3 Japanese internet companies to launch mobile video ad network targeting females

From the left: Open8 CEO-designate / iStyle COO Yuko Takamatsu, iStyle COO Kei Sugawara

This is a part of our coverage of B Dash Camp Fukuoka 2015.
See the original story in Japanese.

Japan’s largest cosmetics portal company iStyle (TSE:3660), internet portal company Excite Japan (TSE:3754), and startup-focused VC firm Incubate Fund announced on Friday that they have jointly launched a company called Open8, focused on providing a women-targeted video ad network for smartphone users. iStyle COO Yuko Takamatsu was appointed as CEO of Open8. We could hear from him about details at the recent B Dash Camp event in Fukuoka.

Open8 will be an ad network platform specifically focused on the F1 layer in Japan, women aged from 25 to 34, expecting to reach 15 million female users leveraging existing user bases from iStyle and Excite Japan. Takamatsu claimed that they will let other leading media involved to reach 30 million female users when start selling ad slots.

Japanese women-targeted media sites planned to participate in the Videotap mobile ad network.

This launched was supported by continuous descending price and performance of desktop PC advertising.

It was told that the online advertising market was valued over $8.3 billion in Japan, but advertising rates kept descending.

Takamatsu’s opinion is now a common understanding for all the people in the Japanese online media industry.

Meanwhile, despite a rapid shift to mobile from PC, there’s a huge space to explore and develop more in the mobile advertising industry. Takamatsu didn’t undisclosed exact numbers but told us there are more than a little mobile ad inventory remaining unsold. By targeting this space, Takamatsu wants to grab the chance of a once-in-ten-years paradigm shift in the marketing industry.

So they had their eyes on the mobile video space which is now stress-free for users thanks to recent advances in mobile networking and higher penetration of smart devices. They are aiming to shift the big advertising budget of Japanese national clients from TV and other broadcast advertising into the mobile advertising space.

Open8 is planning to launch a video ad network for smartphones called Videotap. To see how it works, check out the video below.

As can be seen, Videotap gives users no chance to skip a video ad clip while watching but shows it in an unscrolled frame in the upper side of the screen so that one doesn’t look away. When the 15-second clip is finished, it will be folded into a small banner frame. The service will be offered on an impression-guaranteed basis.

In addition to women-targeted mobile video advertising, we were told that Open8 plans to launch another advertising service focused on mobile game apps.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy