in the region, such as in APAC, who have geographical advantage in their market.

Ever since we started in the adtech space and the privilege we had over the past nine years, we said that everything we’re doing doesn’t rely on any kind of personal identifiers. The technology, which is available today, are eventually what we have progressed hereon, is all very privacy-compliant.

Kartik Mehta, COO, Silverpush

He added, “In terms of APAC perspective, the region today contributes about 65% of the overall company revenue, which means APAC becomes very, very important market for Silverpush in terms of expansion, in terms of what we have to do in our strategy, and within APAC, certain key markets like Southeast Asia and India are going to play a pivotal role in terms of our entire growth strategy.”

Top 2: Recommendation platform Outbrain keys in eight new hires for APAC

In its efforts to bolster the company’s growth and presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market, global recommendation platform Outbrain has signed in eight new hires to serve the diverse needs of clients across said regional market.

Outbrain operates under the premise of generating revenue for online publishers by displaying feeds of content and ads, or boxes of links to pages within a website, that lead to third-party content.

The new hires are led by the new director of sales for SEA, Jovary Jose. He is accompanied then by Nathan Jackson, head of sales APAC at Outbrain; Chermaine Koh, senior account manager at Outbrain; Calista Teo, sales manager for SEA at Outbrain; Daniel Littlepage, director of business operations for APAC; Greg Wood, head of Engage ANZ; Krishan Lal, sales manager for ANZ; Alanna Green, senior account manager for Engage ANZ; and Ana Carolina Garcia, account manager for ANZ.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC about the latest hires, Jovary states that the company has a strong business growth in the region, noting the latest hires significantly showing a 50% growth of the company’s presence in APAC, focusing more on sales and recommendation teams across the region to support the Outbrain team.

Personally, I’m happy to be involved in Outbrain and growing the APAC team. Coming from a publishing background, I’m thrilled to support quality content and connect advertisers and brands. Again, I love the fact that Outbrain supports publishers, and being from the publisher side for the last decade, the idea of continuing support of publishers like Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and MediaCorp really appealed to me.

Jovary Jose, Director of Sales, Outbrain

Jose also shared in the same exclusive interview that Outbrain is working on a new hire to work with premium publisher partnerships across the APAC region.

“We are excited to continue innovating and building the best native advertising products for publishers and marketers for many more years to come,” he concluded.

Top 1: Indonesia, rising powerhouse of mobile gaming in SEA: report

With pandemic restrictions largely disrupting normal human activities, it is no wonder that there has been an exponential rise of modern trends and practices among affected markets, including the prevalence of mobile gaming across a wider demographic.

It is no surprise that our top story for this month concerns the ‘powerhouse’ figure of the Indonesian market when it comes to mobile gaming activity and consumption.

In the latest report released by marketing cloud company InMobi, they have found that aside from the new 46% of respondents saying it is their first time venturing into the mobile gaming space, data also shows that 80% of Indonesian respondents say that they commit to playing mobile games at least once or several times in a day, in which interestingly, the 35-44-year-old bracket showing up as the age demographic with the highest commitment.

In an exclusive interview with MARKETECH APAC, Rishi Bedi, general manager and vice president of Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea at InMobi notes that mobile gaming has seen a steadfast growth in the region from the one and a half years, adding that Southeast Asia alone has 215 million mobile gaming users, and in Indonesia alone, there has been ‘double the growth’ of mobile gaming users in the particular market.

If we look at the analysis of the data, one that we see is the behavioral patterns of the time of usage of the mobile games, which are very different from what it used to be earlier, now consumers are spending more time through the day, [even] as early as 6 AM. Second is that we have seen a shift in demographics, one per se is that the perception of mobile gamers is young men below 25 years of age, but that’s not the case. We see about 60% to 80% of these [mobile gaming] consumers are above 25 years of age.

Rishi Bedi, GM, VP, SEA, Japan, and Korea, InMobi

When asked for advice for marketers looking to tap into this huge online market of online users, he says that one should first leverage the scale and reach of mobile gaming in the target market, noting the transition of their market.

“There is a huge amount of segmentation possible in mobile gaming, there is diversity [where] you could target the right audience and the desired demographics. There are mobile offerings and a range of other elements that you can leverage that are very unique to mobile gaming, featuring elements like interactivity and augmented reality,” Bedi said.

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.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

MNC Group ties up with Magnite’s SpotX to scale video monetization in Indonesia

Indonesia – MNC Group, the integrated media company in SEA, has signed a deal for a new video advertising program with SpotX, the global video advertising and monetization platform, which is now part of the sell-side platform Magnite.

MNC Group is a conglomerate based in Jakarta, Indonesia that specializes in media, finance, property, and natural resources, as well as transportation sectors.

The partnership aims to accelerate inventory monetization for MNC Group’s online streaming services, namely Vision+ and RCTI+.

Vision+ is MNC Group’s OTT video streaming platform that offers premium TV channels and more than 10,000 hours of video on-demand content across international and local genres, while RCTI+ is the latest online streaming service and super app platform launched in 2019 that offers not only a range of MNC content library, catch-up TV features, unaired TV content, and original content production, but also content including news, radio, UGC, and games. 

Valencia H. Tanoesoedibjo, MNC Media’s chief operating officer, said that Indonesia has a fast-growing OTT consumer market with a strong demand for local content, and this has placed Vision+’s growth competitively ahead of Netflix and Disney+ in the country.

“Alongside RCTI+ and our strong portfolio of digital business, we’re excited to take our video advertising business to the next level with a programmatic video ad tech leader like SpotX to monetize our inventory and offer a premium audience to regional advertisers,” said Tanoesoedibjo.

Meanwhile, Gavin Buxton, Magnite’s managing director for Asia, commented that they are thrilled to be working with one of the largest local content providers leading the OTT space in the country.

“We’re excited to bring the newly combined strengths of SpotX and Magnite to deliver the best-in-class video advertising solution to content providers and advertisers,” said Buxton.

In April this year, Magnite has closed the acquisition of SpotX, with the aim to create the largest independent CTV and video ad platform.

Technology Featured Global

Ad platform Magnite closes off acquisition deal with SpotX

California, USA – Global ad platform Magnite has announced the conclusion of its acquisition of video ad platform SpotX, disclosed at an amount of US$640M in cash and 12,374,315 shares of Magnite stock.

Through the acquisition, both companies have created the largest independent connected TV (CTV) and video advertising platform, and reinforcing the company’s capabilities as linear TV budgets increasingly shift to digital, which works ideally for buyers and sellers that have long wanted a scaled, independent alternative to the giants that currently dominate the CTV marketplace.

Michael Barrett, president and CEO at Magnite, stated that scaling and reaching the largest possible audience is the name of the game when attracting the demand our CTV and video clients need, evident with the scale they have created with the recent acquisition.

“Acquiring SpotX positions us to become the world’s largest, independent source of highly-coveted CTV and video inventory. Two-thirds of our revenue is now concentrated in the fastest-growing segments of the market, and as linear TV dollars move to CTV, the greatest opportunity is still ahead of us,” Barrett stated.

Meanwhile, Mike Shehan, co-founder and CEO at SpotX, commented, “We’re thrilled to become a part of the Magnite family. CTV viewership and the ecosystem around it continues to evolve with new streaming services popping up every day and advertisers hoping to connect with those audiences.”

He added, “SpotX’s CTV business has experienced significant growth over the past year, and we believe our performance will only accelerate through this combination of resources by delivering even more value to our clients.”

Magnite, which now holds a large array of clients including A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Crackle, Discovery, FOX, among others, has also built a new Asia Pacific presence, as it announced last March the establishment of a new data center in Singapore.

Platforms Featured APAC

OTT video streaming reaches nearly 400M viewers in APAC, says new report

Singapore – Over-the-top (OTT) video streaming reaches 392 million people across Asia Pacific, according to a new report from global video advertising platform SpotX.

According to the report, over two thirds (69%) of video viewers in the region watch streaming video at least once a week, confirming that both the audience size and regularity of OTT viewing have matured and entered the mainstream. The top three markets for OTT viewing were Singapore (91%), Australia (81%), and Indonesia (76%). 

In terms of daily streaming, OTT viewers watch more than two hours of content a day, often out-stripping traditional TV and video-sharing platforms. The leading markets for OTT consumption are the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia. 

The majority of OTT streaming is done through mobile devices, evident across developing countries. However, smart TV viewership is growing quickly, especially in Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam, where at least one in five video viewers streams through a smart TV.

Meanwhile, most video viewers (67%) prefer to watch free, ad-supported content versus only 23% who prefer to pay for an ad-free service. There is also a clear acceptance of ads in exchange for viewing free content, with 86% of viewers saying they don’t mind watching ads – provided the ad loads are kept light. Also, streamers say that OTT ads are more effective than TV ads at attracting their attention across Southeast Asian countries.

“We are only scratching the surface of the possibilities in OTT. Not only have users grown due to the stay-at-home regulations, but it is a habit that Indonesians will continue to pursue post-pandemic,” said Crisela Magpayo Cervantes, principal partner at Mindshare Indonesia

“Local original series and movies, Korean drama, and sports are driving OTT growth as are different acquisition strategies, through telco partnerships, and new funding models,” she added. 

The research was conducted across the markets of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and Australia through the help of Singapore-based research firm Milieu Insights, which conducted a quantitative survey of 7,000 people across the aforementioned markets.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Interactive video ad impression on a high note in SEA region, new survey shows

Singapore – Interactive video ads have shown higher preferences among ad viewers, especially to users in Southeast Asia, compared to standard video ads on mobile over-the-top (OTT) platforms, new survey from video advertising platform SpotX shows.

The study showed that interactive ads saw consistent uplift in post ad engagements by viewers. In the survey, the interactive version of a particular video ad saw a 29% uplift in their likelihood to visit the brand’s website, and 17% increase in their likelihood to click on the ad to learn more. 

These findings were supported by actual campaign performance. Across six mobile OTT campaigns in Southeast Asia, the interactive video ads delivered a 54% higher clickthrough rate (CTR) compared to the standard video ads. All campaigns exceeded industry CTR benchmarks.

Additionally, the likelihood to describe the ad as ‘engaging’ saw a 13% uplift among interactive video ads while an 8% uplift on viewers’ likelihood to say they liked the ad compared to standard video. 

On the other hand, data from another SpotX research shows that 86% of OTT viewers in Indonesia and 71% of OTT viewers in Philippines most frequently watch videos on their smartphone. Mobile OTT has earned a strong reputation delivering industry-leading KPIs like completed view rates, cost per completed view and viewability.

For Shrivardhan Sarda, senior director of demand facilitation for APAC at SpotX, the data shown reflects the concept among advertisers that creative ads do matter. 

“However, being more creative doesn’t have to be hard and what this research shows is that by making simple but impactful interactive additions to existing video ads can significantly increase effectiveness particularly on OTT which is monopolizing consumer attention”, Sarda stated. 

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SpotX, POPS Worldwide tie up to expand programmatic activation in SEA

Singapore – Global video advertising and monetization platform SpotX has partnered with POPS Worldwide, a digital entertainment company, to expand its programmatic activation offering in Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.

Under the new partnership, POPS Worldwide will integrate SpotX’s programmatic activation offering by being the lead supply side partner (SSP) and ad server in order to activate video monetization and scale advertising reach through unified auctions, audience activation, smart ad breaks and real-time data. 

SpotX’s over-the-top (OTT) technology also allows POPS Worldwide to manage inventory with ease, achieve optimal ad breaks and access actionable insight.

POPS Worldwide, based in Southeast Asia, produces a wide variety of original content for its industry-leading owned and operated channels like POPS Music, POPS Kids, POPS TV, Beauty Me, HerVoice and CoolTV. 

“SpotX is a global leader in video monetisation with proven success in driving programmatic demand across OTT and digital video. As we continue our aggressive expansion into new countries, we are fortunate to have SpotX’s ad tech expertise help maximize our video advertising capabilities and monetization,” said Sarika Tulsyan, chief revenue officer at POPS Worldwide.

Meanwhile,  SpotX managing director of Asia Gavin Buxton said, “POPS Worldwide is an exciting player in the dynamic SEA OTT landscape, offering fantastic local content for local markets across a variety of popular genres with an engaged audience.”

He added, “Their latest expansion into Indonesia, the largest and fastest growing regional market, is a testament of their ambition to bring fresh digital entertainment content to young tech savvy Indonesians, who have a growing appetite for OTT video streaming. We look forward to helping advertisers and brands reach their audiences through POPS’s premium video inventory.”