Are we at the start of a CTV boom in APAC?

Jason Barnes is CRO in APAC for PubMatic

Video viewership is on the rise, but so is the fragmentation of viewership, fueled by increasing choices around what content to watch, and when and how to watch that content. Publishers and advertisers can no longer rely on a single platform reach and engage viewers with the scale and success of years past. Cross-platform video strategies are now critical to growing video monetization and advertiser ROI.

To further investigate, PubMatic commissioned a global study by Forrester which uncovered how different programmatic video capabilities impact publisher monetization.

From Forrester’s global study, some striking APAC highlights appeared:

CTV ad spending is rapidly growing, and much of this movement is coming from the APAC region [*For the purposes of this study, CTV is defined as TV that is connected to the internet.]

Header bidding is critical to monetization success. As mobile usage continues to soar, publishers are leaning into mobile header bidding to better capitalize on revenues. APAC is at the forefront of driving global mobile header bidding adoption growth.

Borrowing strategies from display, client-side integration is still the most popular for video monetization strategy. As header bidding starts to mature, server-side integration will be preferred as it provides setup, UX and process management advantages over client-side integrations.

APAC will see fastest growth in CTV spend

Whilst the CTV opportunity is still nascent in APAC, publishers here are predicting significant ad spend growth in the format over the next 12 months – potentially signaling the second wave of video streaming growth.

The study found that publishers in APAC were predicting stronger growth in CTV spend than their EMEA and US counterparts – with publishers predicting 34% ad spend growth in the format over the next 12 months, vs. 21% for EMEA and 20% for the US.

Within APAC, publishers across the region are expecting to see strong ad spend growth in the format – with ANZ seeing the strongest growth 42% vs. 33% for Japan, 32% for SEA and 30% for India.

One explanation for the stronger predicted growth in ANZ is the relative maturity of the market and buyer confidence in the product. The ANZ market is more advanced than other APAC markets in terms of audience verification, viewability and standardisation for CTV. Other markets are more fragmented and the lack of standardisation remains a key challenge that needs to be solved.

Conversely, in-app video spend growth is expected to be higher in SEA, JP and IN than ANZ – suggesting mobile will continue to be a popular means of consuming video content in these markets.

APAC is driving global mobile video header bidding growth

Additionally, the study found that APAC will also see slightly more growth in adoption of mobile video header bidding. 54% of publishers in the region plan on expanding their mobile video header bidding integrations, or implementing them for the first time, vs. 52% in EMEA and 51% in the US.

This is not a big surprise, given the mobile first nature of most markets in APAC, and that the US and EMEA are slightly ahead of APAC already in terms of adoption of video header bidding in general.

Worldwide, publishers in Japan are predicting the strongest growth in mobile video header bidding – 69%, closely followed by publishers in the UK.

Server-side header bidding integrations are the future – with adoption in APAC higher than global

Whilst server-side integrations are deemed superior to client-side in terms of user experience due to lower latency, easier set up and ongoing management, most publishers globally are still using client-side integrations (57% for both desktop and mobile) for their video header bidding. However server-side is gaining popularity with many publishers having recently added these integrations, leading to popularity of hybrid approaches (54% for desktop and 55% for mobile globally).

APAC broadly mirrors the trends seen globally, but adoption of server-side strategy is slightly higher than the global numbers for desktop – suggesting APAC publishers have either embraced the newer technology quicker or have adopted header bidding as overall strategy later, so haven’t had to deal with the challenge of switching over.

48% of publishers in APAC have already adopted server-side header bidding for desktop vs. global numbers of 47%. Mobile comes in at 51% adoption both in APAC and globally.

In summary, as video consumption continues to grow and the ways in which consumers engage with digital video continues to lead to fragmentation across various screens and channels, it is more important than ever for publishers and advertisers to future proof themselves with cross-platform video strategies.

Programmatic, and video header bidding specifically, gives publishers the tools they need to solve video-specific latency and automation challenges, and will be central to a successful cross-platform video strategy and maximising ad revenue.

Cross-platform video is an equally important opportunity for advertisers as it provides access to premium addressable audiences in brand-safe, publisher-direct desktop, mobile web, mobile app, OTT and CTV environments.

For more information and key recommendations by Forrester analysts on best practices and strategies to better monetize through video ad, download the full report.

Download your copy of the infographic here.

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