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Main Feature Marketing APAC

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.

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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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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top Five Stories For October

For this month of October, two of our top stories emanate from the gaming industry: a recently launched eSports platform by an all-Filipino team of developers and a recently announced team expansion in APAC of a streaming service for gamers. 

Marketing strategies were also in this month’s spotlight. With influencers continuing to share space with big-time brand endorsers in consumers’ attention, a forecast on influencer marketing trends is one of the stories that led readership. While another one – a marketing agency’s intricate review of Malaysian cinema brands’ engagement on Facebook also hooked readers the most. 

Marketing leaders also continue to inspire. The #MARKETECHMondays episode of ShopBack Philippines’ Country Head Prashant Kala, which was filled with meaningful advice on leadership and success also made it to the list.

Based on Google Analytics from September 16 to October 15, here are the top stories for the month.

Top 5: ShopBack Philippines’ Prashant Kala on #MARKETECHMondays

Every Monday, we take out an inspiring marketing leader and talk to them about the journey they’ve had prior to their current position. This month, our episode with ShopBack Philippines’ Prashan Kala got your interest the most. 

Kala is currently the country head of the said discounts and rewards platform, beginning in 2018, and before that, he was the vice president for sales of restaurant aggregator Zomato for three years in the Philippines. In the #MARKETECHMondays episode, he recollected his leadership experience and shared some very insightful advice on team management.

“You should not be a captain, you should be a coach. Don’t direct. A captain will tell what to do, but a coach will tell how to do it, and even if something goes wrong, a coach will fix it.”

Top 4: Influencer marketing trends in 2020 and beyond by INCA

In an article by influencer marketing solutions INCA, its APAC Client Development Executive Madeleine Mak shared the top ten trends that brands and marketers alike must be on the lookout for in 2020 and beyond. 

One particular trend that was forecasted is the showcase of audio-based content among influencers. It’s normal to see micro- and nano-influencers now serving the most appealing visuals, and making their way to engaging videos; but INCA says audio content, especially podcasts, might just be the next big thing. 

Further, Mak said, the potential popularity of such format comes from audio’s ability to hold listeners’ attention for extended periods, thus, allowing native ads to be easily integrated.

In an additional comment, Mak dove deeper into what might be in store for marketers: “We are seeing brands and audio platforms partnering with relevant influencers to voice audio ads and create branded podcasts. For instance, Spotify signed exclusive podcast deals with leading social media influencers like Addison Rae and Joe Rogan. The media giant also introduced the Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) format that provides data on impressions, ad reach, and anonymized listener demographics to marketers. With data, brands can create targeted audio content that resonates with the growing number of young podcast audiences.”

Top 3: The three biggest Malaysian cinema brands on the Facebook engagement race

In a recent marketing insight endeavor, Malaysian digital marketing agency Webqlo found a convergence between two entities: Facebook and cinema brands.

With the help of its social media analytics platform Adqlo, the agency unearthed how the three biggest big-screen firms in Malaysia – Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), TGV Cinemas, and MBO Cinemas – fare in Facebook engagement stats.

With people still carrying fears of visiting cinemas amid the virus, we reached out to Webqlo’s Head of Digital Cherrie Koay to tell us what can these firms do to their social media strategies to encourage footfall.

She spoke of 3 C’s: Community, Cleanliness, and Creativity.

“Community refers to the people who follow your brand, and also your customers. Get to know these people, talk to them, try to build a meaningful relationship with them rather than trying to sell them products, or push them promotions,” she said.

With cleanliness on the other hand, “Cleanliness is the most priority. We need to show people the efforts, and the measures to keep each other safe.”

Cherrie emphasizes that creativity, being the most “fun” part, is brands’ window to try new things and stretch their creative muscles.

“So go out there, try other things that work nowadays. Most of us are online, and with a lot of people now working from home, and staying indoors, social media has been the number one source for updates, news, and entertainment. So that’s actually a lot of things [you] can try and explore. So try to see the latest things that are trending, what your audience likes, and what they [don’t].”

Top 2: eSports platform Kalaro by Filipino-led The-Asiagroup.com Inc.

Almost making it as the topmost read story is the launch of eSports platform Kalaro, which had its roll-out in October in the Philippines, by an all Filipino team from software development firm The-Asiagroup.com Inc.

Kalaro, which means playmate in the country’s language, is an end-to-end platform that runs tournament management, one-on-one challenges, and team competitions as well as coaching, piloting, and buy-ins.

Such a well-placed time for the company’s launch with eSports becoming all the rage, but with other gaming platforms in the market, what does make Kalaro different from the others?

CEO Basilio “Jun” Lasco sheds light, “The main problem of this industry is that the applications or software, or technology available are usually quite old, and they’re not integrated, and they are mainly designed for the Western market. So that is where Kalaro will come in.”

“Kalaro is designed specifically for the Asian market. At the heart of it is a tournament management platform, wherein a team or even individuals can organize a friendly match or a nationwide tournament.”

Top 1: Amazon’s streaming service Twitch further expands APAC team

And for our top story comes news from Amazon’s streaming service Twitch. Between the period of August to October, Twitch has announced a number of key appointments, roping in industry veterans to lead its team in APAC. In August, it just named a new marketing chief, and then just very recently – two valuable leads: Sunil Yadav as Agency Development Lead, and Mandar Kambli as Programmatic Enablement Lead, both of which previously an international head at Dentsu. 

With Yadav and Kambli in the middle of settling in their roles, we wanted to know what are some of their priorities as they head on to manage twitch’s agency partnership and programmatic arrangement. 

Yadav shared that first and foremost, he wants to let brands and agencies know more about Twitch’s platform.

“Twitch has recently started building teams in the APAC region. Twitch is quite different from any other streaming or video service, delivering highly engaged connections with consumers for brands,” he said.

“Not many agencies and brands are familiar with all its possibilities at the moment. In this role, I will focus a lot more on driving education about it, as well as work towards building joint initiatives with all our key Agency partners.” 

For Twitch’s programmatic activity on other hand, Mandar said that amid the huge potential and increasing demand of programmatic in APAC, his objective is to ensure that Twitch integrates well with clients to deliver best in class results and build long term partnerships.

“Twitch is interactive, live, engaging and that’s what makes it so unique. Traditionally programmatic has been looked at as a performance channel, but that needs to be challenged. It’s the most efficient, data-driven way of buying media across the consumer funnel, including branding and awareness.”

“At Twitch we not only provide an immersive experience for brands to engage with users but also focus heavily on user experience. This elevates the brand value to a completely new level as users are a lot more receptive and engaged.”

Watch the MARKETECH APAC REPORTS of these top five stories, with exclusive appearance and commentary from the newsmakers themselves.

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Platforms Featured APAC

Amazon’s Twitch expands APAC team with new senior hires

Singapore – Amazon’s live streaming service Twitch has announced that it has appointed two former Dentsu International heads Mandar Kambli and Sunil Yadav to be its newest leads for the APAC team. Kambli will join as Programmatic Enablement Lead, while Yadav will be assuming the role of Agency Development Lead.

In August, Twitch named a new marketing head for APAC, and the latest hires come as it continues to grow its team in Singapore and across the whole region.

Kambli comes to Twitch with 14 years of industry experience with agencies, ad tech, and publishers. He was with Dentsu from 2015-2019 where he led programmatic product, supply, and data initiatives across the region. He was most recently the head of advertising platforms for product listing app Carousell.

Meanwhile, Yadav brings with him 20 years of expertise across advertising, media planning, and digital communications. He was previously president of APAC at Dentsu’s media innovation and investment arm Amplifi where he managed media buying and media partnership. Notably, he built its programmatic agency Amnet, across 14 markets, and launched its content agency TheStoryLab in APAC. Prior to Dentsu, he worked with media agencies Mindshare and Starcom, and TV company Mediacom.

At Twitch, Kambli will be responsible for developing and supporting Twitch revenue growth across multiple regions and sharing his expertise on programmatic. With it, he will be helping enhance Twitch’s work with its customers and manage a number of key relationships. Yadav’s role, on the other hand, will charge him with the task of leading all agency partnership negotiations and relationships. He will help build upon Twitch’s success in other regions to help APAC brands and their media agency partners develop deeper relationships with the brand.

“Our pace hasn’t slowed since our last key hires in APAC, and we’re excited to bring key team members in Mandar and Sunil aboard,” said Steve Ford, vice president of Twitch for sales in APAC.

“As new users in APAC and across the world are continuing to come to Twitch, they’re finding their community and forming lasting bonds with creators. Our continued expansion will make for a better experience for these new users, as well as the brands that excite them. We’re planning even more big hires across APAC in 2020 and beyond, and look forward to taking exciting new steps in a number of markets here,” added Ford.

On the new role, Kambli said, “I’m excited to join Twitch during this period of unprecedented activity and growth in APAC. Twitch is multiplayer entertainment – it’s unique, interactive, live, and such an exciting place to be, whether you are a viewer, creator, advertiser, agency, partner, or anyone in between. And our goal is to work hand-in-hand with everyone to make the most of it.”

Meanwhile, Yadav commented, “On Twitch, everyone comes together to celebrate, learn, and grow their interests and passions, and I’m looking forward to helping agencies to learn about how to best work on Twitch to do new and exciting things. Gaming and live streaming are two areas where APAC’s audience and its passion are unparalleled, and we are just scratching the surface of the exciting new things that are possible for brands on Twitch’s platform.”

Twitch has also announced the start of its first salespeople based in Taiwan, providing a physical presence to support early inroads that Twitch has made with partners and organizations in the country. The new hires in Taiwan join the existing content and marketing teams in its office location.


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Platforms Featured Global

Amazon music partners with Twitch, now makes available live streaming on app

Singapore – Amazon Music and live streaming service Twitch have partnered to announce that Twitch’s live streaming functionality will now be integrated into the Amazon Music app, enabling users to move seamlessly between live streams and recorded music. 

Available since Wednesday on iOS and Android, artists worldwide will now be able to connect live with Amazon Music’s customers across all streaming tiers. 

With this incorporation come new features to navigate the live stream function, such as push notifications from artists users follow when they go live on Twitch. On the artists’ side, they will be able to easily link their Twitch channel to Amazon Music via the newly-launched Amazon Music for Artists app.

The companies revealed in the press statement that the COVID situation has been a big determinant in the platforms’ collaboration when during this time, in-person events have been largely limited. 

Amazon Music Director Ryan Redington said, “We’re providing artists with more tools to instantly engage with fans, and this new feature couldn’t arrive at a more crucial time in the industry.” 

Tracy Chan, VP, Head of Music at Twitch added, “Especially now in a time when traditional venues are closed and tours have been canceled, musicians are looking for new ways to continue creating, [connecting] with fans, and [building] community.”

A number of artists have already jumped in on the new feature, and starting this week, fans can now view artists’ shows live on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel.

Among others, The Killers’ Brandon Flowers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. will join Amazon Music on 4 September at 1 pm Eastern Time to answer fan questions about their latest album, Imploding the Mirage.

Soul singer and storyteller Nicole Atkins will also be hosting on the platform a variety series slated every Wednesday at 7 pm ET, with performances and interviews with friends and artists including Elle King, Cut Worms, and Whitney.

 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Amazon’s Twitch names Sandeep Suvarna as new APAC marketing head

Singapore – Twitch, Amazon’s live video streaming service has appointed its newest marketing head for the APAC region, Sandeep Suvarna

The appointment comes in the middle of the streaming service’s rapid expansion in the region. It is expected to form a critical part of a wave of new hires in Singapore, to grow the local Twitch community and further improve the service for its content creators, media partners, and publishers.

For his new role, Suvarna will be charged with overseeing Twitch’s marketing strategies for APAC audiences. 

“Twitch is redefining the way we think about entertainment, and provides a point of connection for millennials and members of Generation Z who visit the service to socialize with communities of like-minded individuals and creators,” said Suvarna.

This is not the first time that Suvarna will be spearheading a digital streaming service. Prior to joining Twitch, he most recently launched Fox network’s FOX+ in APAC. 

His credentials boast of over 15 years of marketing experience, working across prominent brands such as LinkedIn and Yahoo. 

“Sandeep’s expertise in marketing comes at a crucial juncture as Twitch expands its operations in the Asia Pacific,“ said Sunita Kaur, APAC Senior Vice President of Twitch.

“With Sandeep on board, we look forward to broadening our services, and showcasing both our gaming and growing non-gaming content, to a greater number of users across the region,” added Kaur.