‘Thai mobile games market is on a steep growth curve’

Venkatesh C.R.

Launched in the rapid-growing startup and IT city of Chennai in India last year, the first Global Mobile App Summit & Awards (GMASA) turned out to be a roaring success. To keep it rolling, C.R. Venkatesh, who is managing director and CEO of Dot Com Infoway, organizer of the event, has picked Bangkok as the next destination to hold the second GMASA.

The GMASA 2016, a one-day summit gathering digital visionaries, tech specialists, entrepreneurs and marketing experts across the world to exchange the latest developments and innovations in the mobile application market, will be organised on January 22 at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit.

In the press conference, Venkatesh explained that Thailand was a natural choice for GMASA 2016, as the Thai mobile games market is on a steep growth curve and being a leader within the ASEAN region in terms of the smartphone market. Mobile phone penetration in Thailand in the first quarter of 2015 was close to 180 per cent due to multiple phone ownership. Some 75 per cent of mobile internet users in the country are under 35 years old with a culture of utilizing apps for gaming, video access and music, as well as adding to the region’s rising and extremely lucrative e-commerce industry.

“The focus this year is on gaming which should attract many of Thailand’s 60,000 app developers and the growing numbers abroad,” he said.

In a response with DEALSTREETASIA, this young veteran in India’s IT circle has given his interesting insights on the mobile app market as following:

What are the prospects for Thai mobile games market? How do you see it developed over the last two or three years?

Thailand is, after all, the largest market for games in South-East Asia with a 21-per-cent share and should hold the leader position until 2017. The revenue through games in Thailand was about $93.50 million in 2014. Whereas, it went to $150 million in 2015 and will exceed $490 million in 2017. About 60 per cent of these revenues will come from mobile.

What are the trends of mobile applications in Thailand?

Social networking and entertainment continue to lead the race. There are 24 million active users, or a 37 per cent of total Thai population accessing to mobile applications every day. Entertainment mobile applications including mobile games, music, and video also have high daily access, with an average of 14 million active users.

Comparing to other countries in ASEAN, how interesting are Thai mobile startups?

Startups in Thailand need to be mobile, as the mobile penetration is Thailand is huge. In 2014 itself, Thailand exceeded the entire population by one-third, as some people subscribe to more than one number. The expenses are very low and there is a lot of talent in Thailand that is just waiting to be leveraged. The kind of teamwork and spirit that you see among startups in Thailand is commendable. I think Thailand has a lot to teach the rest of the world in this regard.

What have been the global and Asia’s main trends in 2015 for app marketing?

Wearable smart devices come into play: Wearable technology is gaining popularity and will soon emerge to become a lucrative platform for marketers. Shipments of wearables are projected to reach almost 112 million units in 2018, up from less than 20 million this year, according to International Data Corporation. Brands will be looking for ways to get their marketing messages across to people who own wearable smart devices. Advertisers are already experimenting with ways to create ads that can be accommodated within the limited display size of wearable devices.

Tapping into the potential of mobile video ads: Nearly 40 per cent of YouTube video views are via mobile. Mobile video consumption has increased drastically, resulting in big opportunities for brands to reach their customers through video ads. Video ads can be a great way to communicate a brand’s message clearly, and drive greater customer engagement. We are starting to see native mobile video ads appearing within apps and this is a trend that is on the rise.

In addition to the above, super personalisation of mobile ads, mobile commerce and retargeting are also worth a mention.

What do you think are going to be the significant areas of app marketing to focus on in 2016?

Gone are the days of top-down communications, of disturbing ads and poorly ranged customer outreach campaigns. Today, we have more data than ever, and we’re leveraging it to come up  with innovative trends and ideas like: Wearable Marketing and the Internet of Things, Marketing Automation, Deep Linking to say a few.

About Dot Com Infoway

Dot Com Infoway is a premier IT company in India engaged in application development, web development and mobile apps marketing to clients all over the world. ADATHA, Cash On Apps, Apps World Mag, Startup 360 and GMASA are some of the divisions of DCI.  While Apps World Mag and Startup 360 are print/digital magazines, Cash On Apps is a reward App which has around 1 million users in India alone.  ADATHA is a Mobile Ad Network focusing on performance advertisement and works with over 250 publishers worldwide.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.