Far Away, But Not Far Behind

Recapping my recent trip to APAC.


One of the things that often surprises people about Videology is that 50% of our business is actually conducted outside of the United States. Our International business has, over the last five years, grown to cover 28 countries across the globe, in regions including North America, LATAM, EMEA and APAC. As CEO of such a diverse global business, I often find myself on the road. I’ve recently returned from my latest trip, which took me to the APAC region, as I travelled to Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney. Far away in terms of distance perhaps, but in terms of their development, these markets are far from being behind. In fact, the last few weeks have confirmed to me that our APAC counterparts are, in some areas, leading the way.


Touching down in Tokyo for an action-packed three days, I was looking forward to spending time with our team and meeting with clients in what is the world’s third largest TV market (behind only the US and China). The Japanese people have a voracious appetite for video content, which is evident from the conversations that took place during my time in Tokyo, as the advertising industry figures out how best to maximize this reality in the converging world of TV and video content.  


As part of the trip, I had the distinct pleasure of catching up with our valued partners. One of which is Yahoo! JAPAN, a company and team that are operating at the forefront of digital advertising, both in terms of scale and innovation. I’m proud of the relationship we’ve built, and the part we play in helping them execute their vision. 


Following a number of interviews with key Japanese press, discussing everything from the fundamentals of online video, viewability, and the future of TV, it was back to the airport for my first visit to China, and Videology’s newly launched Shanghai office. 


The size and maturity of China’s digital advertising ecosystem rivals that of any world market. In addition to being the world’s second largest economy, the OTV market was valued at $5.1bn in 2016, with growth projected at 30% year-on-year going into 2017. Understandably then, feet first is not an approach that works in China. Dominated by established local players, Videology has spent the last two years exploring the space and developing relationships. We’re investing in the building of an expert, local team that understands the intricacies of this market and can provide on-the-ground technology solutions, backed by our global experience. A real eye-opening trip that left me enthusiastic for things to come. 


From Shanghai, it was time to visit our antipodean colleagues and clients in the land down under. Four years ago, Sydney, Australia became Videology’s first office within the APAC region. I’ve had the great pleasure of watching our local team build a business that rivals any other in terms of innovation and service. As I alluded to earlier, Australia may seem far away for those of us working in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s far from behind when it comes to market development. 


Over the course of a week, I encountered some very progressive thinking, enthusiasm for challenging the status quo, as well as evidence of some truly market-leading solutions in development. Following a number of meetings, where the blurred lines between TV and video were explored and solutions discussed, there was a real feeling of collaboration and desire to evolve the local data sets used for media planning and measurement. 


In Sydney, I also had the opportunity to sit down with a number of Australia’s leading broadcasters to get their view on the current market and opportunities for innovation. These types of meetings are something I do regularly in the US, and it was encouraging to note that on the other side of the planet, similar conversations were being had around the future of TV, and specifically, attribution. Marketers the world over have long known that TV is the most effective channel for brand advertising. As a business we’re helping marketers globally understand the huge value television continues to bring in the converged media world and specifically the real impact it has on offline sales. 


Alongside our agency clients I was able to speak with several prominent brand marketers, and the challenge of addressing their consumers across devices was high on their list of priorities. Brands are beginning to understand the value of leveraging their 1st party data and we’re helping them activate with other data sets across screens, then optimize to achieve a given set of results.


We have great partners in Australia, and across the APAC region, and while I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved to date, it feels like the best is yet to come. As a company, we have always believed that TV is unique and follows a different script. It is tremendously exciting therefore to be able to participate in a broadcast market like Australia that is really at the forefront of innovation. 


My week in Sydney ended with an opportunity to sit down with the Editor of one of Australia’s leading trade publications. Taking the form of a video interview, our conversation centered around the changing digital landscape and what the future holds for screen-based media - the result of which will be published online in the coming weeks. Sitting in the cab on my way to the airport, it occurred to me that my two week tour of APAC had been full of conversations like these, looking to the future of our industry. A huge thanks to everyone I met during my trip, to our partners, clients and of course Videology’s amazing team, who are flying the flag high across the region. You guys are the future.

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