OOH growing while other ad mediums that can be ‘blocked or skipped’ in decline, claims IPG

Out-of-home advertising is the industry’s healthiest medium due to consumers not being able to block or skip the content and the growing diversity of firms using the segment to promote their products, according to a report by IPG Mediabrands.

The in-house research – by IPG vehicles Magna and Rapport – claimed that in 2018, the Asia-Pacific region saw US$13bn in OOH sales. This made APAC the largest outdoor market in the world ahead of Europe, the Middle East and Africa on US$9bn and the United States on $8bn. In Japan alone, some US$4.6bn was spent on the medium last year while the spending in China reached US$4bn – it was claimed.

Describing other media segments as “struggling to reach consumers in this digital age”, IPG said that OOH was the only traditional ad format that experienced consistent growth for the last 10 years. The media agency network also forecast continued growth of 2.8% over the coming five years for outdoor, while predicting that “traditional media ad sales will be flat overall over the period”.

“OOH is the last advertising format that consumers can’t skip or block, and still reaching the young urban active,,” said Magna executive vice-president of global marketing intelligence Vincent Letang.

“Combined with huge progress in campaign management, audience measurement and attribution this explains why OOH advertising has grown steadily in the last ten years and will continue to grow, by 3% per year globally, in the next five years.”

Content companies like Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Hulu as well as ecommerce and retail players have “have dramatically increased their spending in OOH advertising, across almost every world market in 2018” – the report stated.

“There has never been a more exciting time in the OOH (out-of-home) industry,” said Rapport global chief executive officer Michael Cooper.

“The industry has exploited all the benefits of evolving digital technologies, but retain a unique geographical footprint in a way that no other medium can.”

Much of the growth was said to be down to new digital OOH formats, claimed Magna APAC managing director Gurpreet Singh. “As data and technology play an increasing role in OOH media, trading will move from buying ‘space and time’ to ‘impressions’ and ultimately we can expect it to move from buying ‘opportunity to see’ to ‘actual views and engagements’, bringing more accountability to this media,” he added. “Interesting times ahead for OOH.”

OOH becoming more ‘accountable’, says Singh

Key findings from the report suggested that while OOH grew globally by 4.1% per year over the last decade to reach US$31 billion in 2018, other traditional non-digital media – including television, print and radio – experienced stagnation with, growing by just 0.4 per cent annually during the same decade.

Meanwhile, digital OOH inventory – small inexpensive screens in niche indoor environments – was said to be “exploding”.

“Following significant investment from media owners in the last few years, there are now more than 300,000 digital ad units in the world, compared to just 160,000 four years ago,” the report stated.

But acknowledging that outdoor as an industry was undergoing consolidation worldwide, IPG made the admission that the “top three OOH advertising vendors control an average 63% of total OOH ad sales in the top 20 markets”.

“Further consolidation must be expected as all traditional media industries consolidate in an attempt to match the scale of internet giants,” the report added. “Besides, the OOH industry is seeking scale to finance further digitization and leverage data to improve ROI, and outsiders from the traditional OOH industry – from other media and technology – are now interested in OOH assets too.”

Detailing the country-specific growth over the last 10 years – the intelligence said that OOH growth in China was 9% over the period, mainly due to urbanisation. In India, the growth witnessed was at 12% triggered by economic growth and major sporting events.

Malaysia saw 7% growth and achieved a “high market share due to heavy road traffic and OOH expansion to new sites”.

Other markets too saw expansion including the Philippines at 12%, Singapore which achieved 4% and Thailand hitting 7%.


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