Outdoor Advertising Industry Evolution

By Imad Sarrouf, Head of Publishers, DMS

3min Read

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising and like other industries; the OOH sector too is disrupted by the wave of digital transformation. There are new players challenging established brands in outdoor advertising and they are expanding digitally at speed.

OOH advertising offers a brand safe environment, with unparalleled viewability. Unless something is physically blocking the screen, all ads are 100 % viewable. Today it stands at the stage of the explosion of ad tech while changing consumption patterns. The global digital signage market as a whole is likely to grow from $20.74 billion in 2017 to $31.62 billion by 2023, at an expected CAGR of 7.28%, according to a report by Orbis Research.

With digital OOH, there’s a great deal of value in being able to show several ads, along with other content, over the course of a given time frame. Delivering all of these ads, however, is more complex than it might seem. The right ads need to appear on the right screens at the right times, and for OOH networks with many screens, putting together content playlists manually for every screen can take up a lot of time. It is even more complicated when an advertiser has a last-minute change they want pushed to their ads.

The complication peaks at the sizes of screens and the ad material; Major players in the market had to establish a creative unit within the business to accommodate for creative resizing and alteration given that the DOOH properties (code name: Street Furniture) does not follow a standard sizes. That is why there is such a focus on AdTech and Automation when it comes to DOOH. By establishing rules about where and when content should play, scheduling becomes as easy as the network operator adding a campaign into the mix of what is meant to play.

Static OOH can’t get quite as automated, of course. At the end of the day, somebody needs to take the printed posters and post it to a hoarding board, Lamppost, bus, or other locations. Still, AdTech solutions have emerged to synchronize everybody in the chain. New real estate for outdoor like window-shopping Screens, whereby TV size screen space is rented at scale and monetized as a network. Others are exploiting indoor Digital Signage within shopping malls to drive instant discount for shoppers and push certain products.

The potential of location and anonymized data

Knowing who the viewers of your ads are makes some OOH ads incredibly powerful. OOH network owners are using location data from people’s mobiles to offer more informed choices regarding ad placements – similar to online third party data.

Furthermore, carriers and data vendors who then sell it to media owners are now anonymizing the information captured from mobile phones. This data is used to offer info on different demographic groups – for example, “Fashion enthusiast” – who walk by an ad. Add this data to other insights, such as traffic, location or weather data, and you can better localize the ad content.

Use of data feeds and dynamic DOOH features will grow – no doubt about that. For a start, the out-of-home industry is already going through a digital revolution – with video at the heart of it. Walking past a dynamic, HD quality, full motion digital billboard with a simple repurposed print ad will be outdated – dynamic content is the way forward. Adding dynamic content that changes within a DOOH ad such as real-time product listings, the latest pricing, and even live video is set to become easier and easier.

However, the collection and application of mobile data has the potential to open a Pandora ’s Box of privacy problems (GDPR, CCPA or other future regulation).

Development of programmatic media buying

Programmatic trading is rapidly entering the world of OOH ads. As it did with digital advertising, programmatic will offer revolutionary automation that will change the industry to the better.

Expect to see programmatic platforms that allow publishers and advertisers to trade both web ads and DOOH ads via the same interface. The result: more integration across existing programmatic strategies, such as display and video advertising, and quicker analytical insight across entire DOOH campaigns.

Digital OOH is growing in importance for digital advertisers. Indeed, with so many integrations, and links with new or existing ad tech, it offers endless possibilities. With more and more brands embracing these formats, establishing rules about where and when content should play, scheduling becomes as easy as the network operator adding a campaign into the mix of what is meant to play. One way of making the most of this change will be by having the right format agnostic technologies at your disposal.

 

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