Digital out of Home – a growth and innovation market

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : jo.rose | In : Cloud, Innovation, IoT

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The acceleration of growth in the digital out of home market (DOOH) is impressive. As providers switch from traditional mediums to digital based technologies and with creative technological advances, such as programmatic and Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), it is an exciting time for the sector. Indeed, in 2016 the market was valued at USD 12.52 billion and is forecast to grow to over USD 26 billion by 2023.

According to William Eccleshare, chairman and chief executive of DOOH media provider Clear Channel International;

Globally, press has collapsed, TV is static and radio has declined. Outdoor though has been growing steadily

This growth naturally brings opportunities for the large incumbents (such as Clear Channel) as well as new startups, but at the same time there are challenges to switch existing inventory to the new distribution mediums, transform legacy systems and business process, as well as the requirements to design scalable and secure digital networks.

As with all industries, the DOOH ecosystem is shifting to cloud based platforms to allow for businesses to both flex with demand and also deploy campaigns to audiences on a global basis. These platforms are capable of processing increasingly large and complex data used in the delivery of more targeted audience driven products, which are more cost effective and allows for better integration with external systems. Indeed, as the internet of things (IoT) gathers pace, this data requirement and inter-connectivity will continue to grow at pace.

Let’s look at some of the trends in a bit more detail

Programmatic: Firstly, there’s a lot of talk about programmatic advertising and it’s major influence in the overall DOOH market. The programmatic advertising platform is an online auction where media buyers specify their targeting requirements, such as audience demographics, time of day and location, as well as their budgetary constraints. In itself this isn’t particularly innovative, with other markets such as retail auctions and financial services offering for many years. What it will do though is put pressure on the players (and margins) current value chain, from advertising creative to distribution. It will also provide further pressures on the incumbents who carry more legacy technical debt.

Data is everything: whilst (within reason) signs themselves remain static, the data regarding audiences and how they interact with their environment does not. It constantly changes based on numerous factors, from the time of day, to the weather and external new events etc. With over 75% of UK consumers owning a smartphone, and checking that c.80 times a day, harnessing and correlating this data as consumers go about their daily lives creates value. This plays naturally into the hands of the tech companies and mobile providers who have access to resource, networks and expertise to exploit this value. Here the providers of the digital infrastructure have a real challenge to maintain a foothold and become an integral part of the chain rather than a consumer of more and more costly data.

User Experience enrichment: DOOH is providing more opportunities than ever to touch, interact and engage with valuable consumers; helping to bring brands to life in creative and digitally disruptive ways. In todays “Experience Economy”, it is estimated that 65% of 18-34 year olds are more fulfilled by live experience than possessions. Digital advertising is already interactive in a lot of senses, through simple NFC, QR codes, facial recognition, context awareness etc. and we expect further innovations in a connected context to develop at pace.

Augmented Reality: the first big AR sensation was Pokemon Go. Within a week of its launch last year more than 28 million people a day walking around town and staring at their screens to catch a Pokemon (much to the bewilderment of many onlookers). Now technology partner and advertisers are rightly excited about the potential. Tim Cook recently said of AR that it presented;

broad mainstream applicability across education, entertainment interactive gaming, enterprise, and categories we probably haven’t even thought of

Beacon connectivity: to facilitate the consumer personalisation journey and communication, beacons are becoming more prevalent through the DOOH infrastructure with presence in taxis, retailers, buses, billboards, kiosks etc. We see this further with Google’s Eddystone beacons to create proximity-based experiences for consumers as an open beacon format for both Android and iOS. These developments have shifted the trend towards a creation of a new channel of personalisation based on precision of time, location and so context based digital advertising.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in DOOH innovation with great potential for media tech disruption, but with some significant risks for traditional players, some of which will struggle to shift their operating model and compete.



Laptop, Tablet and Smartphone – convergence or confusion?

Posted on : 31-05-2013 | By : john.vincent | In : Innovation

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Last month we wrote an article around the demise of the desktop led among others by consumerisation, cloud, tablets/smartphones and the need for user mobility.

This of course brings another question to the forefront. Whilst for now the race between laptops, tablets and smartphones gathers pace, what devices will we be pinning our digital work and social lives to in the future?

IDC recently produced some shipment predictions and market share on the future “Smart Connected Device” from 2012-2017 (see below);

The figures, indicate (and underpin) a 50% decline in the desktop market share (although still significant volumes) and a slower decline for laptops. This against a near triple growth for the tablet market.

Maybe not a real surprise, but 2017 is a long way off and there is certainly some uncertainty on how this will develop, winners/losers and possible convergence.

As recently as April, Blackberry’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, actually questioned the future of the tablet computer. In an interview with the Milken Institute conference he stated “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore”, adding “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Now, this may be somewhat influenced by the disappointing debut of the Blackberry Playbook , on which they took a $485 million write down in 2012, but could he have a point?

Amazon recently filed a patent application for the future of “remote displays”, where the portable devices we currently carry are transformed into simply screens with minimal storage and no “bulky” batteries or processors. How? By delivering these key components wirelessly from a nearby base station. Perhaps interesting for workplace/campus based deployment.

Anyway, back to today…Looking around the our own office, and that of our clients, I see little evidence of anyone ditching their laptop and docking station in favour of performing all of their day-to-day activities only on a tablet. The estimated 20% of work activity that requires PC based application software still dictates user requirements. Likewise, almost no one seems to use a laptop “on the move” where speed of use and form factor are important.

And then there’s the ubiquitous Smartphone. I haven’t heard of anyone predicting the demise of that, although with screen sizes continuously edging up, maybe it is? (and we all seem to have forgiven it for often being fairly useless at it’s primary function….as a phone).

So, are we destined for a life of being laden down with three devices for the foreseeable? Opinions differ but both the physical and financial burden will naturally drive convergence over the coming years. What is will look like is still fuzzy.

You could argue that the laptop and tablet market is already converging with the Windows 8 or Android hybrids, with detachable screens from the keyboard. The problem is, they are generally not great (according to a less than scientific straw poll in the office ;-)….based on compromises such as weight, screen size and battery life.

This area is naturally the most ripe for convergence. We believe the device boundaries will become more and more blurred to the point where the differentiation between laptop vs tablet is negligible in terms of functionality and value (driven by technology maturity, diminishing application dependencies through hosted/cloud based delivery and mobile data access improvements).

What is clear, is that Smartphones are getting Smarter (some would argue too much for their own good). If you look at the current inn0vation driven by manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC with the inclusion of sensors such as gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer to interact with the environment, you can predict where this is heading (with the Galaxy S4, Samsung slipped in pressure, temperature, and humidity sniffers).

So, it looks like maybe a dual mobile device strategy will emerge. A content driven compute product, predominantly for work and input intensive tasks sitting somewhere between the tablet/laptop, and the smartphone bringing a new connected experience with the outside world, augmented reality etc.

And then there’s the whole wearable technology, such as Google Eye glasses and “iWatch”…we are set to be an “always on” human race.