What’s driving mobile advertising growth in APAC?

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What’s driving mobile advertising growth in APAC?
Andrew Darling

Growth_In_Asia_Blis_Blog

Our man in the East, Andrew Darling, shares his initial thoughts having just “arrived off the boat”!

Having been inspired after my recent arrival in Asia to work out of Blis’ Singapore office, I wanted to take some time to share with you all just why Asia is such an important region for the media industry.

The digital advertising market in Asia-Pacific is large and booming, expected to hit US$80 billion next year according to eMarketer’s recent Digital Ad Spending Asia-Pacific report. To put that in perspective, that’s double the size of Western Europe, Canada, and LatAm combined – and about 40 percent of total digital advertising worldwide. Astonishingly it’s growing at about 20 percent YoY, which makes it the fastest growing region in the world!

What’s driving that growth?

Well, with almost four billion people, APAC has more than half of the world’s population. Currently about one-third of Asian consumers are active internet users, but that’s a number that’s increasing daily.

The two components leading this digital revolution – perhaps the largest digital revolution in the world in terms of size, growth, and innovation – are mobile and video.

Mobile in particular is vital to this growth. It’s often the first entry point to the internet, and continues to grow in APAC much faster and with greater scale than the rest of the world. There are about 3.8 billion mobile connections in APAC, according to Ericsson’s Mobile Connection Growth 2013 – 2019 report, and that’s growing significantly each year. In China, the share of time spent on mobile phones has already surpassed that on desktop. There is no doubt that the supply of a large and engaging consumer audience is there.

Video is also erupting. In Asia there are three times the number of videos watched online than the number of search queries (Internet LiveStats Q1, 2015). This is astonishing, considering a video takes on average 15 seconds and a search query takes one second.

In 2015, most publishers said their video sales had increased, with over a quarter saying sales were up by more than 25 percent. The medium faces some challenges however, with buyers indicating demographic targeting, cross-device campaigns and attribution were the main issues facing mobile advertising.

Think about the consumer first in Asia

In today’s consumer-driven world, it’s not enough to just invest marketing budgets into a single strategy. To stay relevant, advertisers need to diversify their portfolios to include a variety of media, content and tactics. In Asia, consumers are telling brands it’s all about mobile and video.

This increased connectivity between the different parts of Asian consumers’ lives, with mobile at its core, will start to give brands a much more holistic view of their audience. It will mean we no longer target consumers by buying ‘off-the-shelf’ audiences, but that every brand audience will be fully bespoke. Combine video and more connected devices, and we have the perfect storm in the busy cities of Asia where a lot of time is spent away from the home.

I can’t wait to see where the future of media in Asia will take us as an industry. One thing I do know for certain, it’ll be four billion consumers that shape that future. I’m looking forward to tracking this development and sharing my learnings with you.

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Andrew Darling is Communications Director at Blis. He is responsible for Blis’ global communications and PR activities, as well as marketing operations in APAC. Andrew is a seasoned tech marketing and communications expert, Chair of the IAB SG Mobile Committee and former Telecoms, Media and Technology journalist.
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