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Oath Ad Platforms combines best ad tech services for advertisers: Rico Chan, MD, Oath

11-September-2018
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Oath Ad Platforms combines best ad tech services for advertisers: Rico Chan, MD, Oath

Oath has completed a year. Here are excerpts from an email interaction with Rico Chan, Managing Director, Hong Kong, India and SEA, Oath, about how the new ad platform with advanced features will help drive growth for advertisers and publishers.

It’s been a year since Oath was launched, but many users/advertisers still don’t know about the brand? How has the year been? Tell us about the progress.



We’re proud of what we have achieved--bringing together AOL and Yahoo – two powerhouse media and technology brands. We unified our people, processes and products. Today, we reach one billion people around the world, with a dynamic mix of media and technology brands in our portfolio, including HuffPost, Yahoo Cricket, Tumblr, Yahoo Finance and Flurry.

In India, we continued to build on the momentum, releasing a new Yahoo Mail mobile web experience, besides an Android Go app. We won plenty of user love for our refreshed Yahoo Cricket app. HuffPost India came into the Oath fold. With Aman Sethi on board as Editor-in-Chief, HuffPost is now bringing its compelling and trusted brand of storytelling to our audiences in India.

We also engaged deeply with advertisers, publishers and consumers over the last year. We are now in the exciting phase of innovating our offerings. We want to build deep consumer experiences across our much-loved brands, launch new products and services on mobile and video and continue to grow our partnerships.

With the massive shift to mobile and Verizon (a Fortune 16 company and one of the largest mobile companies in the world) as our parent company, we are just getting started on the opportunity ahead. We aim to put our brands on every mobile screen. Our goal is to reach 2 billion users by 2020. We see many of our new users coming from this part of the world, with India leapfrogging on mobile and home to over 450 million mobile Internet users – a number that continues to rise sharply.

How do you see the digital advertising trend in India and where would you place Oath and its various brands within this canvas?

Digital advertising is gaining huge ground in India, and is expected to grow by 30 per cent YoY in 2018. With increasing demand for cross-screen experiences and strong growth in mobile Internet usage, mobile marketing is a huge opportunity in India. This is a very exciting landscape. There’s been a phenomenal rise in online content consumption and we are well placed to offer the content consumers love and expect here, across our brands.

When we combine the power of our content, scale and data, we see tremendous opportunities to help advertisers in India build stronger relationships with consumers. We recently introduced Oath Ad Platforms, which delivers a simplified suite of intelligent advertising and publishing solutions to drive growth for advertisers and publishers. New innovative ad experiences as part of the suite will help us deliver creative and impactful campaigns for brands in this market.

We are simultaneously building meaningful consumer experiences on our brands that can take us closer to the Indian consumers. We want to be responsive to the needs of the Indian audience, many of whom will be coming online for the first time on their mobile phones. Yahoo Mail recently released an entirely new mobile web experience (alongside an Android Go app). We know that several users in India grapple with poor connectivity and data limitations. This new mobile web experience offers improved usability on top of a modern design. Irrespective of their hardware or connectivity issues, we wanted our users here to have a better, more enjoyable and productive Yahoo Mail experience.

We are innovating to build immersive consumer experiences that deeply engage Indian consumers. In less than four months of its refresh, the Yahoo Cricket app touched 1.5 million downloads on Android, with users giving it a 4.49 star rating on Google Play. They were quickly hooked to the lightning fast scores, crisp match info and easy access to news listings. During this year’s IPL, we made the scores on the app available in 7 different regional languages-- Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Malayalam-- to engage with our regional users.

Studies show mobile internet is predominantly used by young Indians and we are invested in engaging deeply with this audience.

What are the brands you are working for in India?

We have a gamut of advertisers across industries, from consumer goods to e-commerce, tourism and consumer technology, to name just a few. They include Amazon, Nike, Lufthansa Airlines, Lenovo, Airtel, Toyota and Asian Paints.

We work extensively with banking & financial services advertisers. Bajaj Allianz, HDFC Asset Management, ICICI Lombard, Kotak Mahindra being a few of our top advertisers. We recently signed an exclusive partnership with online marketplace BankBazaar, for a co-branded site accessible from the Yahoo Finance HomePage.

What is Oath’s strategy to compete with competitors like Facebook and Google?

The digital marketing space is enormous and still growing. The spaces are differentiated. There is so much opportunity both on the consumer side and on the advertiser side. Our goal is to reach 2 billion users by 2020. If you look at how people are coming online, the vast majority are accessing the Internet for the first time on their mobile phones. This is a US $800 billion-$1 trillion industry, but mobile accounts for just a fraction of it.

We see tremendous opportunity in the mobile consumer economy, which is growing rapidly, and nowhere more so than in India. Today’s mobile consumer is empowered. This one device is increasingly controlling the entire experience – how people search, shop, communicate, consume information, news and entertainment. We want to provide customers with must-have mobile content and services. We want to give other businesses or partners access to those consumers on mobile.

As we look through their lens, giving customers and advertisers what they want and need, we have some distinctive advantages at Oath. The combination of our trusted content, distribution, and data sets us apart from other players in the market.

What is Oath’s POV on ad fraud and prevention? What is the state of transparency in ad tech? What is Oath’s approach to providing transparency for its clients and partners, specifically in the world of programmatic?

As advertisers seek quality environments in which to run their ads, increased transparency in the programmatic ecosystem has become essential, now more than ever before. At Oath, we are committed to increasing transparency.

Oath has invested in proprietary technology on our buying platforms that aims to enforce supply transparency and prevent domain spoofing across the majority of supply partners. In fact, our technology blocks hundreds of millions of spoofed bid requests on a daily basis.

Combined with our long-time partnership with the IAB, industry-leading third party fraud measurement across our platforms and human review safeguards, we're fully committed to a safe, transparent supply chain for our advertiser partners.

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