Google to Launch AdX in Japan

Google is in discussions with key display players in Japan to launch its Ad Exchange (AdX) in the country in Q3 this year.

Recruitment ads on Facebook and Japanese job sites indicate Google wants to hire a Tokyo-based head of AdX on the buyside for Japan and the Asia Pacific region.

An industry source revealed Google has been poaching local media agency professionals to join the Google AdX team in the country. And last week, Google met up with agency professionals in Tokyo to give an update on its AdX.

However, Google has told ClickZ Asia that the meeting wasn’t actually a formal launch in Japan as AdX has been available for international buyers for over a year since its launch in North America in September 2009.

While advertisers and agencies in Japan can access Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange, they can only bid in U.S. currency for now. When Google AdX officially launches in Japan, it will allow bidding in the local currency.

According to Nomura Research Institute, Japan’s online ad market is projected to grow to more than $10 billion by 2014 and is the second largest online ad market globally after North America. The country is largely a premium buy market dominated by Dentsu’s digital arm, Cyber Communications Inc (CCI), and Hakuodo’s D.A. Consortium (DAC), but that’s gradually changing. In April, DAC formed a subsidiary unit PlatformOne to launch its demand-side platform and supply-side platform, MarketOne and YieldOne respectively.

PlatformOne’s CEO, Akihiko Tokuhisa, said in an email interview that DAC has partnered with technology service provider Iponweb to provide real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities for MarketOne and YieldOne to meet the sophisticated demands for advertisers and enhance further revenue for online publishers.

Other features of MarketOne include audience targeting and creative optimization, while YieldOne allows publishers to maximize their ROI by calculating the e-CPM of each ad network and prioritizing higher eCPM campaigns to be distributed alongside RTB and retargeting.

According to Tokuhisa, more than 100 ad agencies and over 400 advertisers have used MarketOne since its launch in 2009, while PlatformOne’s RTB inventory is more than 10 billion impressions per month and expected to double in volume later this year.

Coinciding with PlatformOne rolling out its RTB technology this month, rival CCI partnered with OpenX to unveil OpenX Market Japan, an online ad exchange that offers RTB functionality for publishers and advertisers that will compete for each impression in a real-time auction.

Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Right Media Exchange has been in the country since 2009, but currently does not offer RTB in the Japan market.