Babar Khan Javed
Sep 6, 2017

Why CtrlShift launched a premium inventory marketplace for Asean

Safety-conscious brands and a lack of trader talent drove the company to create what it says is the first independent Asean private marketplace.

Reza Benham
Reza Benham

Marketer demands for brand safety, coupled with a lack of talent in Asean capable of ensuring it on global exchanges, drove several publishers to join with CtrlShift to create what they call the Asean region's first independent private marketplace.

Offering advertisers curated premium advertising inventory from seven publishers, the newly launched AMP (Asia's By-invitation Marketplace) offers advertisers access to over 11 million unique users across Cari.my, Tantanews.com, MediaPrimaDigital, Star Media Group Berhad, RevAsia, MalayMail Online, and SinChew Online.

As an offering, the private marketplace is similar to the Malay local programmatic marketplace announced by IPG Mediabrands and Hive in June.

The AMP was created to provide a curated, clean, safe environment where advertisers can come in and spend their marketing dollars without having to worry about appearing on a site that doesn’t fit their image, Reza Behnam, co-founder and executive chairman at CtrlShift, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

"Marketers are very particular about their branding and where they want to be," he said. "They want curated environments where they are only associated with the top 10 percent of publishers."

While a strong trader knows how to mitigate the quality and fraud weaknesses of global exchanges, the talent pool for such individuals is scarce in the ASEAN region.

"There is good quality inventory and remnant inventory, all in the same basket,” Behnam added.

The go-to-market strategy for the AMP took the team at CtrlShift to the top 10 publishers with an invitation to come in and create a curated environment.

"Participating publishers aggregated their premium inventory but were also willing to share some of their data with each other," Behman said. "This results in advertisers being to able to buy various segments across various inventory." 

In Malaysia alone, the AMP can reach nearly 11 million unique readers, a conservative estimate based on the ad server logs, according to the company.

At this point, most of the publisher technology is not deterministic, which means that beyond readers logging into to an account, publishers cannot determine unique users across device-based login. This also leads to a presumed duplication of views.

“For now we are focused on regional expansion," Benham said.

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