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Japanese marketers name cookies, data privacy and targeted ads top concern for 2021


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

January 20, 2021 | 3 min read

Marketers in Japan have highlighted cookie deprecation, data privacy legislation, and contextual targeting as their top concerns around digital advertising for 2021.


Japan is expected to see a rise in mobile innovation in 2021.

As they come to terms with new data privacy rules, 61% of Japanese marketers feel that third party cookie deprecation remains a top challenge, according to the latest Japan Industry Pulse Report from Integral Ad Science (IAS).

“With an unprecedented number of people spending more time at home in 2020, social media and video streaming on mobile emerged as the most popular platforms for consumers in Japan, along with the growth of connected TV globally. During these challenging times, Japanese marketers are also looking for reliable solutions in a post cookie era and shifting attention to contextual targeting,” said Takeshi Yamaguchi, senior executive at IAS, Japan.

“Through the Industry Pulse Report, advertisers have set a clear mandate for accurate measurement and strong media quality control across all channels to ensure confidence in 2021 and beyond.”

What else will happen in the digital ad industry in Japan in 2021?

  • Japan is expected to see a rise in mobile innovation in 2021 as over half of the respondents listed mobile as a high priority for the year. 66% of the respondents believe increased video consumption paired with new technologies will solidify mobile’s value.

  • 76% of respondents believe evolving technologies in contextual advertising will escalate mobile advertising innovation in 2021, while 64% point to growing 5G adoption as a key driver.

  • Connected TV (CTV) is expected to take a permanent bite out of linear TV in Japan. As stay-home behaviors continue, 74% of those surveyed believe the shift away from linear TV consumption will accelerate. 77% of industry experts agree that both digital video/OTT and CTV ad spend will increase with innovation.

  • Japanese advertisers are demanding more transparency in social media; the channel is the top media priority for 52% of Japanese advertisers. 77% of respondents agree that insufficient transparency into media quality metrics will impact their social media spend in 2021.

  • Respondents view YouTube (37%) and Facebook (34%) as the most likely platforms to see media spend adjusted due to insufficient media transparency.

  • Programmatic is expected to boom, but the focus on media quality will intensify in Japan as marketers still see a potential for risk and the need for more verification.

  • One-in-six survey respondents said programmatic transparency will remain a concern, with one-in-seven pointing at supply path optimisation as a key challenge in 2021.
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