TOKYO: Teads, the video advertising platform, is expanding in Asia and aims to overtake YouTube in the near future, its chairman has said.

Pierre Chappaz has secured financing and recruited a regional SVP with a view to expanding the supplier of "outstream" video inventory from its current base in Japan to China and Southeast Asia.

Brands such as Sony, Lexus, ANA and JAL are on board in Japan, where, managing director Yukihiko Imamura told Campaign Asia-Pacific, the balance was shifting from direct response to brand building, but he added that marketers were still reluctant to invest in video to the same extent as their counterparts in the US and Europe.

That caution, he explained, is down to their concerns about a lack of quality inventory and where their ad might be placed, issues which Teads addresses by working with premium publishers and promising full transparency on ad placements.

Expanding into Asia, the firm has YouTube firmly in its sights, as it offers what it says is a less intrusive form of video advertising – its products are located outside of video content – than the pre-roll ads commonly attached to videos on the Google-owned platforms.

The average viewing time for skippable pre-rolls is around two seconds, but Teads' confidence in its approach means it only charges advertisers for views of more than 15 seconds on mobile and 30 seconds on desktop. And while Chappaz was not forthcoming on the actual numbers watching for this length of time, he said they were "high enough to make the system work".

He added that it was still the case that brands simply transferred existing TV commercials to video format rather than creating original video content, although that is expected to change as mobile – which accounts for 60% of Teads' inventory – continues to grow.

"It's the very beginning," Chappaz said. "Marketers are aware that audiences are on smartphones and that they can't continue to operate as if everyone is on TV, but it takes a bit of time to react to market changes."

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