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China real-time media buying seeing tremendous growth: Brandscreen Q3 2013 insights report

Technology & Data

China real-time media buying seeing tremendous growth: Brandscreen Q3 2013 insights report


The market for programmatic media buying in China is growing rapidly, with impressions up 437% from last quarter, due to growth in RTB-enabled inventory within the China market as the big four Chinese exchanges -Taobao, Tencent, Sina, and Baidu – continue to make more inventory available.

This data comes from real-time media platform Brandscreen, which has released the results of its Q4 2013 ‘Real-Time Media Insights Report’. The report draws from Brandscreen’s body of trading data and highlights key real-time media industry insights and trends that are affecting trading desks and advertisers across Asia Pacific.

The report was headlined by three key insights:

  • Local China inventory price performance is 243% better than global,
  • programmatic media continues to grow with the number of campaigns up 70% over last year, and the proportion of impressions by inventory source continues to shift, and
  • retargeting impressions are up 200% by volume year on year; CPA is 74% lower on average than non-retargeting impressions.


On average, CPA of local inventory in China was 59% lower than that of global inventory. “This is just beginning of a market shift to valuable, better-performing local inventory,” said Stu Spiteri, CEO of Brandscreen. “As more relevant, local inventory comes into the programmatic market, advertisers will see improvements just like what we’ve seen in China, because local inventory connects better with customers. The data doesn’t lie – traders and agencies who are not going after local inventory are not serving their customers.”

When comparing local and global inventory in China, Brandscreen found that global CPM is slightly higher than local, and that demand for local language may be pushing up prices. CPC is on par for both global and local inventory, though the range is wider and local can be more expensive at the top of the range. This may be a result of higher prices for local inventory. Interestingly, the median CTR for local is 21% higher than that for global. Finally, the range of local inventory CPA is lower in China than the range for global CPA – although the mode is slightly higher for local inventory.

The number of programmatic campaigns is rapidly expanding, up 70% since the same quarter last year, as more and more advertisers test and incorporate real time bidding into their campaign planning and processes. Partner integrations – the actual number of inventory and data partners to which Brandscreen has access – is up 51%.

The proportion of spend allocated to retargeting also continues to grow, according to the report. As marketers realise the effectiveness of retargeting there has been increased adoption and consequently, higher bidding prices. Across all retargeting efforts, there is a 200% increase in impressions since the same quarter last year and a 50% increase in impressions since last quarter. Data show the overall effectiveness of retargeting. Also, some anecdotal data suggests that the addition of third-party data further improves performance. However, very few campaigns employ both data sources.

Brandscreen’s research also showed that CPA is 74% lower on average for retargeting impressions than for non-retargeting impressions in the third quarter. Despite an average CPM cost that is 54% higher than a non-retargeting impression, ultimate CPA performance is better because the individual impressions are more likely to convert.



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