IAS Media is one of the largest and oldest international media representative company here in the middle East. It commenced its operations in UAE back in 1991, and this is its 25th year of service. IAS Media’s specializes in all media verticals. The digital unit of IAS was launched in 2007 and the programmatic, tech operations later in 2011. IAS Media offers international websites of repute, like Washington Post, Forbes, Condenast Titles from UK, Russia, China, India and other markets, Times of India, Manoramaonline, Dawn, Handelsblatt Group, Nikkei BP and many others. Apart from direct IO relationship with publishers, IAS also offers programmatic, network, social and audience driven advertising services to clients.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge for digital media publishers in the MENA region? (ie. making great content, targeting, growing audiences, ad fraud, etc.)
The digital ecosystem changes quicker than any other mediums, and publishers have to keep up with these sudden unannounced changes. The advantage of being in the GCC specifically is the exposure to best practices from evolved markets that are carried by talents who choose to work in the great cities of Middle East like Dubai. Along with them, come technology, platforms and other tools than enhance the digital advertising business. The market has adopted programmatic, native opportunities and mobile advertising, and the publishers must keep pace, adapt and learn.
How do you currently use Narratiive to fuel your ad sales?
It is important to use a measuring platform in a varied and fragmented market. Narratiive offers that opportunity to accurately depict audience strength and related demographic data. IAS Media extensively use EM data of our sites for marketing awareness and sales enhancement.
What is going to be your focus for the next 12 months to ensure you are able to offer advertisers a great product that performs well for their campaigns?
IAS Media’s focus is on audience, how accurately we are able to decipher the audience profiles. This audience driven approach has been adopted by the IAS publishers to clearly offer better targeted products and services to advertisers in the region. Rather than campaign standardization, IAS is offering audience driven advertising assets, content and services to brand owners.
How does your business currently engage with the programmatic space?
IAS was one of the first to offer managed programmatic campaigns in the middle east back in 2011 when it was relatively a new word in the region. The business has changed, agencies have launched their own programmatic platforms. IAS offers independent programmatic managed service in the region, to any advertiser, agency and brand that chooses to work in this space. This may be CPM, CPC or performance, affiliate campaigns.
Do you predict any major changes for MENA publishers in the next 12 months, in terms of how they look/operate?
Yes, forced and planned. Publishers will change their offerings to brands that are more customized and result driven. Publishers have the advantage of knowing their audience better than any other third party entity and publishers will take advantage of this learning to offer advertising solutions.