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.



Innovation drives outdoor digital advertising

Posted on : 30-09-2013 | By : john.vincent | In : Innovation

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One of our current clients is in the media space and recently I took the time to visit their digital playground, where they showcased new innovations for their own clients. It was really interesting to see how new technology will change the way that we currently behave and interact in the “space between the boxes” (meaning the journey from home to work location).

Prior to visiting I, like I’m sure many people, hadn’t really though much about how I use my travelling time outside of catching up on emails, preparing for meetings and generally keeping up with events. I certainly hadn’t thought about interacting with the “digital environment”.

Traditionally, companies such as CBS, Clear Channel and JCDecaux have provided an outdoor advertising offering through street furniture, billboards and screens in with a static physical or digital display. We’ve all seen the transition from the standard posters to screens that display adverts using business intelligence to target consumers based on location, time of day, footfall etc…

As companies look to re-balance the percentage of revenue to a larger digital portfolio they are also looking at new techniques and innovation to increase business.

Firstly, in terms of the “legacy” estate, there is an opportunity to increase the mobile digital experience via smartphones through the use of NFC and QR codes with campaigns. For example, by placing these at a standard place on the outdoor furniture, advertisers can create a visual direction to it with standard posters from which customers can interact, access more content, order products, integrate with social media etc…

A recent example of this is the announcement of the partnership between Clear Channel and Metro where consumers can tap or scan the interactive tags on 10,000 of the bus shelters to access free content from the Metro site. This is a great example of the marriage of new and old technology to create a new customer experience. 

On the existing digital displays, the possibilities go further as the screen content can be changed dynamically based on interaction with the user or other variables. For example, screens can display live feed information such as events and news pushed directly from content servers. An example of this is where the latest job adverts are displayed real time from agencies, countdowns to an event launch or messages from the public through twitter #hastags responding to questions posed by companies (carefully vetted of course…).

Another example of this interaction is allowing the smartphone to display tailored content from the advertiser by scanning the a QR code and then receiving an additional user experience (basically experiencing the advert on their own terms …). There is still some way to go though, with a recent survey from CBS Outdoor  stating that only 11% of European consumers have scanned an outdoor enabled QR code.

However, the real innovations are coming through actually enabling and tailoring a direct, often multi-sensory, connection between the advertisement and the consumer. Already companies have been trialing the touchscreen and motion sensitive screens, allowing consumers to navigate as they do on tablets and smartphones, play games, select product options, take pictures of themselves to upload into adverts etc… Going forwards there needed  we expect technology to develop further to simplify the interaction between the consumer and the advert, limiting the amount of manual or prompted intervention.

What is really interesting is where technology is now emerging to accurately measure in real time the type and volume of people that see ads in any given location and at any time of the day. An example of this is with Amscreen using Quividi technology to assess who is looking at the screen, for how long, age and sex to provide accurate information from which campaigns can be tailored. Combine this with the interactive aspects, which are now including other sensory experiences such as sound or smell along with motion, and the possibilities are really interesting.

Of course, there’s a fine line in interactive advertising…if not considered carefully it can be seen as impinging on a consumer’s personal space or breaching data privacy boundaries. Whilst innovative for the provider, many consumers will still want the traditional channels of print, television and radio with which they feel more comfortable (and in control).

That said, over the coming years expect to see a  much enhanced outdoor consumer advertising experience (seems Ridley Scott was not far off with Blade Runner…). If you don’t want to partake then you may need to keep your eyes either shut or firmly on the “old fashioned” e-book reader…