Just under half (48 percent) of APAC advertisers and publishers expect to see video spend increase by more than 25 percent this year, according to AOL's just-released State of the Video Industry report.
That expectation is in line with the global average of 46 percent, but behind the US figure of 63 percent. Counterintuitively, 7 percent of publishers in Southeast Asia expect revenue from programmatic video to fall in the next 12 months (compared with 1 percent in the US).
According to Alex Khan, AOL’s MD for Asia (including ANZ), it comes down to lack of premium video inventory, particularly on mobile.
“As the region is one of the most obsessive when it comes to watching online video every day, there is a real opportunity for publishers if they are able to make further premium video inventory available to advertisers," he said in a release. "The demand is there from both consumers and advertisers.”
AOL found that 83 percent of online consumers in Southeast Asia watch online video every day, and 71 percent say they prefer watching videos online or through a connected TV because it offers more flexibility than conventional TV.
Meanwhile PubMatic, in its latest Quarterly Mobile Index, concludes that video opportunities are on the rise as more brand spend shifts to programmatic channels and mobile is providing "a stable environment for growth". The company's report said that although desktop is still the main driver of programmatic video impressions, mobile platforms have proven "a viable contender" for advertisers' digital-video spend.
Increased demand coupled with constrained supply means prices will continue to rise, the company said. For example, PubMatic compared eCPMs for desktop and mobile video in Q4 2016 and Q1 2017, an analysis that shows mobile prices were more resistant to dropping after the holidays, which in turn indicates demand outstripping supply.
Mobile screens are the mainstream for video consumption, and mobile publishers are already benefiting from higher mobile video consumption. However, this will only continue with a robust infrastructure that enables the delivery of quality ads and content to a relevant audience, the report stated.
Inventory quality and brand safety remain key questions for advertisers, with 50 percent of US marketers citing brand safety, ad fraud and viewability as challenges. In light of this, mobile private marketplaces (PMPs) are seeing higher interest from publishers, and demand for transactions through this channel is on a long-term upswing, PubMatic said.
The AOL research stated that 56 percent of media buyers in the region cited ‘better quality creative’ as a top driver of interest in video advertising, but the most popular reason (60 percent of buyers) was the availability of video on social-media platforms. This was well above the 46 percent of global respondents that cited that factor, and can be explained by the region's high use of mobile phones and higher than average social-media consumption, according to the company.
Better targeting and personalisation of video ads was the third most common reason globally, including Southeast Asia.
Header bidding underlines shift to mobile
The PubMatic report delves more deeply into a range of programmtic trends beyond video. Among the findings, the company reported that the overall volume of monetized impressions transacted using header bidding, across desktop and mobile devices, more than quadrupled between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017.
Moreover, the portion of that which took place on mobile expanded at an even faster pace, growing more than 12 times on a year-over-year basis. Mobile has increased from 7 percent of the total monetized impressions executed using header bidding in Q1 2016 to 24 percent this year.
Adoption of header bidding in APAC still trails significantly behind other regions, but APAC's share has risen from 0 percent to 4 percent.