Thought Leadership

Programmatic Predictions for 2020 in Japan

February 4, 2020
By Rubicon Project

We spoke with Shien Zhu, Country Manager, Japan at Rubicon Project, to get his perspective on what the programmatic industry in Japan might be focused on in 2020.


How has Demand Manager been received in your market in 2019?

Shien Zhu:

It has been received quite well, and as a matter of fact many of the features and characteristics of Demand Manager here in Japan are inspired by our Japanese publishers. We’ve worked closely with them to make sure the solution is delivered and based on their actual needs.

What are your predictions for Demand Manager adoption in your market in 2020?

Shien Zhu:

It will keep growing in the market and we intend to highlight the best practices of Demand Manager usage into case studies from our close partnerships with publishers. In the meantime, we will keep adding more value to the current solutions through more features and format support.  We will also dive deep into more analytics to help our partners achieve their growth and optimization goals.

Among customers, how do you envision Demand Manager usage evolving in 2020?

Shien Zhu:

We will continue to see more and more top tier publishers adopting Demand Manager, which will inspire small and medium sized clients to replicate their successes using DM. The type of clients will also keep diversifying, covering all different kinds of industries (news, E-commerce, portal sites for example) and platforms (web and mobile).


How has the market adopted Prebid in 2019, and what will it take to get broader adoption in 2020?

Shien Zhu:

Increasingly more players in the industry started to realize the importance of transparency and flexibility when it comes to working with monetization partners. Prebid provides the market a great alternative to help ease the process and ensure high efficiency, fairness, and flexibility.

In order to increase the awareness and knowledge about Prebid, we’re preparing for a event in Tokyo to meet and communicate with the local community.

How is Rubicon Project helping partners to adopt Prebid?

Shien Zhu:

As the major contributor to, Rubicon Project has been widely recognized as an industry leader that helps push for innovation and transparency. Many local publishers and SMBs have expressed their struggles from partnerships with other industry tycoons, and it’s too tiring and difficult for them to keep up with the pace of regular changes and updates to proprietary wrappers, which sometimes could be inefficient and black-boxed. This is one of the reasons Prebid was developed.  The idea of open source and community-based is highly valued to many seeking alternatives, and Prebid’s responsibility is to find better ways and channels to get the message across.  

Through Demand Manager, Rubicon Project offers the solution to these issues that helps publishers stay up-to-date with the latest technology through Prebid’s open source structure.


What do you predict will be the biggest trends in Japan in 2020?

Shien Zhu:

New formats such as audio and new channels such as DOOH and CTV are up and coming. We will continue growing our existing strong partnerships, exploring emerging trends and technologies together with our partners.

What will 2020 be the year of?

Shien Zhu:

2020 is the year of the Tokyo Olympics! We are expecting Japan will receive a record number of visits both physically and virtually, so it’s a very exciting time for Japan to be interacting dynamically with the rest of the world.

To learn more about Demand Manager, Prebid, or any of the topics covered in this piece, reach out to us at

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