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What Challenges Must Be Overcome To Enter The China Ad Tech Space?

China AdviceAs programmatic buying continues to grow internationally, one region is catching companies' eyes: Asia Pacific. But online advertising technology in countries like China is a completely different beast than what many Western ad tech companies are used to.

Many players in the ad tech space in China, including the major publishers, are international companies looking to move into the region. They must learn the market, understand its nuances and connect with local partners.

We reached out to several industry executives in China with the following question:

How can US- or foreign-based ad tech companies make their way into the Asia-Pacific or China market? What challenges must they overcome and what advice do you have?

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Sara Ye Moves To CEO Position At iProspect And Amnet China

Sara Ye QA ImageAegis Media China started off 2014 with a major management change, hiring Sara Ye as CEO of its iProspect and Amnet China brands. Based in Beijing, Ye started the role in January and will work to build up the team and solidify the companies' product offerings in China.

Aegis started Amnet China in 2013 and iProspect launched in China in 2012. As a part of Aegis Media and Dentsu Inc., the latter of which was founded in Japan and is one of the region's largest agency holding companies, iProspect and Amnet China will benefit from the parent company's experience and expertise in the APAC region.

Ye was most recently the China President for IPG's Mediabrands Audience Platform, and also previously worked at GroupM and Google.

"As CEO for iProspect and Amnet here in China, I basically manage all aspects of the two brands, including client relationship management, team building, product development, business growth and all the P&Ls," Ye told AdExchanger. "With all the best practices, learnings and sharing we can do with our sister companies in the States and Europe, we can extend our product offerings to a much wider range, from ecommerce to vertical search, social and more."

Ye spoke to AdExchanger about her new position, the goals for the two companies, and the challenges facing trading desks and others in the programmatic buying industry in China.

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Mobile DSP Madhouse Builds Momentum In China And India

Joshua Maa QA ImageMobile programmatic in China is having a turn in the spotlight, and mobile DSP Madhouse says it's ready for the challenge.

Founded in 2006, the company started around the same time US mobile networks AdMob and Millennial Media came on the scene, said CEO Joshua Maa.

"We all shared the same vision," Maa said of the other companies working in the early mobile Internet days. "We at Madhouse had the vision to build something that started as a mobile ad network and is now a mobile DSP."

Madhouse has headquarters in  Shanghai and offices in Beijing and Guangzhou, and it expanded to India in 2012. The team includes about 200 employees in China and 30 in India. AdExchanger spoke to Maa about working in both China and India, the growth and challenges of mobile advertising in China and his goals for the company.

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How Is The China Luxury Market's Slowdown Affecting Digital Ads?

China LuxuryProgrammatic buying is becoming increasingly important to the China advertising industry. But in recent weeks, executives, including Publicis' Maurice Levy, have shared how a dip in the luxury market in China has affected their business.

We reached out to several industry executives in China with the following question:

How is the slowdown in the China luxury market affecting the nascent market for programmatic media? And what has been the broader impact on advertising?

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Mobile Key To Future Of Programmatic In Emerging Markets

Dippak PhotoIn emerging markets worldwide, where mobile-first internet users are more common, mobile programmatic has become an interesting space for ad tech companies and advertisers alike. Vserv, a mobile ad exchange working exclusively in emerging markets, launched its mobile RTB platform in December 2013.

Dippak Khurana, the co-founder and CEO of Vserv, has been working in online advertising in India since 1996 and the mobile space since 2000, having worked at Yahoo India prior to starting Vserv in 2010.

"In 2010 the mobile internet adoption in these markets was still very low, but the app economy and app ecosystem had just about started to kick in," he told AdExchanger. "We rolled out our [app monetization platform] AppWrapper product, which resonated well with global app developers. And that allowed us to lay a very strong foundation across these markets."

Khurana spoke to AdExchanger about why Vserv decided to focus on emerging markets, the challenges it faces as a mobile ad exchange and the future he sees in mobile programmatic in these markets.

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RTB House Leverages European Ecommerce Growth To Expand Programmatic

RTB House ImageAs ecommerce takes off globally, retargeting technology and demand-side platform (DSP) provider RTB House, which works with brands in 29 markets, is educating international advertisers about programmatic buying and RTB.

Programmatic buying and RTB in Europe has benefitted from the increase in ecommerce and the growth of the international fashion industry. RTB House started in 2012 in Warsaw, Poland, has most recently expanded into the UK and Ireland, where its new sales director, Robert Geruszczak, is working to expand the team and partner network.

"The UK is the main market for RTB in Europe," Geruszczak said, adding RTB House hopes to open an office soon in London, with a team of technologists, project managers and customer support. He also singled out Ireland as a particularly promising growth area. "Everybody forgot about Ireland, but there are a lot of companies that have offices there who operate from the US."

Brands in Russia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and even Azerbaijan also are working with RTB House on campaigns.

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China's Yoyi Media Plans DMP Launch And Mobile Push In 2014

Yoyi ImageYoyi Media, one of the major DSPs in China, will launch a data management platform called Data Bank for clients in early 2014, according to CEO Roy Zhou.

"If you want a good result, regardless if you're a direct response client or a branding client, you need to have very good data," Zhou told AdExchanger. "You need to have insights on that data. It can help advertisers reach the right audience, and correctly measure consumers' behavior after they see the ad or click the ad."

But data is just one issue the company is tackling in 2014. AdExchanger spoke to Zhou about Yoyi's plans for growth in the mobile space, the growth of the company since its launch, and how it provides many services as a DSP in China.

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The Mobile Challenge: Targeting China’s Smartphone Users

ChinaAlthough China’s mobile users represent the world’s largest smartphone market (research firm IDC predicts China’s smartphone shipments will exceed 450 million in 2014), numerous challenges constrain non-Asian advertisers’ ability to get a foothold.

Still, there’s recourse for advertisers looking to break into the Chinese market, largely in the form of partnerships.

Chinese mobile advertising is alluring primarily because of the country’s large and engaged user base. While Chinese smartphone owners spent an average of 109 minutes (or 60.6% of their time on their device) consuming media, according to a 2013 study done by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), those consumers are reluctant to pay for apps and quickly abandon apps for new ones. This complicates monetization efforts.

The fragmentation of app stores in China is another challenge, according to Jud Bowman, founder and CEO of Appia, a firm that helps clients drive mobile app downloads. “It’s not mandatory to have an app store installed on a mobile device in China and there are over 200 third-party app stores, so it’s very hard to get your app noticed,” Bowman said.

China is “an interesting market for advertisers but it is also one of the most challenging,” added Steve Bagdasarian, VP of business development and traffic strategy at mobile app marketing platform Fiksu.

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AdChina's Yan Discusses Shifts In China's Programmatic Market

QA Alan YanA growing number of ad exchanges, trading desks, DSPs and agencies are emerging to occupy the Chinese programmatic market.

AdChina, an advertising-technology company for both the supply and demand side, has been around since 2007 and its CEO, Alan Yan, has seen how the Chinese marketplace has evolved in recent years.

"Our original goal, when we started AdChina in 2007, wasn't just about advertising," Yan told AdExchanger. "The goal was to build up technologies and platforms to bring together sellers and buyers of digital advertising and help them to better and more efficiently and effectively transact online advertising."

AdExchanger spoke to Yan about the continued growth of programmatic buying in China, what AdChina has been doing to set itself apart and the competition between companies working in the space. (more…)


Local Inventory Outperforms Global In APAC Region

Brandscreen DataAs the programmatic and real-time bidding (RTB) market in the Asia-Pacific region heats up, local inventory is starting to prove its worth and attract interest from advertisers.

Demand-side platform (DSP) Brandscreen released its second Real Time Media Insights Report Monday, highlighting the battle between global and local inventories.

"The trends that continued from the previous report were around the migration of the supply sources," Brandscreen CEO Stuart Spiteri told AdExchanger. "We have talked about a rebalancing of the global inventory to be equally balanced between Google, AppNexus and Rubicon, mainly. But with the progress we've made in mainland China, for example, we see how the local exchanges are performing as related to the global exchanges that we also have supply from inside China."

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