Launching Growjek – ASEAN Tech, Digital, Startup & VC Newsletter

A quick note to readers of this site, I’ve started a biweekly email newsletter called Growjek.

Link to the latest issue here.

Sign up if you’re interested in a digest of ASEAN (with an Indonesia focus) tech, digital, startups, VC, internet, fintech, gaming, ecommerce, adtech and lots of other stuff related to the ‘new economy’ every other Friday.

There are already 124 other people on the list, so you’re in good company.

The Growjek thesis is this:

  1. ASEAN is the biggest and most exciting multi-decade growth and investment opportunity in the world right now — driven by ‘new economy’ tech
  2. Indonesia is — by size alone — the natural centre of gravity for ASEAN (sorry Singapore, but you have a crucial role to play as THE open-source regional aggregator platform!)
  3. ‘New economy’ investment and innovation flows first into ASEAN, and by extension Indonesia, but increasingly in the years (and decades) ahead out of Indonesia and across ASEAN

The Growjek newsletter will be more VC and investment focused than Digital in Asia, which covers a broader region, and a wider range of topics.

Enjoy!

Brand Safety and Influencer Marketing Overview

Influencer marketing is already a huge marketing channel, but it’s estimated that fraud eats up 15% of influencer ad spend. Costing the industry USD $1.3 billion annually, over 684 million fake accounts have been removed from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedln since 2014.

In APAC, there are approximately 58 million fake users with India and Indonesia making up the largest pieces of the pie. Up from 30% in 2019, 34% of marketers now perceive brand safety as an on-going influencer marketing concern.

This report from INCA looks at brand safety challenges and consumer data in influencer marketing.

The Game-Streaming Market in China

China’s streaming ecosystem is a far cry from what’s going on in the West, in terms of content, monetization, and how the audience interacts with the content.

While platforms such as Twitch and YouTube generate the majority of their revenues through subscriptions, China’s biggest platforms, including YY Live, Huya, and Douyu, predominantly make money from user donations to streamers.

China is a mobile-first country and this is reflected in its game-streaming market. The collective nature of traditional Chinese culture also means that its viewers engage with content differently to Western viewers. Interactions between viewers and the streamers are far more prominent in China, thanks to innovative platform features such as bullet chats.

Chinese streaming platforms are also generally less toxic toward women, as gender balance is very important in Chinese culture. In fact, there is less toxicity all round, as gaming and streaming are considered social activities in China

This report from NewZoo looks at the game-streaming market in China in detail.

The State Of Influencer Marketing IN APAC

The influencer marketing space has heated up over the past few years, across Asia Pacific with platforms and resources readily available to both marketers and influencers.

Driven by strong market advancement, digitalization and capable industry players, influencer marketing has gone from strength to strength in Asia, and has become a part of most marketer’s arsenals today.

This new influencer marketing report from CastingAsia leverages data points from over 170,000 influencers and over 1,300 influencer marketing campaigns conducted across Asia over the past year.

How to Reach Asian Consumers During Ramadan

There are 240 million Muslims in Southeast Asia and 600 million Muslims in South Asia, representing a $2.2 trillion dollar market, and with Ramadan just around the corner, brands are racing to stand out in the busiest season of the year.

Digital platform ADA have put together some useful research covering how marketers can reach consumers during this period.

Ramadan Digital Trends 2020 [PDF]

A few key Ramadan trends for marketers in Southeast Asia and South Asia:

  • Travel to hometowns is common – but travel patterns may differ by country.
  • Visits to mosques, prayer rooms and cemeteries shift.
  • The usage of religious apps fluctuates.
  • Muslims start eating out less.
  • Last minute buying of big-ticket items.
  • Muslims are searching for different content at different times

 

Vietnam Ecommerce Rankings

The Map of E-Commerce from iPrice ranks Vietnam‘s top 50 e-commerce players based on their average quarterly traffic, mobile application ranking, social media followers and number of staff.

Vietnam top 10 Ecommerce

Untitled 2

iPrice have just released their Q4 2019 Ecommerce Report in Vietnamese.

You can find the live report in English here.

Myanmar Digital Landscape 2020

Digital marketing in Myanmar has grown and changed at a startling rate in 2019, and this is set to continue in to 2020.

With the fastest mobile data speeds in APAC behind Singapore and 90% smartphone penetration, mobile marketing is fast becoming the priority for all advertisers.

Local marketing tech platform Humology have produced a trends deck covering digital.

Programmatic, mobile, video, native and digital advertising are all highlighted as growth areas.

The Future of Digital Identity

Digital identity in the future looks very different to how we understand it right now. And that change will be driven not by privacy regulations, or the death of the cookie, but by the rise of the Internet of Things (IOT).

The idea of one or two personal devices giving us access to individual consumers will disappear, to be replaced with a range of potential devices – from mobile to voice-activated speakers to connected TV to fridges.

Across those devices a range of different digital identities will exist – some individual (like now), some family/household, some work/B2B, and some more generic.

The big idea that’s dominated the internet era so far, that digital marketing is all about one-to-one addressability and tracking, will be exploded and replaced with a spectrum of targeting and measurement options across different identities, devices and channels.

It’s a paradigm shift – and it’s why the idea the cookie is crumbling as the web shuts down consumer tracking, isn’t actually that big a deal. The medium-to-long term view of how we deliver and measure marketing in an increasingly automated and digital world looks very different, whatever happens to cookie based targeting right now.

India and Singapore among the highest consumers of online video globally

Binge-watching of online video is on the rise amongst Singaporeans, who spend on average two hours, 35 minutes watching videos in each sitting according to the State of Online Video 2019 report.

In addition to time spent, Singaporeans are also consuming more online video services. The report revealed that a majority 64 per cent of Singaporeans subscribe to at least one streaming service, and nearly three in four Singaporeans (72 per cent) now use dedicated streaming devices such as Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV.

Globally, people who watch online video spend an average of six hours, 48 minutes per week watching various types of content. Average viewing time is has grown 59 percent since 2016.

Figure 1: How many total hours of video content do you watch online each week (by year)?

Viewers in the US watch the most online video each week at an average of eight hours, 33 minutes, followed closely by viewers in India. Singapore sees the third highest volume of online video viewing.

Figure 2: How many total hours of video content do you watch online each week (by country)?

Latency, or delays in streaming, remains a critical point of frustration for viewers. The report found that more than half of Singaporeans are more likely to watch live sports online if the stream was not delayed from the broadcast. This is because traditional streams are generally delayed by 30 seconds or more from the broadcast feed, and with the rise in social media usage, every second of delay can potentially ruin the game when online viewers learn about big plays from social media before seeing the action online.

From Linear TV to OTT and Connected TV Advertising in Asia

 

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Moritz Wuttke, SVP Commercial, TV Solutions, IPONWEB

Global ad tech company IPONWEB (the super smart guys who built most of the programmatic infrastructure the industry relies on today) has set up a TV Solutions division to capitalise on the opportunities in the rapidly-growing digital TV sector. PwC predicts that one-third of the more than $200 billion global TV market will be traded programmatically by 2021. OTT and CTV (among other acronyms) are a huge focus in the entertainment industry right now, and where the biggest VC bets are being made, from Netflix to Hotstar. Digital in Asia took time to chat to Moritz Wuttke – newly appointed to lead the IPONWEB TV solutions division in the region – about all things Video, OTT and TV in APAC.

Digital in Asia: First off, WTF is OTT?!

Moritz Wuttke: OTT joins the long list of seemingly ubiquitous three-letter acronyms prevalent in digital media. Coming under the ‘advanced TV’ umbrella, it refers to video content that is streamed over the internet without the need for a paid-for cable or satellite subscription – it is delivered ‘over the top’ (OTT) of the traditional closed TV structure.

Content is viewed on any device connected to the internet – smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as connected TV (or CTV to reinforce the acronym point).

Internet-based TV is now part of daily life for many people and the increasing consumption of internet video content on mobile devices is further driving this trend.
Consequently, the convergence of the digital media and television industries is now an ever-present fact that broadcasters and content providers must take into account.

DIA: Why is TV over the internet important for broadcasters?

MW: Traditionally, broadcasters were the masters of what people viewed and when they did so; the digital age has, of course, turned this on its head. Today’s YouTube and Netflix ethos sees users create vast swathes of free video content that anyone online can watch. Meanwhile, people expect to view what they want, at a time to suit them on the device that is to hand at that moment.

The increasing uptake of streamed video, paid and free, is tipping the balance back again. Broadcasters have developed additional platforms to attract and entertain their audiences, as well as offer them viewing flexibility, whether that is accessing programmes via catch-up or on-demand or binge-watching their favourite shows.

TV over the internet provides commercial broadcasters with additional advertising channels, and with that, new sources of revenue, while programmatic technology enables media trading to be fast efficient and, in some markets, more targeted.

DIA: Why does TV have such an ongoing appeal for advertisers, and do you see this changing?

MW: TV has always appealed to advertisers as the most cost-effective way to reach the mass market. While the broadcast media trading industry is seeing unprecedented changes, the inherent advantages offered by OTT television help the transition.

The various YouTube and Facebook ad placement scandals have shone a spotlight on the need for brand safety – and how difficult it can be to orchestrate in the digital arena. Broadcast TV available over the internet however lets advertisers control where their budget is spent so that it is non-damaging.

At the same time, it is also effective thanks to high-quality audiences and ads that can’t be skipped or fast-forwarded. This has resulted in strong growth of OTT advertising, particularly in the US market where Magna Global estimates that OTT grew 40% to $2 billion in 2018.

Addressable TV raises the bar still further, allowing different ads to be shown to different people, depending on their profile. Advertisers only need to spend where they want the ad to be seen, driving return on investment without the wastage that is typically found in broad-spectrum ad placement. In the UK, Sky leads the addressable TV space, reaching more than 40% of all households.

DIA: What types of brands or verticals are investing in advanced TV advertising, and why?

MW: Direct to consumer, or DTC, brands by their very nature will flock to advanced TV advertising. This will include addressable TV on linear (real-time) TV, where the audience is targeted with ads most relevant to them, and OTT advertising with its pre-roll and mid-roll options as well as relevant ad placement.

Advanced TV advertising is ideal for brands wanting to reach very distinct audiences, whether by geography, behaviour or demography. SMEs may want focus on the very specific locations in which they operate, while a brand that is available nationwide will have a large catchment area but may only be relevant to a particular audience (an air conditioning supplier is most likely to appeal to homeowners and new house-buyers for example.)

At the other end of the scale, TV advertising is now a reality for luxury brands, for whom ‘mass appeal’ has never been an issue. Luxury car-maker McLaren launched its first-ever TV advertising campaign via addressable TV because addressable advertising enabled it to target the right niche audience and deliver ROI.

DIA: How fast is internet TV being adopted in Asia?

MW: In China the majority of TV content is delivered OTT because of the high internet bandwidth available (more than 2.1billion devices are IP connected and can receive video content), while Thailand’s 4G rollout allows good quality internet TV via mobile screens. Overall, 16.3% of Asia Pacific internet users are current OTT subscribers, with show strong growth forecast over the next few years. This is underpinned by investment in the region by a number of large OTT players; we’ve seen the launch of HBO Go Asia and HOOQ, an OTT streaming solution backed by large content providers and local contributors including SingTel.

This shift to OTT services also reflects the ‘mobile first’ preference of consumers; at the end of 2018, more than 61% of webpage views in Asia were on mobile (compared to a global average of 48.2%).

DIA: Why is the shift to OTT happening now?

MW: Television has always held mass appeal – to audiences and therefore to advertisers. What we are witnessing now is the power of TV being made available over wireless networks (i.e. mobile phones and robust home internet connections). As hardware, software and connectivity continue to improve, audiences are increasingly able and willing to watch TV content online.

But it’s not without its significant challenges. Aligning and measuring TV audiences over different channels, non-integrated platforms and transparency are all issues on which IPONWEB is focused, with the goal of balancing investment in OTT with subsequent revenues.

There is certainly both appetite and talent to drive innovation in the television market – and the pace of change is fast, with Amazon and Netflix adding highly attractive content to make the space even more dynamic. Watch this space.

Digital, Tech, Marketing & Start-Ups in Asia

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