Digital out-of-home advertising is one of the few media segments experiencing growth in today’s volatile economic environment. Digital out-of-home advertising ended 2008 with an 11% increase in advertising revenue and in The “Digital Out of Home: Hyperlocal and Hyper Growth?” report from BIA/Kelsey indicates that digital out-of-home spending will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% from 2009 to 2013, versus 1.4% for out-of-home. Digital out-of-home advertising includes the large digital billboard alongside highways and other forms of video advertising referred to as narrowcasting. Narrowcasting, another name for out-of-home video advertising is video content displayed and distributed to narrow audiences within a public setting. Examples of narrowcasting include retail outlets checkout lines, taxi cabs, shopping malls, supermarkets, movie theaters, bars, restaurants, hotels and gyms, just to name a few. Digital billboards are starting to pop up at any physical location where consumers are starting to spend a lot of time; a trend that is expected to continue to grow.
There are multiple factors working together to help spur the growth of digital out-of-home advertising. The first major factor is that consumers are starting to spend more time out-of-home and advertisers are following consumer lifestyle patterns. If consumers are spending more time out-of-home, then they are spending less time with traditional media such as television, forcing advertisers to think of unique ways to capture their consumer’s attention. Digital billboard offers advertisers some non-traditional ways to capture their audience’s eyeballs.
There are a number of unique places where digital billboards are starting to pop up. Some of the more recent success stories include the digital billboard company Gas Station TV. Gas Station TV operates digital screens at gas station pumps in over 800 cities nationwide and consumers filling up their cars with gasoline have nothing better to watch. Another example is Transit TV, one of the largest in-transit digital video systems in North America operating more than 8,400 screens in buses and trains throughout the United States. Finally, Captivate Networks is comprised of more than 8,200 digital screens located in office tower elevators in 23 of North America’s top markets. Each of these digital screen services provides advertisers with the ability to capture consumers attention in a non-traditional way while offering fairly effective measures of success. It is the growth and success of the companies listed above that have advertisers starting to make room for digital out-of-home advertising as part of the their client’s media plans.
The final factor helping to accelerate the growth of digital out-of-home advertising is the ability to repurpose already developed creative material. Advertisers and clients who have a number of 30-second television spots developed can simply redeploy the same spots in this medium with minimal developmental work. So in an environment and time when advertising dollars are shrinking and clients are demanding more for less, digital billboards are being seen as a positive influence on the advertising sector.
So when you are at the mall the holiday season or in an airport or even an elevator think of how these marketing mechanisms are shaping how you and others are buying or getting targeted information. I mean c’mon.. would anyone visit Times Square just because?