B Dash Camp panel: Trends in the Japanese online ad business



See the original story in Japanese.

This is a part of our coverage of B Dash Camp Fukuoka 2013.

Along with the evolution of web services, online advertising platforms have drastically evolved. In the past, we used to place simple banner ads on our websites, and subsequently search advertising emerged. Now we’ve adopted impression-based ads using ad tools like DSP (demand-side platform).

But the further ad solutions evolve, the more issues we face. Here’s a quick rundown on the panel discussing issues facing the online advertising space in Japan. The panelists for the session include:

  • Osamu Aranami, Corporate Office, Head of Marketing Solutions Company, Yahoo Japan
  • Kenichi Sugawara, CMO, ScaleOut
  • Koki Sato, President and CEO, Septeni Holdings
  • Moderator: Toru Kawarazuka, Senior Manager, Sales Management Dept., Sony Bank

Does social media have much of an impact on the conventional ad business?

Aranami: I can’t disclose our figures because we’re heading towards the announcement of our financial statements in the week ahead. In terms of browsing devices, it’s changing. The share of smartphone and tablets is on the rise.

Sato: Social media allows users to create a sort of user pool as well as owning their official website. The engagement helps acquire high-profile users, and may work well for global business expansions. But it’s still in the stage of trial and error.

Using personal profiles for advertising

Sugawara: DSPs allow you a specific ad space on an impression-basis. In terms of placing ads using this platform, you can specify a target audience segment or ad spaces. The audience segments requires personal profiles. For example, when you visit a motor comparison site (overseas), they will use your profile and propose target vehicles for you.

Aranami: Yahoo Japan has users’ purchase histories on our shopping site and auction site. We’re considering to use that data for our ad delivery. But at the same time, we have to be careful on how we should handle such data.

Septeni Holdings CEO Koki Sato speaking on the panel

What’s ahead for rich media ads?

Aranami: To help with promotional activities for the Olympic bid in Tokyo, we’ve created an ad where athletes move when you mouse over them. It generated a lot of buzz, but we’re still preparing for movie ads.

Sato: At my company, the demands of rich media ads account for a lesser share of our business, especially compared to English-speaking countries. There are two key points here: How much can premium (rich media) ads bring value compared to conventional TV ads? And how many users are shifting from desktop browsing to smartphone devices.

Sugawara: There are rights management issues as well. Some TV ads cannot be reproduced for online advertising because of rights issues.

Aranami: Yahoo Japan is working on finding out how we can create a safe and secure ad networks for our clients, as well as deploy further extensive developments on YDN, our Yahoo Display-ad Network. We can take minor requests from our clients, such as which domain they would like to place ads on. We proudly think ourselves as Japan’s largest DSP operator.