APAC’s Biggest Programmatic Trends for 2024 

In association with StackAdapt

In this exclusive article, Berina Colakovic, director of sales APAC, StackAdapt, dives into APAC’s programmatic landscape to explore the trends making the biggest waves. From data privacy regulations for the post-cookie world to mastering multichannel marketing, we explore the industry trends shaping the region in 2024. 

Programmatic dominates much of the digital advertising ecosystem and it’s no wonder given its transparency, automation and efficiency. Investment in the technology continues as marketers reap the benefits of its capabilities. A staggering USD$546bn (AUD$839/£432bn) was spent worldwide on programmatic advertising in 2023, compared with USD$493 (AUD$758bn/£390bn) the previous year. 

Zeroing in on the APAC region, programmatic is also on the rise. ExchangeWire’s recent research report into the APAC region saw 64% of respondents reporting an increase in programmatic spend last year, while almost a quarter had plans to grow their investment by 75% or more. With programmatic thriving in the APAC region, we take a look at the trends making the biggest splash in the programmatic Pacific.

Preparing for the post-cookie landscape

With Google having already begun deprecating third party cookies on Chrome for 1% of users globally, much industry talk lately has been cookie focused. Although Google is encountering potential roadblocks regarding data access and competition concerns, as well as critiques of its Privacy Sandbox solution, the deprecation deadline remains set for Q3 2024. Recent research by ExchangeWire found that 62% of the APAC programmatic industry is at least somewhat concerned about cookie deprecation, with 24% very concerned. 

Data privacy is a strong topic of interest particularly in the more mature APAC markets such as Australia. Over the past few years, the Australian government has been attempting to give individuals more control over how their personal information is used with regard to marketing and advertising. In February 2023, the government published a Privacy Act Review Report, recognising a public interest to protect individuals’ privacy and to regulate targeting. Coupled with the deprecation of third party cookies, Australian marketers are faced with a landscape highly preoccupied with privacy. 

Berina Colakovic, director of sales APAC, StackAdapt

As a response to the current data privacy changes, contextual advertising has been one of the most popular alternatives to tracking and targeting consumers in a post-cookie programmatic world. With ads being placed alongside relevant content by algorithms scanning metadata such as keywords and website content, marketers leveraging contextual need not worry about data privacy. Contextual allows advertisers to reach their intended audience while keeping costs down. It is also highly measurable, providing advertisers with the opportunity to optimise their ads effectively. 

Furthermore, brands are now able to utilise their own data in a programmatic world. First-party data provides a competitive advantage by enabling advertisers to optimise their programmatic strategies, improve customer experiences, and create more personalised campaigns. By leveraging this high-quality, reliable, and accurate data, brands can deliver marketing messaging that helps them achieve their campaign goals. 

CTV’s prosperity in APAC 

Connected TV (CTV) will also be king in the post-cookie world, with the medium not relying on third party cookies, or any kind of cookies at all. Consumers have changed their television consumption habits: consuming content via streaming platforms is the new norm. The biggest industry players have been adapting to the changing face of the landscape, with several planning to bring out new services to meet consumer hunger for streaming.  

CTV growth has been global, also hugely prosperous in the APAC region. Last year, the region’s online SVOD sector grew 15% to reach USD$28bn (AUD$43.0bn/£22.1bn), while AVOD grew 11% to USD$29bn (USD$44.6bn/£22.9bn), excluding China. It makes sense that advertisers are flocking to the medium, with such a large audience now reachable via CTV. 

Harnessing CTV allows marketers to reach new and hard-to-reach audiences, such as those who have turned away from linear TV. Attention to ads is generally higher on CTV devices compared to linear. With many individuals choosing to watch ad-supported CTV content as an alternative to paying for SVOD services, many are more open to receiving ads in exchange for content. 

Importantly, its format allows advertisers to measure and optimise engagement effectively. By leveraging both first and third party data to enable more effective targeting, targeting irrelevant viewers and households can be avoided – another benefit unavailable to advertisers sticking to linear TV. While a campaign is live, advertisers also have the benefit of being able to assess its progress and make adjustments to align with their objectives. 

Mastering multichannel 

While CTV is a major market for advertisers to capitalise on, the APAC region is bustling with other opportunities too. APAC is the region which sells and manufactures the greatest number of smartphones in the world, which has made way for a huge mobile marketing market. Meanwhile, the region’s current DOOH market is estimated at USD$19.3bn (AUD$29.7bn/£15.2bn). 

In today’s highly fragmented media ecosystem, marketers need to be working across multiple channels. Consumer journeys are rarely confined to one channel, with consumers constantly switching between devices, channels, and platforms throughout the day. There is an abundance of advertising formats these days: CTV, video, audio, display, OOH, in-game, and each one has its own set of benefits. 

Video is currently bigger than ever – in fact, people are twice as likely to share video content over any other content format. Audio is rapidly growing in popularity: with the current buzz around podcasting, we can only expect audio to continue booming. Similarly to CTV, programmatic audio offers greater audience targeting capabilities compared to traditional radio. Meanwhile, OOH advertising is high impact, achieves great visibility and awareness, and can allow advertisers a chance to play with creativity. With a multichannel strategy, advertisers can work with as many as they wish to. Finally, in-game advertising provides a route to an extensive, diverse, and highly engaged audience.

Implementing a multichannel strategy allows advertisers to take advantage of the individual advantages of each channel alongside consumers’ varied consumption habits, catching their attention at different times and in different places. For that reason, they are great at increasing brand awareness. Creating a cohesive message across channels reminds consumers of their offering, bringing potential customers closer to conversion. By advertising across multiple channels, advertisers will also be more likely to reach their target audience via their preferred channel. 

For more information on the latest programmatic advertising trends in APAC, join Berina on StackAdapt’s premiere live webinar from APAC. Click here for more details.