This interview with Hidetaka Tembata, President of InMobi Japan, was recently published in the March issue of Sendenkaigi magazine.
As smartphones, which are open to the world, spread in Japan, people have been more actively utilizing them for global ad communications. How will ads change with the growth of the cross-device market?
As smartphones, which are open to the world, spread in Japan, people have been more actively utilizing them for global ad communications. How will ads change with the growth of the cross-device market?Has smartphone already become the main mobile device? In Senden Kaigi issued on February 1, 2011, I forecasted that smartphones would become the main mobile device. The forecast is becoming reality. Even in countries which were said to be mainly the market for featured phones such as Southeast Asia, India, and China, as well as in Africa and South America, this trend remains strong. Looking at the Internet ad market, the domestic market accounted for 99.9% of the relations between advertisers and media companies. But along with the advancement of open platforms for smartphones, the situation has been gradually changing. Trend towards cross device and cross media One of the factors that drive the global trend is the fact that the cross-device market is becoming normal. For example, the NFL Super Bowl held on February 5 was a big event with TV viewership of 111.3 million across the U.S. According to InMobi's survey, almost half of the viewers (45%) are presumed to have accessed online using mobile devices (many of which were smartphones) for over 30 minutes while the game was on air. Mobile devices are already essential as media that sides up to other media such as TV. InMobi has partnered globally with Sony's device network, and launched in February the experimental distribution of ads on PlayStation3 for the first time in Japan. We have obtained interesting findings through the project. Recently, people often ask me whether TVs and PCs will disappear when smartphones are fully spread. That won't happen because these devices provide users with different values and worlds. However, the ad market hasn't successfully created a business model connecting these devices. I hope the day will come soon when ad companies for all devices share the same view of the world, including the evaluation standards for the effectiveness of ads, to allow the industry-wide discussions. Making it happen with change of devices Internet ads advancing towards next stage One of the specific trends to make this happen is the advancement of Internet ads driven by rich media ads. Last August, InMobi acquired Sprout, a provider of rich media ad solutions, and started providing services across the globe. We will be able to show the first actual example in Japan this spring. Without specific knowledge about HTML5 and other technologies, users can create and operate an ad, and once it is created, it works with any device. And it maximizes creators' potential abilities. It is also possible to set targeting for each ad element. In the future, we want to achieve simple targeting for media and devices as well.