Tue, 23 Jun 2020

In 2016, Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) was valued at $US13.35B globally with projections for this to reach $US34.21B by 2025 - a compound annual growth rate of just over 11%.

It has been a similar road for OOH in New Zealand in recent times. Digital OOH screens represent a fraction of total OOH locations, but their contribution to revenue is significant. In 2019, DOOH grew over 35% in revenue and now represents 64% of all OOH investment in New Zealand.

Investment in scaling DOOH infrastructure will continue the upward trend, but the future of OOH and subsequent advertiser buy-in relies to a greater extent in the evolution of DOOH technology, accountability, a wider grasp of the dynamic nature of the channel and therefore greater digital content creativity.

DOOH is a fantastic space to create meaningful, relevant moments with consumers but the industry has long lacked in the supporting elements to bring granularity and insight attribution to the medium. This is all set to dramatically change over the next 12-18 months.

This relatively young channel (remember that the first digital billboard launched in Auckland as recently as July 2013) is proving not only the impact and reach of OOH, but also its dynamic and interactive advantages, made possible by the internet and LED. To fulfill its potential for ongoing growth however, publishers and vendors will need to fully embrace the necessary advantages that data, technology, integration and automation can offer sellers and buyers, and in doing so, will set to define and power a likely huge 18 months for DOOH here in New Zealand.

As the DOOH industry rallies post-COVID, expectations of the channel will spawn greater commonality between the industry and traditional digital buying practices. Suppliers will be pressured to qualify their audiences, in terminology more aligned with traditional digital agency planning fundamentals. In addition, the processes around which inventory is managed and transacted will shift primarily towards programmatic and likely with great acceleration. The results of which will see greater focus on flexibility, real-time data and efficiencies in the transaction of DOOH inventory.

Buyers and sellers will adapt to these new ways of working, but the uptake in doing so relies heavily on a collaborative assurance from the sell-side to put education and standards first.

There will be clear similarities in the mechanics and platforms but that doesn’t mean that what works in online is necessarily going to work in the DOOH market.  Not only is there a need to be conscious of the learnings from the online world, the industry must identify what is working well and what is applicable in DOOH as a channel, in its own right.

DOOH stakeholders too must be very clear with buyers about not only the possibilities that the addition of technology and data will enable, but also any limitations that may exist. The industry will find obstacles in the way of growth if this is simply papered over.

Greater measures such as third party play verification, a spotlight on the source and quality of audience data and audience delivery relative to share of voice will ensure the level of transparency necessary. Players in DOOH need to consider the long term trust in the product they are pitching so that there is confidence from agencies and advertisers to drive subsequent investment in the space.

Despite the on-going effects of the global pandemic, the DOOH industry sees the value proposition enhanced, primarily due to its agile nature, cost-effective broadcast reach, and dynamic content creativity, inherent in the medium. Programmatic will add further efficiency and make it easier for traditional and new markets and brands to connect with New Zealand consumers.