SINGAPORE: Brands and agencies across Southeast Asia are picking up on programmatic buying for mobile as new statistics reveal rapid quarter-on-quarter growth on one platform's network.

Figures from TubeMogul show that mobile inventory across the region leapt 720% from the first to second quarter of 2014, with several countries recording four-figure rates of increase.

The most spectacular growth had come in the Philippines, up 5,820%, but similarly impressive results could be seen in Indonesia (+2,950%), Malaysia (+2,800%) and Thailand (+1,600%).

Clearly, these increases came from a low base but nonetheless Brett Wilson, CEO Tubemogul, was confident they signalled a significant change in the region. "In many other parts of the world, programmatic buying of mobile video is nascent," he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "Southeast Asia is one of the few markets where brands are closer to actual [media] consumption trends."

His views are backed by investors who recently poured SG$1m into a Singapore-based start-up, ADSKOM, whose CEO, Italo Gani, declared that "digital advertising in Asia today is at an inflection point, with marketers and advertisers turning to programmatic advertising to shape their strategies, as well as evaluate campaigns".

One of the great advantages of programmatic, according to Wilson, is that it makes it easier for brands and agencies to enter new markets, something that Southeast Asian businesses are thinking about ahead of ASEAN economic integration next year. "Now they can log in from anywhere and put a plan together in minutes that used to require a lot of local knowledge," he said.

Another benefit was highlighted by Phu Trong, managing director TubeMogul, Southeast Asia, who pointed out that in the past many smaller agencies did not have a media department, but they didn't need to with programmatic.

"They have the ability to buy media in the exact same way at the exact same scale as GroupM," he said. "They don't have to build a team in every single market any more. They can have a team of five people and one login."

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff