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Guide for OTT Advertising in Southeast Asia

OTT can help you reach more than 100 million viewers

Now is the time to grow your brand with OTT. As consumers’ media consumption behaviors diverge, advertisers will face inflation in trying to reach yesterday’s audiences.

Guide for OTT Advertising in Southeast Asia

Guide for OTT Advertising in Southeast Asia

Additionally, Southeast Asia’s OTT audiences are accelerating their adoption of ad-supported services. Advertisers just need to get started.

In this article, we detailed the evolution of the OTT landscape. This article will highlight how brands can take advantage of the OTT opportunity with new types of ad inventory, new use cases across the marketing funnel, and best practices for how to plan, buy and measure winning OTT campaigns.

Table of contents

Understanding the types of video advertising inventory available on OTT
Drive incremental reach. Drive awareness.
OTT has a role in driving consideration too
OTT has the power to shorten the customer journey
Buying OTT: direct versus programmatic
Enhance engagement with interactive video formats
Reach viewers who are watching alone with advanced targeting parameters
Bring the data and precision of digital to your TV advertising
Make each exposure less expensive with control over frequency capping
Move beyond standard TV metrics to better measure success
Understanding OTT video pricing models and KPIs
Measuring unique reach across platforms and channels
Four tips for planning and optimizing a winning OTT campaign
Exploring the creative toolbox
Case study: OTT outperforms user-generated content and social platforms in Vietnam
Case study: Reaching incremental audiences through OTT on mobile
Case study: Priming mobile audiences for higher engagement
Work with The Trade Desk to make the most of the OTT opportunity
Conclusion: Future trends and developments in OTT in Southeast Asia
OTT is only getting started

Understanding the types of video advertising inventory available on OTT

Generally, there are three types of video ad inventory available on OTT platforms:

  • In-stream video ads: Video ads play before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the streaming content. This is the main bulk of OTT inventory as most advertisers buy pre- and mid-roll ads.
  • Non-linear video ads: Video ads overlay the video content while allowing the user a relatively unobstructed and uninterrupted view of the content.
  • Companion ads: Ads are served alongside content in the form of text, static image display ads, rich media, or skins that wrap around the video experience to offer sustained visibility of the sponsor throughout the video streaming experience.

98% of all global OTT video assets were 15 or 30 seconds.

66% of all global OTT video assets were 30 seconds.

>85% viewability and completed view rates in Southeast Asia.

Key Considerations: Use non-skippable linear video ads to fully utilize OTT advertising’s effectiveness and market-leading viewability and completed view rates. Start testing small-scale campaigns by repurposing existing 15/30/60-second video ads.

Drive incremental reach. Drive awareness.

Savvy advertisers are using OTT advertising to complement traditional TV spend, driving brand exposure, and lowering overall media cost. OTT platforms also allow advertisers to connect with audiences who are spending less time on traditional TV.

This is especially important in Southeast Asia where there is a growing base of younger digital-only audiences and OTT viewing peaks during the TV primetime slots. OTT platforms with smaller reach also offer advertisers an opportunity to reach niche audiences in a brand-safe environment.

1 in 5 Southeast Asian OTT viewers have not watched traditional TV in the past three months.

15% average incremental reach of TV and digital ad campaigns vs TV-only campaigns in Indonesia and Thailand.

Marketplace Example: Regional player Viu’s content strategy reflects both broad appeal and niche audiences. Beyond bringing in popular hit Korean dramas, the platform has continued investing in original series to win over a niche and local audiences. These include Pretty Little Liars in Indonesia, My Bubble Tea in Thailand, and The Bridge, an HBO Asia collaboration featuring detectives in Singapore and Malaysia.

OTT has a role in driving consideration too

While OTT has yet to disrupt traditional TV in Southeast Asia the same way it has in western markets, it is a close competitor in consumption hours and for primetime attention. OTT can be a cost-effective way to reinforce brand salience and association among a targeted audience. The wide variety of parameters on OTT platforms enables advertisers to better focus on a target audience and create engaging ads that are relevant to viewers.

Advertisers can also use first- or third-party data to re-target the same audiences across different platforms. These strategies will allow advertisers to use OTT platforms to build mid-funnel consideration and brand preference.

91% of Southeast Asia viewers have clicked through an ad on OTT, among those who have seen video ads.

Marketplace Example: Regional player iflix allows brands to use their first-party intelligence, including browsing and streaming data as well as genre and programming preferences for targeting. Pre-defined audience segments can also be used for targeting.

Key Considerations: If you have access to first or third-party data sets, consider experimenting with re-targeting campaigns on OTT platforms. Develop ads that are contextually relevant to the content that viewers are watching to reinforce the key brand association.

OTT has the power to shorten the customer journey

Although nascent, OTT platforms in the region are rapidly innovating to allow viewers to make direct purchases while viewing online video content. The practice of shopping during live streaming events hosted by influencers or celebrities is already commonplace in China and is starting to take off in Southeast Asia.

While the concept of “Shoppertainment” was pioneered by e-commerce players, OTT platforms are fast catching on to the trend. As the ecosystems and technical capabilities of OTT platforms mature, advertisers can expect OTT platforms to provide full-funnel solutions that shorten the path to purchase.

Marketplace Example: Indonesia platform Vidio has integrated with e-commerce Bukalapak to offer live shopping functionality.

73% of Southeast Asian respondents were receptive to the idea of shoppable TV.

Key Considerations: Advertisers can explore OTT content tie-ups that allow viewers to make direct purchases as a program is playing. Watch out for future developments as more OTT players integrate payment and e-commerce functionalities.

Buying OTT: direct versus programmatic

There are two main ways to buy OTT inventory — directly from publishers or through a programmatic platform. Agencies typically have their preference, but advertisers who are deciding can consider the following factors.

Some publishers offer cost savings to advertisers who buy insertion orders (IOs) directly. Some publishers also reserve specific inventory for direct purchases.

However, in fragmented markets in Southeast Asia, buying directly means cutting IOs multiple times for different audiences. Programmatic automates this process while enabling frequency capping, retargeting, and measurement across multiple OTT platforms to help deduplicate reach at a lower frequency. It also enables more targeted audiences using first- or third-party data and offers real-world measurement options beyond clicks, views, and other online auctions.

47% of media buyers in Asia predict video ads on OTT platforms will experience the greatest increase in programmatic ad spend from 2020-2021.

88% of media buyers in Asia expect programmatic budgets to remain the same or increase despite the impact of the pandemic on overall advertising budgets.

Enhance engagement with interactive video formats

While repurposing an existing asset may be the easiest way to jumpstart OTT efforts, standard video only just scratches the surface in terms of creative possibilities for advertisers. The interactive video encourages users to interact with the ads, such as watching the full video (extended video content), image galleries, TV-to-mobile, and age gates.

In addition to first- and third-party targeting, situational data such as GPS location or time of day can enable data-driven video. For example, movie promoters can direct audiences to the nearest theatres and upcoming showtimes, or brands can push real-time offers at nearby retailers.

Sample Data Points:

  • Time of day/ day of week
  • Weather
  • Device type
  • Publisher data
  • Custom product recommendations
  • Dynamic maps and addresses
  • Store locations
  • Real-time offers

41s additional time earned by interactive video campaigns vs standard video campaigns

550% lift in total user activity over standard video campaigns

Reach viewers who are watching alone with advanced targeting parameters

Since the majority of OTT viewing is done alone, OTT offers advertisers the opportunity to target individuals precisely. At the same time, OTT allows for more social viewing occasions compared to user-generated content. Use OTT’s targeting options to capture the right audiences.

  • Demographics: Age, gender, language preference
  • Location: Country, state, region, city postal code
  • Daypart: Time of day, day of the week
  • Content: Genre (e.g. news, drama sports), category (e.g. TV shows, movies)
  • Device: Connected TV (CTV), mobile phone, tablet
  • Operating System: iOS, Android
  • Telco: carriers Specific to each market

50% higher lift in brand awareness through audience targeting vs demographic targeting in a specific beauty campaign

98% more unique users reached through audience targeting vs demographic targeting in a specific beauty campaign

Key Considerations: Leverage data from OTT platforms and media partners to identify the right parameters for your target audience. For longer campaigns, conduct A/B tests for different parameters and optimize the audience strategy over time.

Bring the data and precision of digital to your TV advertising

On top of the advanced targeting parameters, advertisers can incorporate data to enhance the performance of OTT campaigns. Improved outcomes include lower cost per action and higher click-through and conversion rates.

With data from brands, publishers, and third parties, advertisers can target specific customer attributes, e.g. brand ownership.

Advertisers can also retarget viewers on additional devices, apps, websites, etc. For example:

  • E-commerce advertisers can use first-party data to share their latest promotions with new and existing customers.
  • Brand advertisers can use third-party data to reach new high-value audiences based on passion points from a partner marketplace.
Performance lift of data campaigns across regions and industries

Performance lift of data campaigns across regions and industries

Make each exposure less expensive with control over frequency capping

By shifting traditional TV spend to OTT, advertisers can optimize their ROI on audience exposure. Frequency capping in omnichannel buying platforms allows the optimal frequency to be applied across CTV, display, and mobile, not just TV. This allows brands to increase the frequency of exposure at a lower cost to drive saliency among audiences who watch both while driving incremental reach for OTT-only audiences.

Frequency capping in OTT has the added benefit of real-time optimization and adjusting the level of the cap based on audience and performance. Audiences get a better OTT viewing experience, while advertisers can make their budgets work harder. As the industry continues to experiment, OTT advertising will continue to ad experiences that are more positive for viewers and deliver higher ROI for advertisers.

70% of CMOs globally believe frequency capping can limit ad fatigue

Key Considerations: Check if partners allow for frequency capping and creative rotation to create effective brand recall without ad fatigue.

Move beyond standard TV metrics to better measure success

OTT platforms allow advertisers to expand beyond traditional TV and use digital metrics to measure success.

Across campaigns, four basic metrics advertisers should understand are reach (individual, household for CTV, or on target percentage for more advanced advertisers), viewability, video ad completion rates, brand impact, and cost per unique reach.

However, programmatic technology gives advertisers the ability to go beyond tracking online actions. The Trade Desk enables you to work with measurement providers to see whether in-store visits, online and offline sales, and brand lift were influenced by your OTT campaigns. Use these learnings to inform your future goals and buys.

Use the right metrics to compare performance across platforms. When comparing CTV, mobile, or desktop campaigns, use digital metrics. Use linear metrics to compare OTT campaigns to traditional TV.

Digital Metrics (OTT Only):

  • Individual reach: % of individual audiences reached
  • Viewability: % of ad visible on the screen for at least 2 seconds
  • Video ad completion rates: % of ads that play through their entire duration
  • On-target percentage (OTP): % of campaign delivery within the advertiser’s campaign-defined goals (a more advanced way to understand the quality of a campaign’s reach)
  • Brand Lift: % increase in brand awareness, perception, consideration, purchase intent
  • Footfall: Number of in-store visits from viewers exposed to OTT ads

Digital Metrics (OTT and TV):

  • Household reach: % of households reached

Digital Metrics (TV Only):

  • Gross Rating Point (GRP): Size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule, regardless of multiple exposures of the same advertising to individuals

Understanding OTT video pricing models and KPIs

Typically, OTT inventory is priced and sold on a CPM basis. Advertisers can additionally set KPIs to help them optimize towards particular goals. The most common are:

  • Cost per completed view (CPCV): The advertiser pays for every time a video ad runs through to completion, rather than paying for all views, some of which may have been stopped before completion.
  • Cost per view (CPV): The advertiser pays every time a video ad starts (each start is counted as a view).
  • Viewable cost per view (VCPV): Costs, views, and viewability are considered to determine what the advertiser pays.

Key Considerations: Definitions of a “view” vary by OTT platform. Clarify definitions before confirming a pricing model with an OTT partner.

Measuring unique reach across platforms and channels

While OTT advertising offers many opportunities, it is not without its challenges. The biggest advertiser pain point is how to measure unique reach across OTT platforms and media channels.

Solving this is a key industry focus — major global advertisers, agency holding groups, and industry bodies have joined the World Federation of Advertisers’ Cross Media Working Group to promote a common global approach that can work for the whole industry. In the short term, advertisers are employing third-party cross-media studies to understand the overlaps and incrementality of audience reach.

62% of brand and agency executives globally reported measurement capabilities as one of the top three obstacles to adopting OTT advertising.

Four tips for planning and optimizing a winning OTT campaign

  • Lead with KPIs: Define campaign objectives and KPIs at the start to ensure creative, targeting, and attribution measures are aligned. Determine the balance between scale and targeting early on.
  • Measure for Success: Use the right metrics to compare performance across platforms. When comparing CTV, mobile, or desktop campaigns, use digital metrics. Use linear metrics to compare OTT campaigns to traditional TV. The Trade Desk’s partnerships with Lifesight, Factual, Gojek, Zalora, and InMobi enable advertisers to go beyond proxy metrics such as completion rates to measure and attribute online and offline sales and footfall, and brand lift.
  • Maximize First – and Third-party Data: Put your hard-earned first-party data to work to cut through the clutter and help your campaign stand out from the rest. Use third-party data for precise targeting and to gain richer audience insights. Work with a data onboarder with the expertise to map targeting segment to ad/device identifier and/or IP address.
  • Optimize, Optimize, Optimize: Leverage frequency capping, and continually monitor and fine-tune campaigns. Optimize in real-time based on live performance data. The Trade Desk offers advertisers the ability to optimize OTT campaigns to drive in-store visits and online and offline sales, as well as brand lift.

Exploring the creative toolbox

  • Tailor the look, sound, and feel of creatives to the targeting parameters to deliver relevant and personalized experiences, especially in the highly personal environments of mobile devices.
  • Leverage dynamic creatives to test different offers and finetune messaging.
  • Work with platform partners to understand and experiment with new types of ad messaging, from paused-content ads to menu places.
  • Maximize clickable ad types with actionable creatives to encourage viewers to engage with the brand. This enables ads to capture data and drive immediate purchase.

At the same time, keep in mind hygiene factors around formatting to ensure seamless adaptation across formats and platforms:

  1. Keep non-skippable ads to 30 seconds or less as OTT viewers have different expectations for streaming content compared to traditional TV.
  2. Capture your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. Introduce the brand early or consider having a logo throughout the commercial.
  3. Use high-quality mezzanine file assets (use VAST and high-quality MP4) to match the quality of ads to the streaming content.
  4. Identify sizing best practices to ensure creatives can be formatted for multiple devices.

Case study: OTT outperforms user-generated content and social platforms in Vietnam

CHALLENGE: Test and analyze the performance of the same 15s video creative across different digital platforms for a household electronic brand

SOLUTION: The Trade Desk partnered with FPT IPTV to target females watching specific content (e.g. Korean dramas, Vietnamese TV series, short films) on CTV devices with 15s skippable video creatives

RESULTS: Higher engagement of audiences of professional quality, long-form content on big TV screens drove higher completion rates, and the most efficient cost per completed views (CPCV) of $0.006, despite higher CPMs.

94% completion rate vs MOAT industry average: 68%

4.7X higher completion rate than user-generated content

74X higher completion rate than social platforms

Case study: Reaching incremental audiences through OTT on mobile

CHALLENGE: To explore new channels beyond linear TV and YouTube to maximize brand awareness for a baked potato snack

SOLUTION: Eight-week campaign of instream ads targeting men and women aged 13-44 years old on iflix, Viu, iWant, and HOOQ. 95 percent of the spend was on mobile with 61 percent on Android devices.

RESULTS: Exceeded target viewability, completion rates, and industry averages. By focusing on mobile and OTT audiences, the brand reached audiences otherwise inaccessible on linear TV and YouTube.

94% completion rate vs MOAT industry average: 68%

Case study: Priming mobile audiences for higher engagement

CHALLENGE: Raise awareness and drive consideration for the movie Cats by encouraging engagement with video content

SOLUTION: 30-second pre-roll interactive video ads within in-app OTT platforms (iflix, HOOQ, Viu, and iWant) to drive viewers to Cats movie playlist destination to watch more

RESULTS: Movie promotions fit seamlessly with the professionally produced long-form content viewers were consuming. At the same time, the simple interactivity in a mobile/app-based environment that viewers are used to clicking through drives higher click-throughs and engagement. Effective optimization and a creative spin allow the campaign to perform above average benchmarks and reach out to previously inaccessible audiences.

4x click-through rate vs industry IAB standards (0.23%)

2x click-through rate of noninteractive and non-clickable ads

85% completion rate

Work with The Trade Desk to make the most of the OTT opportunity

The future of TV buying has arrived. The Trade Desk platform delivers the tools to reach more than 100 million Southeast Asian viewers using data-driven OTT buying.

  • Layer rich first- and third-party audience data on your media buys — including interests, demographics, contextual, content, geography, and more. Using our AI engine Koa™ you can automatically optimize your campaigns toward your most valuable viewers.
  • Tie OTT investment to real business results by measuring, attributing, and optimizing in-store footfall and visits, and online and offline sales to ads on OTT. Take advantage of high viewability and completion rates to build and measure brand awareness.
  • When buying OTT with The Trade Desk, advertisers decide when, where, and how often their ads appear — in real-time down to the minute, hour, day, or week.
  • Advertise alongside premium inventory from top local and regional OTT platforms. Activate and manage all your OTT deals within one platform.
  • Maximize brand safety without the need for third-party tools to manage and track.

Conclusion: Future trends and developments in OTT in Southeast Asia

  1. ULTRA HIGH-DEFINITION CONTENT: 5G is set to usher in a new wave of OTT uptake as internet speeds 10-20x faster than 4G is brought to the masses, enabling ultra-high-definition content on mobile.
  2. MOBILE NOW, MULTI-DEVICE NEXT: Expect the predominantly mobile audiences of Southeast Asia to shift towards multi-device streaming, widening the appeal of OTT and expanding the creative possibilities of advertising.
  3. THE GOLDEN AGE OF TV: Due to high demand, more high-quality local content is being produced than ever. As content costs outpace SVOD support and consumers are accustomed to free content, AVOD platforms will level the playing field and lead consumer preference.
  4. LIVESTREAMING OPPORTUNITIES: Accelerated by COVID-19, live streaming is gaining traction beyond sports to concerts, award shows, etc. As viewership grows, live-streamed content offers advertisers new ways to monetize content and reach consumers.
  5. INNOVATIVE DISTRIBUTION MODELS: As Southeast Asia’s technology giants mature and grow, OTT will be a key touchpoint for brands to reach consumers through shorter customer journeys within their ecosystems and super-apps.

OTT is only getting started

COVID-19 has accelerated demand for OTT in Southeast Asia, already driven by internet and smartphone adoption. Moving forward, OTT advertising is a core part of marketer’s toolkits, especially as a top-of-funnel, cost-efficient complement to traditional TV.

The benefits of targeting and effectiveness outweigh the challenges in measurement which can be mitigated by cross-media studies.

Advertisers should start now to build in-house capabilities and take advantage of the bright future of OTT. With better connectivity on the horizon, OTT will pave the way for advertisers to reach and target tomorrow’s affluent and young Southeast Asian consumers.

84% of APAC marketers expect to increase OTT ad spend in the next 12 months.

Source: The Trade Desk

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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