Q&A with Ye Wang, CEO of SERAPHIC
What have been the major developments at SERAPHIC in 2020?
SERAPHIC raised a new round of funding in May 2020. We would like to show our gratitude to the investors' firm confidence in us and strong support during a hard time for the TV industry. We'll continue to invest the capital into innovative product development and market expansion.
For the TV browser, the major developments include support for the YouView requirement on Android TV. SERAPHIC also became the official Android TV partner in 2020. All Sraf® Hybrid TV products support both Linux and Android, which allows our clients to develop their products on different platforms flexibly.
We have launched a data-driven CTV ads product (as SSP and publisher) to add value to our hybrid TV and OTT solutions, and we have provided our CTV inventories to global brands and agencies, especially in LATAM.
Are there any specific products you are currently developing or have newly launched?
SERAPHIC has been following the latest TV technologies. We have launched new solutions including Sraf® Freeview Play 2020 solution, Sraf® Android HbbTV 2020 solution, etc., with both Linux and Android support.
How do you see SERAPHIC's influence on HbbTV 2.0 in Europe?
We believe HbbTV will be more and more popular.
1) HbbTV 2 is already a mandatory feature for smart TV sets, which results in the addition of millions of HbbTV 2 devices every year and simplifying the HbbTV application deployment limitation. More and more HbbTV 2 applications are developed and launched.
2) More broadcasters are adopting HbbTV 2 technology to support PSB players. For example, Salto in France, LovesTV in Spain and BBC in UK, which also make HbbTV 2 mandatory in more regions and countries.
Have you entered into any new partnerships and markets? Why did you choose Latin America as the first entry for CTV ads business? What makes SERAPHIC the best company to do it?
We have succeeded in entering the advertising industry, starting with LATAM, and building up connections with associates,agencies and other players.
SERAPHIC browser-based products have been deployed into over 180 countries in the world, with a great many active TV users in LATAM according to our data analysis. That means we have a good user and traffic base in LATAM, which is very helpful for us to expand the CTV advertising business in LATAM. Meanwhile under the influence of the rapid development of CTV advertising in the United States, the CTV advertising industry in LATAM will be rapidly growing. Therefore, the LATAM market is beneficial to our CTV ads business both on the traffic side and advertiser side.
As a senior enterprise in the TV industry, SERAPHIC cooperates closely with a large number of partners in the TV industry. SERAPHIC is independent and trustworthy in bringing players together without competing with either party.
Covid-19 has overwhelmed the world. How do you see the TV industry changes in 2020 and what opportunities and challenges lie ahead for it in the coming years?
Although the coronavirus pandemic was firstly felt in the TV industry in the supply chain, its impact is likely to less than initially feared. According to TrendForce's latest report at the end of July, total shipment of TV brands in 2020 is expected to reach 214.11 million units, a 1.7% decrease year-over-year, but a 4% increase from a previous forecast in March. We can expect its continuous rise or at least recovery in specific regions in the next period especially considering the 'stay-at-home' economy is seeing increased momentum and the second half of the year is typically busier for TV set sales.
Even though the whole industry is still fighting to get back to the normality, we see silver linings. There has been a noticeable increase in TV viewership as people across the world have been housebound since the onset of the pandemic.
Along with the tremendous growth in consumption of streaming services, TV has become a significant platform to help advertisers better extend relationships with their target audience during quarantines. Brands' confidence in CTV/OTT advertising has also been strengthened. According to IAB's latest survey, CTV/OTT ads have become the top one channel that brands would spend their marketing budget, with a strong growth of 19% in willingness compared to 2019.
The pandemic and every change in this year is reshaping the TV industry and reminding us to rethink the value of TVs. Like I always insist, a TV is not just an electronic device in the living room but an entry to AIoT, the control centre of smart home and access to new types of business. We are dedicated to bringing connected fun to families worldwide, joining hands together with upstream and downstream industry players.
What are SERAPHIC's plans for the future?
With over 7 years' working in the global TV industry, we've witnessed wild changes in the market and excitedly see a new picture ahead of us. SERAPHIC's mission is to "make every family full of connected fun". We'll continue to work closely with our clients and partners to bring value to 100 million TV users across the world.
We work closely with ODMs to help them adopt the latest HbbTV feature sets so that HbbTV applications can benefit by having an up-to-date runtime environment after the products are deployed.
We are looking for innovative browser solutions to support both low and high end devices on different OS and silicon platforms. SERAPHIC wants to more understand end-users' requirement and provide services to meet their requirements.
By deepening advertising cooperation with more partners in the TV industry and expanding our CTV ads business to more markets, such as South East Asia and Europe, we would like to provide more transparent, efficient and profitable advertising services to all the advertisers in those markets.