$1.3 billion business wants R-e-s-p-e-c-t

OVABThis is part of our best-of 2008 series, previously featured on our newsletter, Advance.

There have been some great steps forward for Digital OOH this year, especially for video networks. The first bit of good news came from the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB) which released the highly anticipated Audience Metrics Guidelines during the sold out Digital Media Summit: Focus on Digital OOH in NYC at the end of October. As Media Week notes), despite the fact that DOOH is a $1.3 billion business, the platform "has lacked a common language to be considered in media plans along with traditional media. The guidelines are designed to change the medium's status in the planning process." For those of us who are big believers in the potential of DOOH to transform the advertising landscape, the audience metrics guidelines are an exciting and important step for DOOH. With the participation of the member networks, 17 third party research providers, and the Agency Advisory Board, OVAB has developed three key indicators to measure the "Average Unit Audience" including: The number of people exposed to a "media vehicle" (screen), evidence the media has been noticed, and the time spent in proximity of the screen. While the OVAB guidelines are not intended to replace third party measurement in DOOH, they will provide buyers and sellers a trusted foundation to negotiate from.

OVAB also re-launched their website this month, with an updated "Network Planning Guide" and "ANA Media Supplement," OVAB's guide to out-of-home video networks, featuring in-depth information on many member networks. The second bit of good news came from an updated Global Digital Out-of-Home Media Forecast by PQ Media. Even in a tough economic climate, the study shows "the U.S. digital out-of-home media industry is on pace to grow 11.2 percent to $2.43 billion in 2008, with the overall ad spend reaching $4.01 billion in 2012. The rest of the world, being less impacted by the oil and credit crisis, is expected to grow even faster than the US. Global DOOH spending increased 22.6% to $5.41 billion in 2007, and is expected to top $10 billion by 2012." According to PQ Media, Asia/Pacific is the largest region outside the U.S., "reaching $1.81 Billion in 2008." PQ Media attributes the growth to "improved DOOH metrics, advancing technology and the migration of ad budgets to new media."

MultiMedia Intelligence's report also supports the growth predictions: "The market for digital signage continues its growth as the market consumed 1.1 million displays in 2008. This is an increase of display shipments 34% over 2007. By 2012, the market will consume nearly 2.3 million displays… China overtook the USA as the top digital signage consumer, driven by preparations for the 2008 Olympics." These numbers confirm that even as the U.S. market may slow somewhat in the coming year, advertisers should look for expanding opportunities in markets such as Russia, India, China and Australia. All this news is really encouraging for Digital Out of Home.

Here at the lab we are keeping a close eye how to best leverage these opportunities for our agencies and brands. If you haven’t visited lately, the Lab is building out a new, fully interactive Digital OOH Environment a great place for you to see OVAB and other networks for yourself. The networks currently streaming include: Ripple, Ecast, Netpulse, AdSpace, Outdoor Promotions, WSJ, TransitTV, Captivate, iGotcha’s Health Pad – soon to be added: NY10 Taxi, Health News Network, Jetera in flight networks. And if you’re still not convinced about the power of DOOH, read Lyle Bunn's Top 10 reasons to become a DOOH believer.