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What is driving the future of digital video advertising in SE Asia?

The recently launched IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) Southeast Asia Video Committee has been established to proactively help shape, monitor and drive the development of online video advertising both locally within Singapore, and across the wider Southeast Asia region. Chaired by Suzie Porter of TubeMogul, the Committee aims to provide a forum to accelerate the growth and development of video offerings for all parties. It looks to aid the development of successful content to furthering the understanding of real-time bidding and programmatic deals at all points and across devices.

Drawing on the experience of the Committee members from a range of prominent market players, including Adap.tv, Videology, TubeMogul, TVN, VML Qais and Google, what follows is some insight into the local video market as it currently stands. And what should be done over the next 12 months to ensure the success of digital video in the region.

Phu Truong, TubeMogul

Phu Truong, TubeMogul

What is the purpose of the IAB Video Committee?
If video were a person going through a life stage, I would say that video is entering its adolescence period – unheard of growth spurts, a little bit of insecurity, but showing huge potential to become an extraordinary adult. Make no bones about it – digital video is the brightest hope to shift ad revenues from TV to digital. As such, it needs special care, attention and best practices that will define it as an adult – that is the mission of the IAB Video Committee.
Phu Truong, TubeMogul

What are some of the video market trends we will see in SG and SEA in the next 12 months?
We’re seeing two big trends in 2014; the leading global advertisers who have been using online video to add reach to their TV campaigns for many years are starting to focus on engagement levels and creating, and optimising made for web content. Unilever’s work with ‘Clear for Men’ in Singapore is a great example of this. Advertisers are starting to value opt-in views rather than impressions and measuring the engagement levels and impact using video analytics. At the other end of the spectrum, many domestic-focussed brands that had not embraced online video are now finally testing as they are aware that they need to follow Singaporean media consumption.
Gerald Breatnach, Google

Giles Henderson, VML Qais

Giles Henderson, VML Qais

What is currently the biggest challenge facing agencies, trading desks and brands in the Singapore/SEA video ad market?
One of the biggest challenges for advertisers in general – whether it’s agencies, trading desks or brands – is to find a reliable platform on which to advertise. Lack of data and good technology has hindered the progress of the video ad market in the past, with only YouTube providing the levels of information required. It is vital that agencies (along with their partners such as networks/DSPs) provide concise data to clients in order to help further the understanding of what can be achieved on video.
Giles Henderson, VML Qais

Madhumita Sarkar, Google

Madhumita Sarkar, Google

Why did you want to be part of the IAB Video Committee?
The video landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace. The traditional remote controls are disappearing, we are all becoming multi screen, apps are replacing TV channels and internet TVs are replacing linear TVs. Online video programmatic, in this context, is becoming increasingly important as they offer a canvas for marketers to create highly engaged audiences with rich, interactive brand experiences by combining the power of sight, sound and motion with big data. However, the wider market still needs a lot of education and I strongly believe that the IAB Video Committee and its members can help us drumbeat about programmatic.
Madhumita Sarkar, Google

Kevin Smyth, TVN

Kevin Smyth, TVN

How do you envisage the video market changing in SG and SEA over the next 12 months?
2013 was the year of exploring and testing for advertisers in the programmatic world; a year of educating clients that programmatic doesn’t just mean cheap and remnant inventory. 2014 has evolved to advanced conversations focused around private marketplaces, fixed CPM deals, and the facilitation of invite-only trading. Over the next 12 months we will see publishers continuously increasing their participation in this environment, and allowing their inventory to be accessed in this way. Once publishers can understand that programmatic doesn’t actually devalue their inventory, we’ll see a huge shift in the market. The exciting part is we’re at the beginning of that shift.
Kevin Smyth, TVN

What is currently the biggest challenge for publishers in the Singapore and SEA video advertising market?
The challenge for local publishers is how they can grow enough scale in their video offering whilst keeping the cost of their production down, and CPMs high whilst competing against the flood of impressions from lower tier, and potentially fraudulent, overseas traffic. There are plenty of reputable global syndicators of content, albeit that only a handful appears to have a strong presence in Singapore and SEA. Whilst it is encouraging to see the local and regional production houses take up the mantle, the scale available through local publishers remains well short of the requirements to fully service the reach demanded by advertisers.
Michael D’Ambrosio, Videology

Yogesh Foflia, TubeMogul

Yogesh Foflia, TubeMogul

How do you envisage the video market changing in SG and across the SEA over the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months, we will see more online video buying happen through DSPs. As advertisers become savvier to the opportunities available for programmatic branding they will also understand that programmatic is the only way to reach audiences at scale. Currently, less than 35 per cent of all online video is delivered programmatically, but this number is likely to exceed 40-45 per cent by end of year, and in 12 months we’ll see everyone buying programmatically with some pockets of money reserved for direct buying with publishers.
Yogesh Foflia, TubeMogul

Tom Weaving, Adap.tv

Tom Weaving, Adap.tv

What do you see as the biggest opportunity in video advertising in the next 12 months?
The biggest up and coming opportunity in this market is audience based programmatic buying of video that is both brand safe and viewable – according to the IAB standards established in July 2014 – thus ensuring as close to zero wastage as possible, enabling a greater level of conversion of traditional TV to online. The regional markets are currently very fragmented so I’m expecting to see the consolidation in the shape of buyers using platforms instead of multiple third party relationships. This will take shape as the industry looks to simplify, streamline and adopt sequential buying.
Tom Weaving, Adap.tv

Suzie Porter, TubeMogul

Suzie Porter, TubeMogul

What can be expected from the IAB Video Committee in the next 12 months?
The IAB Video Committee presents the perfect platform to help shape and develop the digital video advertising market, both in Singapore and the wider SEA region. Each member of the committee brings with them unique industry experience, and it’s this blend of knowledge and understanding that will enable this group to help maximise the growth of video advertising in the region, whilst also ensuring that developments made now will lay strong groundwork to ensure the longevity and success of the market across SEA. There is huge potential to grow considerably in the next 12 months and by working closely with IAB teams globally as well as some of the region’s key players in the market we will be able to ensure that this growth is not only successful but also maintainable and scalable. We will also be championing issues such as viewabilty and brand safety, and helping drive education on issues surrounding invalid and fraudulent traffic to address fears and misinformation in the space.
Suzie Porter, TubeMogul

Miranda Dimopoulos

The author, Miranda Dimopoulos, has been working in advertising globally and locally for a decade. As a strategic Digital Account Director she has helped deliver campaigns from strategy to deployment for global and local clients with a focus on social, mobile, content and emerging platform optimisation. All things digital are her passion, and as Executive Director of the IAB (SEA) Singapore Chapter, she ensures the IAB represents a regional industry composed of market-leading companies, offering expertise to deliver the vision of an interactive industry that will contribute to 20 per cent of all marketing expenditure by 2020.
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