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Platforms Featured APAC

GroupM, Twitch partnership to give advertisers access to APAC gamers

Singapore – As the gaming scene in the Asia-Pacific region continues to flourish, their activity gives marketers and advertisers the opportunity to expand their demographic base, evident with the latest partnership of media investment company GroupM and global interactive live streaming service Twitch, which aims to give advertisers access to the large gamer base 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 (connected TV) inventory.

Furthermore, it also gives GroupM’s clients access to Twitch’s innovative solutions, which offers a full suite of services from ideation to production, for bespoke ads and experiences. Additionally, GroupM and Twitch will co-author a playbook that is designed to help FMCG advertisers target gaming audiences across Asia-Pacific, to be launched this year.

As the platform provides content options beyond gaming, Twitch is at the forefront of live entertainment and features content that is relevant to audiences in this region, such as music and art, which allows GroupM not only with in-depth streaming knowledge and tools to help brands but will also enable a seamless experience working with Twitch as a platform to reach millions of gaming, music and art audiences.

“At GroupM, we are focused on building our gaming expertise. Asia-Pacific is made of vibrant communities – especially gaming communities, and Twitch continues to be the leading service that cultivates today’s most sought-after audiences. We’re excited to collaborate with Twitch, and we are committed to making smarter gaming decisions for our clients based on Twitch’s unique audience insights,” said John Miskelly, APAC investment director at GroupM.

Meanwhile, Sunil Yadav, head of agency development at Twitch, commented, “Twitch is excited to partner with institutions that create significant impact and GroupM’s razor focus on high-quality engagement for brands makes them an ideal partner for us.”

He added, “With Twitch’s unique advertising solutions to help brands build closer relationships with consumers and co-create shared live experiences, we are confident that GroupM will be able to deliver strong consumer experiences with our insights.”

GroupM had previously worked with a gaming-related partnership with Philippine-based esports talent agency Tier One in a bid to make advertising more inclusive in the esports community in the region, including opening it up to more mainstream brands.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Fetch TV renews BBC Studios deal spanning seven channels

Sydney, Australia – Local entertainment service Fetch TV has renewed its existing partnership with global content company BBC Studios, which spans seven channels of BBC Studio available on Fetch, following the availability of BBC Kids on the platform last March this year.

The seven channels are namely BBC First, BBC World News, UKTV, BBC Earth and CBeebies, along with Virtual Playlist Channels BBC Brit and BBC Kids which are only available on Fetch.

Fetch subscribers can view the BBC linear channels on their TV or on the Fetch Mobi app, with a ‘start over’ option available for the majority of programs which enables viewers to join the channel at any point and watch from the start.

“We are delighted to continue our decade-long relationship with BBC Studios, which thrives on innovation and creativity to deliver the best of British content to our customers,” said Sam Hall, chief content and commercial officer at Fetch TV.

Meanwhile, Fiona Lang, general manager at BBC Studios ANZ, commented, “Our partnership with Fetch showcases the breadth and depth of the BBC’s content across world-class drama, documentaries, entertainment, children’s programming, and news.”

She added, “We’re excited to renew our agreement with Fetch to bring their audiences this comprehensive offering via their unique mix of linear and virtual playlist channels.”

The BBC channels are all available in the 46 channel Fetch Ultimate Pack for AU$20 per month, and also in the AU$6 per month Fetch Channel Packs.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Astro taps CRM firm Evergent for streaming service sooka

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Multimedia broadcasting Astro has tapped customer relationship management (CRM) company Evergent, to activate monetization for its newest streaming service sooka, launched last June this year.

Through the partnership, Astro will use Evergent’s customer management and monetization tools to support registration and subscription management for sooka. Offering both free ad-supported content and subscription services, sooka unites live international sports programming with popular Malaysian dramas and entertainment programs.

For Euan Smith, chief executive officer of TV and group chief operations officer at Astro, the company’s mission is to provide Malaysians with entertaining and informative content, reaching as many customers as possible through the most popular platforms and devices.

“Through our partnership with Evergent, we are now able to offer multiple pricing options for our new sooka streaming platform while also retaining the ability to unlock new business opportunities as we scale the service. As a result, our customers can choose the pricing model and payment methods that best match their needs, allowing Malaysians to enjoy premium content and live sports anytime, anywhere,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Vijay Sajja, founder and CEO of Evergent, notes that Astro’s new flexible monetization options, powered by Evergent’s technology, will now make premium content more accessible to millions of Malaysians.

“Through Evergent’s global partnerships, we are able to work together with the most innovative media and entertainment companies in each country or region. Astro is the market leader for Malaysian entertainment and a leader in Southeast Asia, and we are proud to help them further grow their business through the launch of sooka,” Sajja stated.

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Technology Featured APAC

Xandr expands video inventory in APAC, adds OTT platforms Viu, iQIYI, True Digital

Singapore – Xandr, telco AT&T’s adtech company which offers a global marketplace for advertising, has announced the expansion of its video marketplace in APAC to include inventory from leading Asia-wide OTT platforms WeTV and iflix, Viu, and iQIYI, as well as local platforms SMX, True Digital and Vidio in the region.

The expansion also adds Australia’s premium commercial broadcasters, signing agreements with Nine Entertainment, Seven Network, ViacomCBS/Network Ten as well as SBS and Foxtel Media.

The said platforms in Asia and Australia have signed on to use Xandr’s strategic selling platform Xandr Monetize, bulking up Xandr’s video offering in the APAC region.

Xandr’s Senior Account Director Shilpa Kolte said that the adtech company remains committed to improving the experience for advertisers, content owners, and consumers in the region in a privacy-first and brand-safe environment. 

“We are thrilled to see the region’s leading OTT players coming on the Xandr platform to provide premium video ad inventory at scale. As an innovator at the intersection of TV and digital, Xandr provides an open platform to support the growing demand in CTV buying and selling across multiple verticals,” said Kolte. 

In June, Xandr has also announced a renewed partnership with Microsoft, which will see both working on expanding Microsoft’s ad space inventory. Similarly, Microsoft will also be utilizing Xandr’s sell-side platform (SSP), Xandr Monetize. The partnership also entails Xandr augmenting its marketing spend using Xandr’s demand-side platform (DSP). 

As it bolsters its business in adtech, Xandr is further claiming its part in the ecosystem as it recently launches its industry guide called ‘Shaping the Future of Identity’. The guide aims to prepare buyers, sellers, and market participants for a future without third-party cookies.

As the deprecation of third-party cookies further nears, the guide aims to offer insights from Xandr executives and industry leaders to look at how the identity landscape is changing and what number of solutions are best responses, such as from industry IDs to contextual targeting and curated marketplaces.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

airasia unveils new ‘Project Kavvaii’ program, seeks the next big ‘virtual idol’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Airline airasia has launched a new program called ‘Project Kavvaii’, which aims to discover and develop the next big virtual idol – a streaming content creator in the SEA region who uses a digital avatar.

The new program seeks to provide potential talent with full resources to be the best virtual idol in the region and represent ASEAN on the world stage through charting a career trajectory, searching for potential clients, providing marketing support, tracking monetary channels from their streams, and supporting the business side of streaming.

The open audition will commence today 10 March until 28 March 2021 in ASEAN and the rest of Asia. Participants must submit a 5-minute video to introduce themselves. 

The winner of Project Kavvaii will get full access to a support team, receive a complete streaming setup, and secure a one-year contract with airasia as a paid content creator.

Rudy Khaw, the chief brand officer of airasia Group, said that the company has transformed from an airline to a lifestyle brand with the airasia super app, and now, they continue to innovate and be a game-changer as a virtual talent producer, believing that this is an opportune time to fast-track airasia’s growth leveraging on their digital capabilities, such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition.

“Certainly, the success of a virtual idol is about talent, not just the technology behind it. So we are looking for those who are multi-talented, creative, and have a larger-than-life personality to connect with virtual idol fans across ASEAN and beyond! This is your chance to be a full-fledged virtual idol and a part of a creative team that will shape the future of streaming content in the region,” said Khaw

airasia’s first virtual idol was created by a renowned illustrator artist in the virtual idol community, Yueko, and the character will be rigged and animated by industry veteran Iron Vertex to fit the personality of the virtual idol. Project Kavvaii’s first virtual idol is expected to start streaming in the second quarter of 2021.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

iQIYI International partners anew with Astro Malaysia to add more local content to platform

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Streaming service iQIYI International is extending its partnership with Malaysia’s leading media entertainment group, Astro Malaysia, to offer more local content to its viewers.

The partnership was forged in 2019 and has resulted in the only iQIYI linear TV channel in the region made exclusively available for Astro customers. 

With the extended tie-up, Astro’s collection of top library hits will be made available on the streaming platform including the much-anticipated title, Biar Mereka Cemburu. Featuring an all-star cast of Aiman Hakim Ridza, Nabilah Razali, and many more, it tells a will-they-won’t-they love story. 

The title was released on Dec 1, 2020, and each episode is made available on iQIYI just an hour after the show airs on Astro Ria.

Dinesh Ratnam, iQIYI International’s country manager for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei said, “We aim to be the destination for users who are looking for good quality content, both local and from around the region. In that regard, we will continue to strive in offering more local content to our Malaysian users on top of the already strong collection of Korean and Chinese titles we possess. We started offering local content to our users in July, and the receptivity was overwhelming.”

He added, “Astro has an amazing selection of local content and a good track record of producing great local hits that appeal to a wide range of viewers. To that end, we look forward to adding more high quality, premium content from Astro through the extension of our partnership. There is definitely more to come here.”

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Platforms Featured Global

Netflix launches new content category “One Story Away”

United States – Movie streaming app Netflix has launched on September 10 its global campaign “One Story Away” and with it, adds a categorization feature on the app which classifies movies and documentaries according to the experiences and memories they inspire into viewers.

For example, Bill Gates’ three-episode documentary, Michelle Obama’s memoir-based program, and Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance are all grouped into the collection “One Story Away From Meeting Your Heroes.” And there are a whole other “One Story Away” collections on the app. 

The collections, since yesterday, have been available for browsing, in tandem with the release of the campaign at large, according to a blog post by Vice President for Brand Eric Pallotta

Under one “One Story Away” collection, users can now easily find content that makes them feel like a teen again. Another grouping has gathered movies and shows that stimulate in viewers the value of standing up for something, while comic type and mellow genre movies have also been rounded up for each of its special “One Story Away” collection. 

The inception of the campaign is mainly attributed to the platform’s celebration of the power of storytelling.

“The TV shows and films we watch bring out all sorts of different emotions, give us perspectives we’ve never seen before and even make us feel closer to each other,” wrote Pallota.

He shared that it was a couple of years ago when he heard the phrase “we’re only one story away” from a colleague in a hallway, where the thought has stuck with him ever since, knowing that it would resurface one day into something valuable.

“These words perfectly encapsulate the passion for storytelling that lies at the heart of what Netflix – and the creators we work with all over the world – are trying to bring to our members,” Pallota said. 

Netflix has released a short video ad on its YouTube channel, the first in the campaign, where throughout the video shows the proverbial moving line or streaming indicator that appears at the bottom of every movie watched, simultaneously progressing from start to finish as the ad plays along.

A consistent voice-over of the phrase “Maybe you don’t know what it’s like…” is played, enumerating different examples of unlived experiences, where at the end, is capped off with the campaign’s message, “but that’s exactly what makes a story worth watching.”

Pallota said, “People have very different tastes and moods. But no matter who you are or where you are, we’re all only one story away from seeing, feeling, and connecting more.”