SPH, Mediacorp announce tie-up that offers digital programmatic advertising

Executives from Singapore Press Holdings - (from left) Mr Ignatius Low, Head of Media Solutions; Ms Elsie Chua, Chief Marketing Offier; Ms Tan Su-Lin, Head of Sales Strategy & Operations and Mr Julian Tan, Executive Vice-President, Digital Division -
Executives from Singapore Press Holdings - (from left) Mr Ignatius Low, Head of Media Solutions; Ms Elsie Chua, Chief Marketing Offier; Ms Tan Su-Lin, Head of Sales Strategy & Operations and Mr Julian Tan, Executive Vice-President, Digital Division - and Mediacorp at the MOU signing for a new joint venture, dubbed Singapore Media Exchange. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
Executives from Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp pose for a wefie at the MOU signing for a new joint venture, dubbed Singapore Media Exchange.
Executives from Singapore Press Holdings and Mediacorp pose for a wefie at the MOU signing for a new joint venture, dubbed Singapore Media Exchange. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) and Mediacorp are working together on a digital advertising initiative meant to offer brands access to a wide audience of consumers in Singapore as well as address the problem of ads showing up on dubious websites.

The tie-up offers programmatic advertising, which relies on computer programs to automatically serve ads onto multiple websites instantly. The move comes in the wake of recent incidents where online ads for some of Singapore's biggest brands popped up unwittingly on incendiary ones, such as those that promote hate speech.

The venture, dubbed Singapore Media Exchange (SMX), will see the two media companies putting their inventory of websites into a common pool so advertisers have a wider network for their campaigns, instead of needing to buy directly into any particular website.

At the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday (Aug 7), SPH's digital division executive vice president Julian Tan said: "This partnership brings together the two leading media organisations in Singapore which are committed to innovate and offer true value to advertisers facing unprecedented challenges in this digital age."

Mediacorp chief commercial and digital officer Parminder Singh said: "Trust is paramount for brands. All our media buyers want greater choice, brand safety and scale."

SMX will commit at least 2 billion display and video impressions annually across a selection of SPH and Mediacorp platforms, including the websites and mobile apps of The Straits Times, The Business Times, Zaobao, Channel NewsAsia and Today.

To be launched fully next year (2018), SMX will be managed by an independent team led by a chief executive officer to be hired. A board will be appointed with the two companies having equal representation. Other premium publishers may be invited to add their online properties in the future.

According to research firm ComScore, the two media companies are among the top five digital properties here reaching over seven in 10 digital consumers in Singapore every month.

Google and Facebook are the biggest providers of programmatic advertising via their ad booking and management systems, which let advertisers select their target audience by their interests or demographic.

Ads for a government agency, retailer chains, banks, airlines and telcos have been found on controversial websites, including one that has content from preachers linked to terrorism. All of their ads have since been removed.