An estimated 1,080,000 unique advertising spots play on Digital Out-of-Home displays across North America during 2009, based on calculations using conservative parameters.
The Digital Signage /Digital Out-of-Home (DS/DOOH) industry in North America has emerging rapidly (25-50 percent CAGR) over the past six years in particular and despite reductions of an estimated three percent in overall ad spending, ad spending on DOOH continues to grow from its 2008 level of $1.4 billion (according to PQ Media) by nine percent annually. DOOH has found itself in the “communications continuum” with other credible advertising medium such as TV, radio, Internet, print, billboard, etc. and is positioning as a “trigger device” to motivate engagement through a handheld and mobile interactivity.
The Digital Out-of-Home area of the industry, which is based on third party advertising revenues is comprised of almost 200 networks, which allow advertisers to reach targeted audiences based on demographic profile, Designated Market Area (DMA), geography and even the activity in which they are involved (shopping, transit, café, workout, attending a game, etc.) in presenting messages at points of purchase, transit and gathering.
The following provides sample characteristics of networks while indicating total industry ad volume. The estimates used are generally conservative.
DOOH advertising is sold by a wide range of organizations including:
- Most Digital Out-of-Home networks have an internal ad sales capability.
- Many network operators are members of the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (www.OVAB.org) or the Canadian Out-of-Home Digital Association (CODACAN www.oohdigital.ca). These associations increase the profile of DOOH to accelerate overall ad sales success.
- Adcentricity (per www.Adcentricity.com) represents over 80 network partners with over 140,000 place-based and retail screens covering 16 main venue categories and over 70 sub-categories.
- SeeSaw Networks, (per www.SeeSawNetworks.com) “reaches more people in more places than any other digital video network. Combining over 50 digital signage networks across 30 different types of locations, SeeSaw is the most extensive national digital video network currently in 26,000 venues nationally and growing. SeeSaw delivers over 50 million weekly gross impressions – more than primetime TV spots at a fraction of the cost”.
- rVue (www.rVue.com) acts as a sales agent for about 20 networks.
- Ad display on DOOH are often included in campaign proposals blended with TV, cable, radio or static billboard ads by ABC, CBS, NBC, ClearChannel and others.
- As existing media providers (i.e. cable, print, etc) deploy DOOH networks, ad display opportunities will be bundled with “core business” ad proposals.
- Personnel responsible for sponsorship, patron programs, merchandising and co-op programs typically add Digital Signage to their proposals when display capability is added to their facilities.
- Other ad sales capability could be expected as media organizations seek to leverage their ad sales capabilities and infrastructure.
Given the proven results in sales lift, message recall and awareness, reduced perceived waiting times and improvement to the location experience that result from the proper use of Digital Out-of-Home, as well as the continuing growth in the number of displays, advertisers and ad sales representation, the future continues to be positive for Digital Signage/Digital Out-of-Home – “the sharpest instrument in an advertiser’s tool chest.”
Lyle Bunn is a consultant, commentator and educator in North America’s Digital Signage / Digital Out-of-Home industry.