Trends of Q2 Advertising in Southeast Asia

5 min readJul 7, 2020


Based on statistics of App Growing Global as of Q2 this year, both the number of advertising apps and ads, ads of mobile games in Southeast Asia are relatively large, accounting for more than 60%. The advertising budget of non-mobile games in Q2 increased significantly. The number of advertisements increased by 47% from Q1, while the proportion of ads in Q2 increased to 42%.

Social, Entertainment, and Books have the largest amount in the non-gaming ads in Q2, of which the books increased the most from Q1, up to 307%. RPG, puzzle, and action are on the Top 3 of mobile games in Southeast Asia, among which RPG increased by 55% from Q1.

Below to interpret specific apps of games, social, entertainment, books, and live-streaming in the Top Charts.

1–1 Over half of the apps in the Top Chart of Mobile Games is from Chinese developers

The diverse Southeast Asian culture has a high degree of tolerance to foreign cultures. And there is few powerfully local content provider of games. Therefore, it becomes a competition for foreign developers. The Q2 Top Chart compared with Q1 changes greatly and the periodicity of mobile games advertising from head advertisers is obvious.

It is worth noting that mobile games advertising is still focused on several areas in Southeast Asia, such as India where there is less advertising generally. The Main advertising areas of 4399TH’s Yong Heroes and YottaGames’ Mafia City in Southeast Asia are Thailand and Vietnam.

Main Advertising Countries of 《Yong Heroes》

1–2 JOYY sizes Southeast Asia markets with a huge advertising budget

Social and live-streaming are still the worlds of foreign developers in Southeast Asia. As we can see in the below chart, boundaries of Entertainment, Social, live-streaming, video are increasingly blurred to better meet the needs of users and seize the market.

Unfortunately, the main advertising areas of Huya(虎牙)’s Yomi Live and Kaishou(快手)’s UVideo in Southeast Asia is India. Meanwhile, Vmate, which dominates the Indian market, also dropped from the Top 3 in Q1 to outside the Top 10 in Q2. The live-streaming market will see a new round of shuffling in India due to the Indian government’s ban on Chinese apps.

Tencent Video is rumored to be merged with Aiqiyi(爱奇艺) to surpass Netflix. Their oversea apps WeTV and iQIYI have also chosen Southeast Asia. Tencent’s WeTV is in the Top 1 in Q2 Top Chart of Photo&Video.

Main Advertising Countries of 《Yomi Live》
Main Advertising Countries of《UVideo》

1–3 Advertising of Books is booming

Books apps and advertising have increased significantly in Q2. And there are also a number of individual developers perhaps because the development of books apps is not so difficult and Southeast Asia is more receptive to China’s online books and videos. The developers only need to focus on translation and copyright issues.

Take FlyRead for example, launched this year and started advertising in March, it has already been in the Top 3 in the Free Books Chart in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

iReader is in the Top 30 in the Southeast Asia Free Books Chart. Unlike FlyRead, iReader’s main advertising area is not just Southeast Asia, but the United States has the largest amount of advertising material.

Books advertising materials are mainly based on information flow pictures, including real personals and animation materials. It generally describes the book’s name and brief content as below.

The cultural output of video, books, and games is rapidly integrated into Southeast Asia. Compared with Japan, South Korea, Europe, and the United States, the product requirements in Southeast Asia is relatively low, so that there are unlimited opportunities and possibilities. However, there are also some challenges, such as fierce competition from Chinese developers, poor local networks, and limited average payment ability, etc. Foreign developers choose markets according to their own advantages, coupled with continued advertising, which can be successful in Southeast Asia.

The data of the report is based on the number of advertisements from App Growing Global as a measure of ad performance. The number of advertisements is not exactly equal to their actual ad consumption and is for reference only.

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