Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
3 mins read

Lessons learned from working with publishers in Japan: Q&A

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Global adtech leader Ogury entered Japan a little over a year ago. Since then, the company got to grips with the specificities of this market  – learning invaluable lessons along the way.

WNIP had a chat with Benjamin Lanfry, Chief Supply Officer at Ogury, to have a look behind the scenes and get some tips that adtechs looking to serve that market need to know…

Why is Japan a strategic market for a global adtech company like Ogury?

The Japanese market has huge growth potential. It is one of the biggest spenders in digital advertising worldwide (4th in 2022 according to Statista), and is expected to remain in the top 5 for many years to come. As we manage global campaigns on behalf of international brands, it was crucial for us to open an office in Japan and develop a solid network of publishers locally.

What is Ogury’s relationship with the Japanese publishing network?

Ogury launched over a year ago in Japan and has already built a powerful network of premium publishers in the market, enabling them to monetize their digital assets in a cookieless world. This strong network of publishers makes Japan the 3rd Ogury market in terms of reach and impressions served.

Our Japan Supply team has managed to seal partnerships with top-tier local publishers such as The Asahi Shimbun Company, Bungeishunju or Kodansha, the premier manga publishing house and the leader of the specialized press.

In your opinion, what is different about media in Japan compared to other markets?

The Japanese media landscape is much more traditional than other markets. Print is still a sizable business for publishers and isn’t shrinking at the same rate as in Europe or the United States. For example, Yomiuri is the largest sold newspaper in the world with 7M daily print copies. This means it is less difficult for media companies to survive and find a new model.

Does it mean these companies are less innovative?

No, but media companies are quite traditional in the way they operate and can take their time when it comes to decision-making. Something to highlight is also that an important share of the business is managed through old-school Insertion Orders (IO) rather than programmatically. But Japanese publishers are definitely open to testing new partners and technologies, especially those that don’t rely on user tracking, as users are becoming more and more cautious about their privacy.

Japan is also advanced in accepting header bidding compared to other markets. At Ogury, we’re working with key players on that front, such as AnyMind Group’s FourM or FLUX.

Who are the major players in force when it comes to digital advertising?

Yahoo Japan used to dominate the digital market but is being challenged a lot. Google, Amazon, and Meta managed to get the lion’s share in terms of advertising business but have to contend with a lot of local adtech players with a strong domestic presence (Platform One Inc, MicroAd, Spership).

On the demand side, Dentsu – one of our main agency clients in Japan – owns more than half of the market. The other conglomerate, Hakuhodo, is much smaller.

What are Ogury’s plans for the Japanese market in 2023 and beyond?

Our priority is to onboard more publishers in Japan, with a key focus on fashion websites. The luxury industry is a key vertical for our growth in the region, and we want to align our supply offering with the premium demand from luxury and fashion brands.

As a global company, we are also working on new ad formats to help our publishers better monetize their digital assets.