International firms are tapping into Thailand's emerging mobile advertising market, propelled by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets plus high-speed wireless broadband networks.
Mobile video and real-time bidding (RTB) advertising looks set to become the upcoming trend next year, enabling advertisers to tailor their bids on an impression-by-impression basis when competing for the in-stream video ad inventory made available through SpotXchange's auction-based marketplace.
Supachai Parchariyanon, managing director of McFiva, a leading local digital media agency, said video advertising via mobile phones and the internet was growing in popularity, thanks to the exponential increase in smart devices.
Advertising appears while video content is played to the user. This enables content copyright holders and television producers to earn more revenue.
"The local online video ad market is expected to be valued at 125 million baht this year, increasing to 750 million baht in 2013," Mr Supachai said.
Thailand's TV ad market is expected to be worth 60 billion baht next year, he added.
RTB advertising is an emerging trend globally. The system allows advertisers to bid within milliseconds to place an advert targeting a user with the desired attributes.
Technologies allow the system to collect users' profiles. Software automatically matches visitors with website advertising space positions.
For example, Mr Supachai said, the system alerts advertisers when a target user is visiting a website. Advertisers then compete to bid to acquire that space in real time.
"The bidding process takes 100 milliseconds. Advertising content will appear to suit each individual user," Mr Supachai said.
The system will enable advertisers to reduce their online advertising budgets by at least 57%. Advertisers currently need to call directly to buy space on websites or buy through brokers such as Ad Exchange or advertising network companies.
"We will expand our real-time bidding from desktop computers to mobile phones and Facebook by the end of this year," Mr Supachai said.
McFiva is the first local digital advertising agency to provide the RTB system, called Fiviad, but it expects more competitors soon.
Thailand's RTB advertising market is expected to be worth 200 million baht this year, 4% of the 5.5-billion-baht online advertising market. It is expected to double to 400 million baht next year.
Mr Supachai said McFiva expects to have a strategic partner within December to expand its business overseas.
KF Lai, chief executive of BuzzCity, one of the world's largest mobile advertising networks, said the Thai mobile ad market would grow by 15-20% this year, up from US$3 million last year, thanks to the growing popularity of smart devices and the increasing number of mobile internet users.
"Thailand is expected to become the group's largest market in Southeast Asia this year, overtaking Indonesia," Mr Lai said.
Ariya Banomyong, head of Google Thailand, said mobile advertising is a big bet for Google. The company will continue to develop advertising systems designed specially for features of mobile devices.
"Mobile advertising is no longer just a business opportunity; it's an essential tool for digital marketers," he said.
Mr Ariya said advertisers are looking to broadcast their adverts across multiple screens embracing TVs, computers, mobile phones and tablets.
He said mobile advertising is a growing area in Thailand because the penetration of smartphone users has reached 28%. Up to 44 % of Thais say mobile devices are their preferred channel for going online.
Mr Ariya said 35% of Thai people use mobile coupons to buy products in a store, a rate higher than in the US, Britain, France and Germany.
Companies need to produce more attractive mobile adverts and websites to attract users.
The popularity in Thailand for accessing the internet via mobile devices presents a huge opportunity, said Marc Bookman, chief executive of MCN Asia (Thailand), a Singapore-based advertising network firm.
MCN recently inked a partnership with Mediaba, a Tokyo-based media production firm, to increase its smartphone advertising footprint in Thailand.
Based on a report by MobGold, mobile advert requests in Thailand jumped from 170 million at the end of last year to 190 million by March.
About the author
- Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter