SINGAPORE: Mediacorp and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) are teaming up to launch a new digital advertising marketplace in Singapore.
The two media companies on Monday (Aug 7) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a joint venture, which will tentatively be named Singapore Media Exchange (SMX).
Expected to be ready in the first quarter of next year, the joint venture will commit at least two billion display and video impressions a year across a selection of platforms from the two companies, according to a press release.
The inventory for this private marketplace resides across desktop, mobile web and mobile apps. It includes Mediacorp sites such as channelnewsasia.com, todayonline.com, channel8news.sg, seithi.mediacorp.sg, berita.mediacorp.sg, 8days.sg, stylexstyle.com, meclub.sg and entertainment.toggle.sg. For SPH, the sites are straitstimes.com, businesstimes.com, asiaone.com, zaobao.com.sg, tnp.sg, stomp.straitstimes.com and beritaharian.sg.
Other premium publishers may be invited to participate in the marketplace in future to add to the inventory offered, the press release said.
The joint venture will be managed by an independent team and led by a CEO to be hired. The two media companies will have equal representation in the board, and take turns to fill the chairperson role which has a term of two years.
“Trust is paramount for brands,” said Mediacorp's chief commercial and digital officer Parminder Singh. “Coming together in this venture enables SPH and Mediacorp to scale the benefits of our trusted media environments."
He added: "The strength of our offerings also lies in creative, engaging advertising formats and bespoke automated solutions that give brands the ability to build effective, coherent stories and campaigns and more meaningful connections with their customers."
SPH's executive vice president of the digital division Julian Tan said the partnership "brings together the two leading media organisations in Singapore which are committed to innovate and offer true value to advertisers facing unprecedented challenges in this digital age".
"Now we have a single, easy-to-use programmatic solution with extensive scale and reach that will allow them to drive their desired impact using the latest ad serving technology," Mr Tan added.
According to media management company ComScore, Mediacorp and SPH are among the top five digital properties with the highest traffic in Singapore, reaching over seven in ten digital consumers locally every month.
Using a leading data management platform to consolidate data resources from both companies, the alliance will provide richer targeting capabilities, including behavioural, demographic and contextual, to pinpoint the right audiences and meet the needs of specific campaigns, said the press release. Brands can also feel safe knowing that their creatives are appearing next to quality content, it said.
According to Mr Roger Moy, head of consumer insights and analytics at Mediacorp, a key imperative of the digital cooperative is to "pool, unify and harness rich first-party audience data" across the news, business, entertainment and lifestyle properties of both organisations.
"The collective data insights will enable the programmatic alliance to syndicate valuable audience segments with scale as well as unlock new targeting opportunities in a brand-safe environment,” he added.
For Ms Tan Su-Lin, head of sales strategy & operations at SPH, viewability is critical for advertisers today as they seek greater accountability in digital media and the opportunity for their advertisements to be seen.
She said: "As premium publishers, SPH's and Mediacorp's digital platforms provide quality content that is produced by professional journalists and supported by full time specialist teams working actively on improving user experience and ad tech to eliminate ad fraud, as well as increase ad viewability and quality viewable impressions for our readers."
The newly formed joint venture has sparked interest from existing clients.
"As we rewrite the playbook for government communications, we have been using different ways of storytelling, customised advertising solutions and a range of media platforms to reach diverse segments in society," said Ms Karen Tan, senior director of the Public Communications Division at the Ministry of Communications and Information.
"We certainly welcome the entry of a high-quality, more targeted advertising environment that uses advanced programmatic technology to boost the impact of our efforts. At the same time, I believe audiences will benefit from more accessible, engaging and more relevant content."