OpenX Strengthens Foothold in Japan, Eyes China

OpenX has intensified its presence in Japan by opening an office in Tokyo and hiring Nick Kovac as general manager to meet increasing demand for real-time bidding (RTB) on the web and mobile in the country.

The Los Angeles-based ad tech provider entered Japan in August 2010 through an exclusive partnership with Dentsu’s digital subsidiary CCI to form online ad exchange, OpenX Market Japan (OMJ).

Two years since its launch, OMJ has seen 600 percent growth in volume of ad requests year-on-year, Jason Fairchild, chief revenue officer at OpenX told in a phone interview.

OpenX is also gaining momentum in supporting mobile and tablet inventory.

In August, OpenX inked a multi-year partnership with CyberWing Corporation, a media rep for Japan’s ISPs and subsidiary of NEC BIGLOBE, to launch what it claims to be Japan’s first mobile ad exchange that is expected to roll out later this year.

The new private ad exchange would allow advertisers worldwide to buy premium Japanese mobile and app inventory, including smartphones and tablets, from local ISPs – BIGLOBE; Fujitsu’s subsidiary, Nifty Corporation; Twipple, a Twitter mobile client in Japan; as well as from 10 local ad networks.

Additionally, device manufacturer Samsung Electronics has selected OpenX to form the Samsung AdHub Market in April, which will enable advertisers to place ads on mobile apps on Samsung phones and tablets. This service will also be available for buyers in Japan, Fairchild said.

Japan is currently ranked the third largest national market for digital advertising globally, according to eMarketer.

The mobile ad market is also estimated to grow to $20.6 billion by 2015 based on an IAB report, with Asia Pacific and Japan continuing to dominate global market share at 33.6 percent of mobile ad budget in the same year.

Kovac, previously the MD for Asia Pacific Ventures, will be responsible to oversee business operations for new and existing partnerships with local publishers, advertisers, and agencies at OpenX Japan. He will also be tasked to build a “handful” of team members to serve the local market from its Tokyo office.

“Whether it’s Japan or across Asia, we are deeply committed to the region,” Fairchild said.

The company saw massive growth over the last couple of years and that growth has not slowed down at all.

“In fact, we see that growth accelerating, which are the major reasons for hiring Nick to run the market and build a team in Japan,” he added.

OpenX also has plans to enter China, the second largest ad market worldwide.

The company is currently in “deep investigation stage” and will most likely adopt a similar approach as Japan by providing its tech platform to a strong local partner that understands the complexities and nuances of the market, Fairchild revealed.

Meanwhile, its rival Google officially rolled out its DoubleClick ad exchange platform known in the region as Adx in China in April. Google Adx also has presence in Japan since 2011.

This story originally appeared in ClickZ Asia.

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