Staff Writer
Sep 10, 2018

Oath VP Rico Chan opens up about SEA expansion

Vice-president and managing director, Oath INSEA, Hong Kong and Japan weighs in on the tech and media giant's latest developments.

Rico Chan, vice-president and managing director INSEA, Hong Kong and Japan at Oath
Rico Chan, vice-president and managing director INSEA, Hong Kong and Japan at Oath

It’s been a year since the creation of Oath. Tell us about the journey so far and what’s ahead?

We’re proud of what we have achieved—bringing together AOL and Yahoo—two powerhouse media and technology brands. We unified our people, processes and products. Today, we reach one billion people around the world, with a dynamic mix of media and technology brands in our portfolio, including Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, TechCrunch, Yahoo Mail and Flurry.

Over the last year, we also engaged deeply with advertisers, publishers and consumers. We want to build deep consumer experiences across our much-loved brands, launch new products and services on mobile and video, and continue to grow our partnerships.

With the massive shift to mobile, and Verizon—a Fortune 16 company, and one of the largest mobile companies in the world—as our parent company, we are just getting started on the opportunity ahead. We aim to put our brands on every mobile screen. Our goal is to reach 2 billion users by 2020. We see many of our new users coming from this part of the world. Southeast Asia is surging globally in mobile Internet usage, so there’s huge growth potential across the region.

We have been hard at work building a world-class advertising suite—it’s just out. The new Oath Ad Platforms brings together the best of BrightRoll, Yahoo Gemini and ONE by AOL, while introducing new functionality.


Tell us about the new Oath Ad Platforms?

At its core, this is a simplified suite of intelligent advertising and publishing solutions. It is the culmination of our years of experience creating world class advertising offerings, powered by data and designed to build brands.

Oath Ad Platforms combines the best assets from our trusted platforms, into a set of solutions for advertisers and publishers that is geared to drive growth.

Think of it as a smarter ecosystem that meets the unique needs of both marketers and publishers, and better connects them to each other. It merges ad quality, performance and insights into easy-to-use workflows for advertisers and publishers.

The suite offers access to high-quality inventory and innovative ad experiences, activating Oath’s trusted data and industry-leading programmatic algorithms. We’ll be rolling out new features and functionality on an ongoing basis.


Give us a sense of how advertisers and publishers can benefit from Oath Ad Platforms?

We believe marketers will value the access to brand-safe, premium inventory, innovative ad experiences, superior campaign performance and deep insights into over a billion consumers—the new Oath Ad Platforms is backed by powerful targeting data from Yahoo and AOL, and over one million mobile apps. The diverse set of tools will allow advertisers to buy how they want and connect with consumers in intelligent ways. 

Publishers will benefit from the breadth of top-tier advertisers, revenue-optimising performance, and audience/inventory insights that give them newer ways to improve their businesses. Oath Ad Platforms grants exclusive access to Oath's high-quality advertisers through revenue and video management solutions. We want to empower publishers to build experiences their customers will love.


What are some of the other recent highlights or key launches from the Oath SEA team’s stable?

We have been growing momentum with new launches and offerings including RYOT Studio, Oath’s award-winning, next-gen creative studio launched in Singapore. It allows us to serve our advertisers in Southeast Asia with the innovative, impactful storytelling experiences and solutions RYOT Studio is acclaimed for, to bring their brands’ stories to life.

Yahoo TV is another exciting new project for Oath SEA. It offers original programming, content and live event streaming—esports enthusiasts from across the region didn’t miss a minute of the action during the popular e-Game tournament at the Asia Game Festival, streamed on Yahoo TV. Since its launch, in April, we have seen video streams more than double within three months.

We believe in being responsive to the needs of different kinds of audiences here. Yahoo Mail recently released a new mobile web experience, alongside an Android Go app. Users in SEA’s less-connected regions or remote locations often grapple with poor connectivity. This new mobile web experience offers improved usability on top of a modern design, giving such users access to a better, more productive Yahoo Mail experience.

In August, we also launched our partnership with Grab where Yahoo’s exciting content is featured in the ‘Grab Daily’ section of the app. This collaboration allows us to inform, entertain and connect with a larger audience through the convenience people expect from Grab, and the partnership will expand to other key markets across Southeast Asia upon the successful completion of a pilot in Singapore. It follows another global partnership with Samsung where Oath’s trusted mobile content is delivered to millions of Samsung devices around the world.

We constantly look to deliver the relevant, engaging content our users rely on us for. Yahoo Singapore Finance recently reclaimed the number one spot on comScore. Yahoo Sports Singapore took home the prestigious EPPY Award for Best Sports Video for its feature "Water polo? No, it’s underwater rugby." It was a proud moment, being the only Southeast Asian website among the other international media outlets that won.

Finally, in a year of unification and change, we continued to up our game. We were named one of the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ by HR Asia, putting us among the top employers in the region.


How does Oath aim to stand out in Southeast Asia and globally in a competitive market?

SEA’s Internet economy is growing at a phenomenal pace, with mobile internet driving this growth. We see tremendous opportunity in this booming mobile consumer economy and will be focusing on key markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

The digital marketing space is enormous and still growing. It is a US$800 billion-$1 trillion industry, but mobile accounts for just a fraction of it. If you think about it, this one device is increasingly controlling the entire experience—how people in SEA shop, communicate, consume information, news and entertainment. We want to be at the center of this massive shift to mobile—providing customers in this region and globally with must-have mobile services and giving other businesses or partners access to those consumers on mobile.

By combining the art of brand building and data science, we want to drive growth for advertisers and publishers in the region—our just-launched Oath Ad Platforms being a major step towards enabling this.  

Even in a competitive market, Oath has distinctive advantages in our trusted content, distribution and data, the unique combination of which sets us apart from other players.





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