Writer: Yuyu Chen


Many U.S. ad tech companies are eyeing growth opportunities in Asia, especially China. Joining the pack is demand-side platform The Trade Desk, which opened an office in Shanghai — where the likes of GroupM, OMD and Havas Media are located — around two months ago.

Rob Perdue, chief operating officer for The Trade Desk, said building an office in Shanghai is a natural next step for The Trade Desk, as the company’s research has found that two-thirds of the growing $650 billion advertising market comes from outside of the U.S. From March to June, The Trade Desk saw steady revenue increases from its Asian offices, led by Seoul (372 percent year over year), Tokyo (279 percent year over year) and Singapore (220 percent year over year), according to the company’s quarterly financial report. (The Trade Desk declined to disclose the baseline revenue.)

“If you have a long-term view you need to be in Asia now,” said Perdue. “We decided to expand into China because it’s the second-largest media market in the world. Lots of Chinese agencies and brands hunger to reach the global marketplace, and within China, big players like the BAT [Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent] and JD have much growth pressure.”

Chinese publishers tend to build their own ad exchanges that serve as de facto supply-side platforms, so one big priority for The Trade Desk in China is forging publisher relationships. Its selling point: The Trade Desk has a track record of working with big brands, so it can bring Chinese publishers inventory demand from agencies and companies outside of China, said Perdue. “We are also transparent and don’t own the media we sell,” he said.


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