Online ad market: small firms fight against two US giants

The US social network Facebook and the search engine Google receive the biggest pieces of the Vietnamese online ad market, which has been growing rapidly in recent years.

Online ad market: small firms fight against two US giants

Nguyen Dung, CEO of Netlink, said at a conference on online ads held in mid-September in Hanoi, that many years ago, the market was dominated by VnExpress.vn and 24h.vn, but in the last two years, Google and Facebook have been earning 70 percent of the market’s revenue. The figure would be 80 percent this year.

Ha Anh Tuan, CEO of Vinalink, a very familiar name in online ads, said that the revenue from online ads has been increasing sharply in the last few years, but the playing field is still being controlled by foreign firms.

Vinalink, which conducted a survey, has found that by the end of 2015, Facebook had led the market in online ad revenue in Vietnam with VND3 trillion, followed by Google with VND2.2 trillion. Meanwhile, all Vietnamese firms could earn VND1.9 trillion only.
The US social network Facebook and the search engine Google receive the biggest pieces of the Vietnamese online ad market, which has been growing rapidly in recent years.
However, Nguyen The Tan, CEO of VCCorp, disagrees with Ha. Tan estimated that the revenue of the online ad market in 2015 was just VND1-1.5 trillion, while Google and Facebook pocketed one-third of this sum.

Some ad experts commented that both Netlink and Vinalink are ad agents for Google and Facebook in Vietnam, so they might have exaggerated figures about market shares being held by the two US giants.

No official statistics about the Vietnamese online ad market have been released by global market survey firms. However, the popularity and influences of the two giants are undeniable. Many firms which compete directly with them have difficulties, and some of them have stopped operation.

Eight years ago, Xalo.vn, a Vietnamese search engine developed by Tinh Van Company, stated that it was ready to confront Google in Vietnam. However, Xalo.vn had to shut down after a short period of ineffective operation.

Socbay.vn, another search engine, has shifted to an e-commerce website.

In late 2012, Wada (http://wada.vn), a search engine developed by Russian investors, targeting the Vietnamese market, was launched. However, sources said Wada is meeting big difficulties.

In early 2013, Coc Coc (coccoc.vn) was launched into the market with the initial investment capital of $100 million. Unlike the search engines, Coc Coc announced it would not intend to compete directly with Google, but targeted a niche market. 

Coc Coc provides additional services such as math question solving, currency conversion and measurement unit conversion, targeting clients who are students and parents.

A representative of Coc Coc said it holds the second largest market share in Vietnam, just after Google, and has attracted 50,000 installations. 


Chi Mai

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