Jessica Goodfellow
Nov 11, 2019

Tech Bites: Week of November 11, 2019

Disney+, mobile video ads, Facebook Pay, Sharethrough, Tealium Private Cloud, voice shopping, Salesforce CMS, DoubleVerify/ Ad-Juster, TikTok, WeChat Pay, mobile wallets and more, in our weekly collection of tech and media news.

Tech Bites: Week of November 11, 2019

Disney+ will reportedly launch as Hotstar bundle in India and SE Asia

Disney looks set to roll out its video subscription service Disney+ to India and Southeast Asia by the second half of 2020, according to a TechCrunch report.

In India the company plans to bundle its Disney+ catalogue of content with Hotstar, the local video streaming service it owns, the publication reports. After launching in India after May, it will then reportedly expand the Disney+/Hotstar bundle into other markets in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and Malaysia.

The SVoD service rolls up archive content and original films and TV from Disney, 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm/Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, and Pixar. In the US it is bundled with ESPN+ and Hulu. Disney+ is currently available in the US, Canada and the Netherlands and will expand to Australia and New Zealand next week. This will be followed by a European roll out to the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain on March 31.

Facebook launches new payments system

Facebook is launching a payments system, Facebook Pay, that will enable users across its suite of apps including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp to make payments without exiting the Facebook ecosystem.

Users can tap Facebook Pay to send money to friends, shop for goods, buy event tickets, make in-game purchases and donate to fundraisers, and to make payments on select pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace.

The social network is planning to start rolling out Facebook Pay on Messenger and Facebook in the US this week. The service will be separate from Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra and wallet Calibra, which has come under intense regulatory scrutiny. Find out what crypto experts think of Libra's future here.

APAC smartphone penetration feeding spike in mobile video ad requests

The rapid increase in smartphone penetration in Asia-Pacific is leading to an influx of video ad requests, especially in India, which saw a 281% growth in video ad requests in the first half of 2019 compared to the previous year, according to in-app advertising platform Smaato.

In its Global In-App Advertising Trends report for H1 2019, Smaato found that as mobile users in APAC spend more time in-app, and particularly within short-form video apps such as TikTok, advertisers are receiving an influx of video ad requests on which to bid.

The APAC market with the most significant increase in video ad requests on the Smaato platform was India, which it said was due to a rise in mobile users, with the amount of smartphone users in India is expected to increase by 13% in 2019, equating to over 40 million people. India was followed by China, Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia as the top APAC markets for video ad requests.

The report also examined two major holiday periods in the region, Ramadan and Lunar New Year. Smaato discovered that average daily ad spending during the month of Ramadan was nearly 2.5 times higher than that of the month prior, a 143% increase. Indonesia saw the biggest boost in daily ad spending during the holiday, up 79%. Meanwhile a spike in mobile usage during the Lunar New Year led to a 25% increase daily in-app ad requests in China.

Globally, Smaato saw a significant increase in private marketplace (PMP) deals, with in-app ad spending via PMPs rising 250% from H1 2018 to H1 2019, while mobile eCPMs increased by 27% in the first half of the year.

Sharethrough pulls out of Europe under weight of GDPR

Native advertising platform Sharethrough is reportedly closing its European operations after suffering "severe" losses since data regulation framework GDPR has come into play, the company's chief executive told Digiday. The move will result in 11 redundancies in the London office, the publication reports. The San Francisco-based adtech vendor will now service its UK and European clients from its  North American offices.

Tealium to offer private cloud solution

Tealium is rolling out a private cloud solution to allow its customers to manage and store comprehensive sets of sensitive customer data while complying with data privacy regulations. Tealium Private Cloud can be deployed as a single-tenant or multi-tenant cloud. All data in Tealium Private Cloud is isolated and regionally designated, enabling greater security controls to be implemented. It is aimed at limiting the amount of exposure and scope Tealium customers have to assess when hosting their data in the cloud.

The product has been designed for organisations that handle sensitive customer data or those that have to ensure compliance to data privacy regulations like the European Union's GDPR, or the special geographic data management requirements in areas like Germany.

“There is a serious need for compliance in the cloud, and for organisations concerned about properly maintaining and storing customer data in ways that meet industry regulations,” said Mike Anderson, founder and CTO of Tealium. “We have built a private cloud solution that gives our customers the chance to scale, organise and secure data with ease.”

Chinese consumers test voice shopping on Singles Day

Chinese shoppers placed over 1 million orders through Alibaba's smart speaker Tmall Genie during this year's Singles Day sale, as voice emerges as the next battleground for ecommerce.

Purchased items during the day including 810,000 eggs, 1.4 million tons of rice and 76 tons of liquid detergent. According to statistics from Alibaba, over 40% of Tmall Genie users have tried voice shopping.

Tmall Genie is ranked as the number one smart speaker brand in China in terms of sales this year, according to Euromonitor International’s research conducted in Oct 2019. A total of 10.47 million Tmall Genie units were sold during the first three quarters of this year, accounting for a 38% market share in China.

Mobile video's meteoric rise

Mobile video continues to be the fastest growing format across all environments and is tipped to overtake desktop in share of video ad volume by early 2020, according to Pubmatic's Q3 2019 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI).

Based upon analysis of over 13 trillion advertiser bids flowing through Pubmatic’s platform each month, the adtech firm found that overall mobile ad volume increased 23% over last quarter, and mobile video ad volume rose 31% over the same period.

Unsuprisingly, mobile accounts for the highest proportion of overall platform spend in APAC (54%), compared to EMEA (47%) and the Americas (36%).

In Q3, mobile video ad volume grew twice the rate of display ads over last quarter, rising 31% and 15%, respectively. Mobile ads also accounted for more than half of header bidding transactions in Q3 2019, a dramatic rise from 41% last quarter.

Salesforce launches hybrid CMS

Salesforce has launched its own content management system (CMS) just months after investing US$300 million in Automattic, the company behind the world's most popular CMS, WordPress.

Salesforce Content Management System (CMS) is a hybrid CMS that will allow its users to create content in a central location and syndicate it to any digital touchpoint, whether it’s an experience that is powered by Salesforce or another system, by using a headless API. Businesses can connect CRM data within the CMS to personalise the experience to each visitor, the company claims.

In a blog post announcing the product, Adi Kuruganti, general manager of Community Cloud and SVP of product management for B2B Commerce, said the product was developed to deliver a consistent omni-channel experience for consumers.

"In today’s world, companies are working to create, deliver, and personalise content to their customers at every touchpoint. But, the problem lies with traditional content management systems. Legacy CMS’ are designed for a single touchpoint, not an ever-evolving, omni-channel, customer journey," he said. "We built Salesforce CMS to help empower teams, from novices to experts, to create content, and then it deliver to any channel – all connected to customer data."

DoubleVerify adds sell-side solution with purchase of Ad-Juster

Ad verification outfit DoubleVerify has acquired Ad-Juster, a reporting and analytics platform for digital publishers. The company collates large volumes of publishers’ advertising inventory and sales data from thousands of integrations with third party servers and programmatic demand platforms, to provide publishers with greater transparency over their digital operations, and maximise revenue yield. The company currently serves over 110 publisher clients, including over half of the top 100 comScore-ranked web publishers.

DoubleVerify chief executive Wayne Gattinella said combining the two companies will allow it to serve both sell-side and buy-side clients, "creating a holistic solution across the entire digital ecosystem". Ad-Juster will continue to operate from offices in San Diego and New York City. The transaction was completed as an all cash, all stock offer on 29 October.

TikTok on hunt for Southeast Asian creators

TikTok has kicked off a region-wide talent competition that aims to discover and incubate new creators in Southeast Asia. The inaugural 'TikTok All-Star Southeast Asia 2019' competition is open for submissions across all six markets in the region including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. TikTok users can participate by uploading videos in the talent, acting or lifestyle genres. Submissions will be judged by the public and a celebrity jury. There are a total of US$12,000 worth of prizes and 16 awards to be won.

The competition was created following a survey the platform conducted with YouGov, which found that shortform video is the second preferred content format in Southeast Asia to express creativity. Topping the list is photo/illustrations (63%), followed by shortform video (51%) and music (44%). Meanwhile, when asked about the importance of digital content creators, the majority of the respondents across Southeast Asia agreed that content creators are important today (85%) and will become even more important in the future (78%).

Five major international payment providers tie with Tencent

Tencent has collaborated with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Global Network (including Diners Club) and JCB to enable overseas users to link their credit cards to WeChat Pay and use it for payment transactions and services in China.

With this collaboration, overseas users will now be able to use WeChat Pay across multiple payment scenarios spanning shopping, restaurants, transportation and accommodation. For instance, overseas users can use WeChat Pay to purchase railway ticket on China Railway 12306, hail for a ride via Didi, make online purchases via and Ctrip, and more. Tencent intends to facilitate more payment scenarios by stages in the future, under the guidance of the relevant regulatory bodies and policies.

The move will look to accomodate the increasing number of overseas visitors and foreign workers in mainland China. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of inbound tourists reached 141.2 million in 2018, an increase of 1.2% over the same period of the previous year, while there are currently more than 950,000 foreigners working in China.

GrabPay tops mobile wallets in Singapore

Grab's payment arm, GrabPay, has consistently been the most commonly used mobile wallet in Singapore and has obtained the highest monthly active users over the past two years, according to data by App Annie commissioned by Iprice Group. It is the only super app on the top five list, with Grab claiming that three quarters (77%) of overall transactions on Grab’s platform, which includes services such as ride-hailing, food, delivery, is conducted via GrabPay.

GrabPay is followed by DBS bank's mobile wallet, DBS PayLah!, which has the second highest volume of active users in Singapore.

Payment aggregator platform Fave is currently Singapore’s third most used and fourth most downloaded mobile wallet in the city-state as of Q3 2019, and this year has been downloaded over 4 million times.

Singapore’s contactless payment system for the local public transit network, EZ-Link, is amongst the fastest growing mobile payment apps in Singapore, and is the fourth most used e-wallet as of Q3 2019, Alibaba's AliPay is the fifth most popular app for active users.

Digital wallets are already the second-most popular payment method in Singapore, accounting for 14% of all ecommerce transactions and representing $680m of sales, according to a JP Morgan report. The  usage of digital wallets in ecommerce is expected to rise to account for 22.5% of all ecommerce sales by 2021.

Have a tech or media tidbit that could be included in this column? Email us at: [email protected]


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