Partner Spotlight: CrossTarget’s Jay Yang on programmatic advertising in South Korea

July 13, 2017

Tags: 2017, DSPs

Natalie Breitbach
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Partner Spotlight is a series on our blog where we hear directly from advertisers, agencies, DSPs, publishers, and partners about industry hot topics, challenges, predictions, and more in a quick Q&A format. In this edition we interview Jay Yang, CEO of CrossTarget, a DSP based in South Korea.

MoPub: What trends do you see in mobile programmatic right now in the Korean market?  

Jay Yang: People are interested in mobile marketing and real-time bidding (RTB) more than ever in South Korea. According to Cheil Worldwide, the mobile advertising market in South Korea has grown 36.3% last year and is expected to grow 23.1% this year; mobile advertising spend will surpass PC in 2017.

The term RTB was fairly new in South Korea as recently as early last year. Deals were made programmatically, but with a fixed CPM or CPC. However, Korean DSPs like CrossTarget began to dive into RTB. As a result, advertisers and agencies are more interested in programmatic RTB, and SSPs have begun to develop their own RTB system. 

I believe we are still in the early learning stage for RTB. CPC pricing in online marketing can be an obstacle for RTB’s rapid growth, but eventually it will be a big part of programmatic advertising in Korea.

MoPub: What’s your favorite ad format?

JY: Native is our number 1 favorite MoPub product. We've found native to be both the most cost-effective and highest-performing format for us.

MoPub: What’s the biggest misconception in the market right now?

JY: The biggest misconception in the Korean market is that advertisers believe cheaper is better. Advertisers are unwilling to try higher CPM ad inventories as they don't believe that a higher CPM necessarily leads to higher engagement.

Also, advertisers believe that they will get better performance by giving multiple DSPs the same campaign with the same target user lists (IFAs). Advertisers believe that more DSPs mean more reach for their users. However, concerning the market size of Korea, DSPs have around 80-90% of overlapping ad exchange and ad networks. Because of this, what happens is cannibalism between DSPs to obtain the same audience, and I believe that will decrease overall performance of the campaign for the advertiser. 

MoPub: What will we be talking about in the next 6-12 months?

JY: Along with PMPs, we’ll be talking about skippable and rewarded video. As video ad demand grows, we expect video ads in Korea to grow rapidly within 6-12 months. 

MoPub:  What’s one thing you wish you could tell mobile app publishers?

JY: From what I understand, it seems like app publishers set high bid floors when they first start working with ad exchanges. However, a performance DSP cannot bid high for unknown publishers’ inventory; we need to go through a performance check before bidding higher CPMs.

Performance DSPs bid higher for apps that perform better. To give us a chance to see that performance, it’s helpful when new app publishers start with bid floors that aren’t so high. Also, if app publishers can provide more information about their traffic, it will really help performance DSPs to bid on and test new publishers. 

Lastly, we would like to have more native ad inventory. Native ads can provide a better user experience than regular banners; they can fit into the app UI more naturally, and also provide higher CTRs. 

MoPub: What are the biggest challenges facing your business today?

JY: The biggest challenge that we are facing with IFA targeting is lack of inventory. Since we are running campaigns with set of IFAs to target, we always need more and more scale to reach our targets.

From CrossTarget: CrossTarget is a performance DSP from South Korea specializing in mobile advertising. CrossTarget combines user behavior with internal DMP data to maximize performance. Learn more at


© 2017 MoPub, Inc.
TWITTER, MOPUB and the Bird logo are trademarks of Twitter, Inc. or its affiliates. All third party logos and trademarks included are the property of their respective owners. The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect the views of Twitter, Inc. or its affiliates.

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