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Behind OOH’s strong third quarter

Date: November 24, 2015

Out of home ad spending appears to be immune to many of the problems dogging other traditional media of late.

While newspapers, magazines, radio and even now television are struggling to hold on to advertising dollars, OOH revenue is going up.

That continued in third quarter, when ad spending increased by 4.3 percent over last year, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Spending hit $1.71 billion, and it marked the medium’s 22nd straight quarter of growth.
By contrast, Kantar Media estimates overall ad spending was down by about 4 percent in third quarter.

There are three main reasons for OOH’s continued health compared to other traditional media.

The first, and most notable, is that unlike print and broadcast, OOH is not seeing advertisers flee to digital.

Standard Media Index, which tracks ad spending on the part of 80 percent of U.S. agencies, notes that the impact of digital on OOH has been minimal.

Most advertisers are not shifting budgets out of OOH to the web. Instead, they’re taking that money from other traditional media.

According to SMI data for October, the first month of fourth quarter, OOH barely saw any shift in its budget in the top six ad categories compared to last year, whereas radio, for instance, saw a decline in nearly every category. And newspapers were off 11 percent in retail alone.

Another key to OOH’s continued growth has been its ability to integrate neatly with the hottest thing in advertising, mobile.

Advertisers can add mobile components to their campaigns easily through Bluetooth or QR codes. That’s just not possible with other media.

Finally, top ad categories increased their OOH spending in third quarter. Retail, the No. 2 category, was up 10 percent, to $16.4 million, the biggest growth for any top-10 category.

The No. 1 (miscellaneous services and amusements) and No. 3 (media and advertising) categories were also both up at least 7 percent from last year.

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