Matthew Miller
Feb 13, 2019

The Trade Desk adds to APAC leadership ranks

Company ups its investment in the region, where it sees connected TV helping to make Asia a growth engine for the next five years.

Troy Yang, Mitch Waters
Troy Yang, Mitch Waters

Citing high growth potential, The Trade Desk has decided to devote more executive firepower to the APAC region, appointing Mitch Waters and Troy Yang as senior vice presidents.

Waters, previously GM for Australia and New Zealand, has been promoted to SVP of Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand (SEAANZ), and will relocate from Australia to Singapore later this year. Yang, who joins the company from Analytic Partners, will be SVP for North Asia, based in Hong Kong.

Both Waters and Yang will work alongside Matt Harty, SVP for Asia-Pacific, who oversees business development. All three report to CEO and co-founder Jeff Green.

Yang, who has been on the job for several weeks already, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the company sees APAC as its growth engine for the next five years. "We're definitely investing our resources a little bit ahead right now, knowing that there is such huge potential in Asia Pacific in general," Yang said.

China, of course, is a major part of that. On March 26, the company will formally launch the integration with mainland streaming services that it announced in November (see "The Trade Desk opens for business with top China streaming services"). 

"The current phase right now is moving forward with the 'outside-in' strategy," Yang said. "We are driving incremental advertising dollars in China to these partners. We're getting a pretty good pipeline of agencies and partners raising their hands outside of China, saying 'I want to leverage the Trade Desk platform to put my advertising dollars to work in China'."

The company will add services for China-based advertisers to reach both domestic and international consumers at a later date. "We want to tackle the hardest barrier first, which is bringing marketing knowledge into China, before we talk about the inside-in or inside-out strategies," Yang said. "We feel like those will be easier once we've done the outside-in strategy."

The company also sees great potential in Japan. "We already have a good partnerhship with the two giant [agencies], but we need to open more doors with them. And we need to add more resources in Asia, because we know that if you're successful in Japan, there is huge potential not just within the Japan market, but a lot of these brands and agencies would help to bring business globally as well."

In Hong Kong, a successful partnership with streaming service MyTV Super represents a shining example the company would like to replicate. "Connected TV is one of the big focus areas for the company in 2019, where we're building partnerships across the globe," Yang said. "Almost one out of two households [in Hong Kong] has the MyTV box, and that has helped us to generate a lot of traction with clients, because with [MyTV Super's] inventory, and with their data and capabilities, we can really see a lot of clients are benefitting from putting their ad dollars into MyTV Super. It helps to increase the engagement level while at the same time using their marketing dollars in a much more effective way."

Waters' view is that 2019 could be a watershed year for streaming in Australia, as close to 50% of total TV watching will be done via streaming services. CBS and Disney are also launching new streaming offerings in market.

The focus for the SEAANZ region is helping agency partners build proprietary offerings. The company has offices in Singapore, Sydney and Jakarta, with no immediate plans for more, but said its functional coverage in each location will increase significantly.

Prior to joining The Trade Desk in 2017, Waters was the MD of AOL Platforms in Australia and New Zealand, and also worked at Adap.TV. Yang worked at Nielsen in Hong Kong and Shanghai before joining Analytic Partners.

“Asia-Pacific is a big priority for The Trade Desk, and this is reflected in the appointment of these senior leadership roles,” Green said in a media release. Waters has already accelerated the company's progress in Australia and New Zealand, and Yang's deep experience in China, where he worked for Nielsen, will be invaluable, Green added.

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