Programmatic as a significant digital revenue generator

STAR Media Group is marching on with its digitalisation plans as it intends to stay ahead of the curve and strengthen its grip in the digital space.

There are three types of revenue for the group, namely digital ad revenue, digital subscription ad revenue as well as platforms and services.

Chief operating officer Roy Tan says the group is targeting to have one third revenue from each of the above over the next few years.

As for the digital strategy, he says it, among others, relates to beefing up the programmatic (digital advertising) business and the establishment of a growth marketing team.

According to a report by Zenith Media, two-thirds or 67% of digital display globally will be sold programmatically by next year. The value of advertising sold programmatically will rise from US$57.5bil in 2017 to US$84.9bil in 2019, growing at an average rate of 21% a year.

The digital revenue for the first half of this year has increased by 50% compared with the similar period last year. Of this figure, 10% of the revenue comes from programmatic.

“We started the programmatic division 18 months ago and have build up our programmatic data lab. It’s relevant as we can help our clients in the buying of ad space digitally and improve their business.

“The move to programmatic is essential as the group covers the top 50% of all audiences in the country. The potential of this business is huge and a significant digital revenue generator,” Tan adds.

The growth marketing team has been set up to help clients to drive their campaigns in the digital platforms to achieve their return on investments or by utilising the group’s media assets.

“The mantra where the group is driving relates to consumer, content and connection.

“We build bridges between consumers and brands but use content as an avenue to drive that engagement,” Tan explains.

With the main source of revenue coming from the print segment will the group’s digital strategy impact earnings?

He says there may be some impact in the short term, but moving forward more consumers will pay for digital content as that is the trend.

“It is not a journey that will start immediately, but one that will definitely happen. I am optimistic about it and digitalisation will work for the group,” he adds.

Will print make a comeback as digital news is more open to fake news?

Tan says it is not the case of a particular medium but the quality of a content that is written which a reader will be in a position to differentiate between what is fake and genuine.

The brand which truly stands out in terms of trustworthiness and that engages with consumers will be the one that will win irrespective of digital or print, he adds.

In line with the digital media consumption trend, a subscription-based new service – StarBiz Premium – was launched in the fourth quarter of last year.

Subscribers for the service are on the rise since its inception. StarBiz Premium is a collaboration between StarBiz, Wall Street Journal and the Singapore Business Times.

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