"Throughout the region we have had some phenomenal quarter-on-quarter growth," Matt Von der Muhll, managing director for SpotXchange Asia Pacific, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "The reason for that is maturity in the markets."
The report, for which Forrester surveyed publishers, ad trading desks, DSPs, brand marketers and ad-tech professionals from both the demand and supply sides—100 in Australia and 100 in Southeast Asia—shows that more advertisers are adopting enterprise marketing platforms and that video is an increasingly important influence on purchase decisions.
"Southeast Asia in particular is turning into a mature market very quickly," Von der Muhll added.
Although the percentage of video advertising that clients place via programmatic and, more specifically, RTB, is lower in Southeast Asia than in Australia, the survey shows that those percentages are likely to rise strongly in 2014. (Please see the infographic gallery for details.)
In fact, respondents in Southeast Asia ranked lack of inventory as a more pressing concern than did counterparts in Australia, perhaps reflecting structural issues such as broadband penetration that limits inventory growth.
"One of the other key things to bring out from the report is the importance of having the supply and demand sides connected," Von der Muhll said. "If they're all on the same page, then the ecosystem can work in harmony and quite effectively."
Von der Muhll sees the gaps in expectations and understanding between publishers and advertisers closing. "The gap is not huge," he said. "And the rate at which they're coming together is fast. A lot of conversations are happening between advertisers and publishers." That open exchange of ideas leads to the end of "misconceptions" such as the belief that programmatic trading inherently means lower yield for publishers.
Right now publishers are still focused on selling volume and closing deals quickly, he said, but programmatic video is different from the days of programmatic display, where the game was about driving down the price of display inventory in an open marketplace. "This is not the case with programmatic video as it has a higher barrier of entry for publishers, greater controls and functionality,” he said.
The report shows that both sides have concerns around transparency and brand safety, Von der Muhll pointed out. "The biggest cure for that is technology," he said. "Lots of companies are producing tech that helps with those issues, and the more that gets implemented, the more comfortable the advertisers will be about trading in this space."
SpotXchange is focusing on adding premium publishers to its video exchange, as Von der Muhll sees demand for options beyond YouTube increasing.
"Asia is a region that's been quite comfortable with YouTube," he said. "It's well known in most markets. But advertisers are starting to want to find more audiences, or to have brand alignment with different audiences. That's where we're finding that the tier 1 publishers have a good opportunity to trade their video inventory in a programmatic environment."
He cited the example of an auto manufacturer wanting to target 34-year-old males. While such users can be found on YouTube, auto-specific sites provide an audience with much higher brand alignment and stronger purchase intent.
"Large media organisations are heavily investing in content, attracting users away from that 'YouTube basement'," he said.