New Study Reveals Japanese Digital Ad Industry’s Top Priorities for the New Year

    In 2020, social media and video streaming on mobile emerged as the most popular platforms for consumers in Japan.

    By Robert Cameron - Jan 19, 2021
    New Study Reveals Japanese Digital Ad Industry’s Top Priorities for the New Year

    Image credit: Jezael Melgoza, Unsplash

    According to the latest ‘Japan Industry Pulse Report’ from Integral Ad Science, the deprecation of cookies, the rise of mobile innovation, and the importance of contextual advertising are key areas of focus for Japanese marketers in 2021.

    Key digital advertising priorities for Japanese advertisers:

    Navigating cookie deprecation, data privacy legislation, and contextual targeting will take precedence for Japanese advertisers: As the effects of increasing data privacy rules have taken hold and media experts have adapted to ensure compliance, third-party cookie deprecation remains a top challenge for 61% of the industry.

    While last year the industry was more focused on evolving data privacy legislation, this year media experts are now concerning themselves with the effects of those legislations, including third-party cookie deprecation, accurate measurement, adapting to contextual targeting, and cross-device attribution.

    Japan will see a rise in mobile innovation in 2021: Over half of the respondents listed mobile as a high priority for the upcoming year. eMarketer predicts that mobile ad spend will reach $12.24 billion in 2021, accounting for 73.4% of total digital ad spend in Japan.

    While mobile has been a widely adopted device for years, 66% of the respondents for the industry pulse survey believe increased video consumption paired with new technologies will solidify its value. 76% of respondents believe evolving technologies in contextual advertising will escalate mobile advertising innovation in 2021, while 64% point to growing 5G adoption as a key driver.

    Connected TV takes a permanent bite out of linear TV in Japan: Despite increases in adoption, subscriptions, and platform options, advertisers have been slow to shift linear television budgets to CTV. According to a recent eMarketer report, digital video ad spend rose an estimated 13% to $3.45 billion in Japan.

    As stay-home behaviors continue, 74% of those surveyed believe the shift away from linear TV consumption will accelerate. 77% of industry experts agree that both digital video/OTT and CTV ad spend will increase with innovation.

    Japanese advertisers demand more transparency in social media: Social media advertising will continue to play a valuable role in digital strategies; it is forecasted to reach a record $2.75 billion in Japan this year according to eMarketer. Social media is the top media priority for 52% of Japanese advertisers.

    Meanwhile, 77% of respondents agree that insufficient transparency into media quality metrics will impact their social media spend in 2021. Respondents view YouTube (37%) and Facebook (34%) as the most likely platforms to see media spend adjusted due to insufficient media quality transparency. Still, both platforms provide unparalleled audience reach and engagement.

    Programmatic booms, but focus on media quality intensifies in Japan: Programmatic continues to gain and shows unprecedented growth opportunities in the year ahead, but marketers still see a potential for risk and the need for more verification.

    One-in-six survey respondents said programmatic transparency will remain a concern, with one-in-seven pointing at supply path optimization as a key challenge in 2021. With the advent of new technology and enhanced industry partnerships, IAS expects to see even greater improvements in transparency for programmatic this year.

    “With an unprecedented number of people spending more time at home in 2020, social media and video streaming on mobile emerged as the most popular platforms for consumers in Japan, along with the growth of Connected TV globally,” said Takeshi Yamaguchi, Senior Executive IAS, Japan.

    “During these challenging times, Japanese marketers are also looking for reliable solutions in a post cookie era and shifting attention to contextual targeting. Through the Industry Pulse Report, advertisers have set a clear mandate for accurate measurement and strong media quality control across all channels to ensure confidence in 2021 and beyond.”

    Based on a survey of over 170 Japanese digital media professionals, the Japan Industry Pulse Report focuses on emerging trends, priorities, opportunities, and challenges for 2021.

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