Rev Asia identifies key segments for digital ventures

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 25, 2013): Rev Media Equity Holdings Sdn Bhd (Rev Asia), a 70%-owned subsidiary of Catcha Media Bhd, has identified the lifestyle, Malay, women and news segments as key verticals that it plans to venture into digitally by mid-2014.

"All these verticals that we're zooming in at the moment will be led and push through digital efforts. Digital will always take the forefront of any of our growth plans in Southeast Asia, starting from Malaysia," Rev Asia managing director Voon Tze Khay told SunBiz said in an interview recently.

Rev Asia already has a presence in the lifestyle space through magazines like Juice, Clive and Mint as well as online sites MSN Locker Room, MSN Entertainment and MSN Travel.

In the women's space, it has the Life & Style channel within MSN.com.my, which is female-centric.

It will also leverage on Says.com's social news network, which registers some 500,000 unique visits a month, to grow its presence in the news segment.

In addition, 60% of Says.com members are Malay, paving the way for Rev Asia to enter the Malay market as well.

"We're in talks with a few parties at the moment to dominate key verticals and audience segment through strategic partnership arrangements and licensing and will also be launching new sites," said Voon.

"For us, the way we want to own these spaces is through the digital products that we develop, acquire or merge. We will then look at how to spin that off to reach a bigger level of audience that may involve events or wiring to other platforms," he added.

Voon noted that the largest spender of advertising expenditure (adex) consists of fast moving consumer goods brands in the women's space.

"If you look at the women's space from a digital perspective, there is minimal player in the market that is speaking to young women who is digitally savvy. Print magazines, which are widely available, have seen their print ad revenue and readership declining over the last couple of years.

"We saw the opportunity to take the lead and move in a few verticals that we can digitally engage consumers with," he said.

Voon expects adex outlook in Malaysia for 2014 to be steadier with a higher growth rate compared with 2013 with the FIFA World Cup 2014.

This should be further spurred with the growth of digital ad spent that is expected to grow 30% to 40% year-on-year.

"The catalysation of digital ad spent is such a vast opportunity for Rev Asia to move in to," he said.

Rev Asia was formed following the completion of the RM60 million merger last month between Catcha Media's subsidiaries Catcha Digital and Catcha Publishing, as well as Says Sdn Bhd to establish one of the country's largest digital advertising business by reach, clients and spend, and potentially revolutionise the way advertisers reach out to Malaysia's increasingly socially connected populace.

Voon said today, Rev Asia has 22 brands under its belt and is planning to add another seven to eight brands to its portfolio within six to 12 months.

"The business will go through transformation to digitally develop these brands across an enhanced digital platform within the group," he said.
Voon said Rev Asia will see growth in revenue for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2013 (FY13) with the consolidation of Says' revenue post-merger.

Says is the operator of Says.com, an online platform for social media users to consume online news and providing services for advertisers to spread news about their brand offerings, promotion and campaigns on social media.

Rev Asia also expects favourable results and growth in FY14, driven by social content creation and distribution, merger and acquisitions, licensing and the addition of new brands in key verticals that it is zooming in to.

By pairing the power of social media marketing with an established portfolio of digital content authority brands, Rev Asia is able to provide influential digital marketing solutions.

Rev Asia chairman Khailee Ng said social media and editorial content has yield the most trust and influence in the spectrum across advertising channels.

Within Rev Asia, the individual business units of Catcha Digital, Catcha Publishing and Says.com will continue to operate.