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Where Programmatic Is Gaining Ground in Asia-Pacific

October 6, 2017 | Marketing Technology | Media Buying


Jason Barnes
Vice President, Asia-Pacific
PubMatic

In Asia-Pacific, programmatic is still in its early innings in several emerging markets, but more mature markets are beginning to mirror the US’ and Western Europe’s adoption rates. eMarketer’s David Green spoke with Jason Barnes, vice president for Asia-Pacific at ad tech firm PubMatic, about why programmatic is taking off in some markets, but not others, and what the future holds for ad buying automation in the region.

eMarketer: What are some trends in programmatic adoption across the Asia-Pacific region?

Jason Barnes: Australia and New Zealand are the most advanced markets with the the highest adoptions rates of programmatic, which are at around 50%, as well as the highest adoption of PMPs [private marketplaces] relative to the percentage of overall programmatic. We see way more PMP—and higher prices paid as a result—in Australia and New Zealand than any other market in the region. That’s a mark of maturity. Brand advertisers are more than happy to pay up to $10 for a PMP because they’ve got good data, they understand the audience and it’s is a medium that they’re comfortable with.

eMarketer: Are programmatic trends substantially different in Southeast Asia?

Barnes: Publishers in Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are usually from traditional media backgrounds and tend to think a lot more about the adoption of new technologies. Google is the sole monetization partner for a lot of the publishers that I speak to. They use DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchange and are quite happy with that, which is unusual.

A lot of what we try to do is educate the market about the opportunity outside of the walled garden, and what things like header bidding offer. A lot of publishers don’t have the ad tech people, skills or ad operations, so Google is a very easy solution.

“A lot of what we try to do is educate the market about the opportunity outside of the walled garden, and what things like header bidding offer.”

eMarketer: How quickly is the programmatic space growing in India?

Barnes: It has almost quadrupled in the last year for us, but there is not a huge amount of consistent data that comes out of India. However, the great thing about working there is that they don’t have high risk aversion. For example, every single publisher we have in India is now header bidding. We’ve had one or two successful rollouts with the Times of India, and word got around. Now with every new publisher we bring on, we only talk about a wraparound header solution based on their sites.

eMarketer: How does that compare with the adoption rate of header bidding in Southeast Asia?

Barnes: A third to a quarter of the publishers in Southeast Asia have our header bidding enabled today, but that’s rapidly changing. If you ask me next quarter, it will be a much higher number.

eMarketer: What about Japan? What stands out there?

Barnes: Ususally it’s the demand side that has led to the adoption of programmatic. The large advertising holding companies go into markets and start forcing the publishers to go programmatic.

In Japan, 90% of the market belongs to Dentsu and Hakuhodo, and they haven’t had the impetus to adopt. The buy side has actually inhibited the adoption of programmatic in Japan, which is usually quite an early adopter of technology. But that is changing very fast—we just signed Nikkei, and they’re getting into programmatic. The way that Yahoo Japan adopts programmatic will also influence the market going forward.

eMarketer: PubMatic CEO Rajeev Goel recently said that brand advertising spending was overtaking direct response spending in programmatic. Is that true of the markets you cover?

Barnes: We are absolutely seeing that happen in Asia-Pacific. The next wave of growth in programmatic is going to be driven by brand dollars. I’ve talked to a number of the regional trading heads here in Singapore, and they are actively looking at ways to move their insertion-order-based business to programmatic. The mechanism they usually want to use is PMP and PMP guaranteed. It’s just for efficiency purposes.

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