5 Predictions for Programmatic OOH – 2023 Edition

by Place Exchange CEO Ari Buchalter

The holiday season is upon us – a time for jubilation, celebration, and of course, prognostication.

For this year’s installment of programmatic OOH predictions, I’ll briefly share why we think the 2022 predictions offered up this time last year generally came to pass, and share some new ones for the year ahead.

Last year’s predictions for 2022:

2022 Prediction #1 – Omnichannel DSPs get serious about programmatic OOH.

August 2022 saw Google’s DV360 platform, the largest omnichannel DSP, launch support for programmatic OOH. DV360 joined the likes of The Trade Desk, Yahoo DSP, MediaMath, Adelphic, and other leading omnichannel DSPs that offer programmatic OOH capabilities. As these platforms continue to see strong OOH growth, the remaining omnichannel DSPs yet to launch programmatic OOH may soon follow.

2022 Prediction #2 – Increased focus on transparency around programmatic OOH.

This has certainly been a growing theme among buyers and sellers in 2022, not just in articles and at conferences, but in business discussions that impact buying decisions. While it hasn’t quite yet risen to the level of importance seen with other programmatic channels, this drumbeat will likely continue to get louder in the OOH space. 

2022 Prediction #3 – Programmatic OOH targeting and measurement becomes front & center.

This was an easy one, since the trend had been moving in this direction for some time. 2022 saw more and more programmatic OOH campaigns leveraging audience targeting at the front end, outcome measurement at the back end, or both. We expect that to become the standard going forward. 

2022 Prediction #4 – Programmatic OOH will increasingly intersect with retail media.

Retail media has arguably been the hottest advertising trend in 2022, and in Q1 2022, the largest retail media platform of them all – Amazon – announced plans to sell digital ads at its physical stores. Many other retailers have since followed, programmatically activating in-store screens as part of a holistic retail media offering aiming to unify messaging and measurement in the digital and physical worlds. We’re probably still only in the first inning of this trend, but its transformational potential is clear.

2022 Prediction #5 – Programmatic OOH will attract more TV and video dollars.

While hard to quantify precisely, we’ve certainly seen many instances of media owners and agencies successfully making the case for why video dollars should programmatically shift from channels like linear TV and social media over to OOH. In our own platform, video OOH creatives in 2022 have so far accounted for over 40% of spending across video-capable OOH displays, and we expect that number to continue growing. 

Now onto the new predictions for 2023:

Global programmatic OOH breaks $1 billion.

Despite slowing growth in ad spending generally and uncertainty around the macroeconomic environment, the benefits of OOH combined with the power of programmatic will continue to deliver outsized value for advertisers, in ways that stand out from the rest of the media mix. As a result, programmatic OOH will continue its steep upward climb throughout 2023, crossing the $1B mark globally. While reliable global numbers are hard to come by, hindsight in 2024 and beyond should bear this out.

Programmatic OOH drives advances in impression measurement. 

2023 will see the US advertising market reach $323 billion, and the vast majority of that spend will transact on the basis of impressions. As more buyers and dollars are coming into OOH through programmatic pipes, demand will continue to grow for impression-based buying of OOH that is apples-to-apples with other media. Buyers will focus on impression measurement that is dynamic and up-to-date, applicable across all OOH venues and formats, and validated against transparent industry standards. As such standards emerge, innovation around measurement will flourish, and OOH in 2023 will start to resemble other channels where buyers and sellers can choose from a marketplace of accredited measurement solutions.

Programmatic OOH opens the door to the broader media mix.

OOH has long been thought of as an “amplifier” or “complement” to a core media plan, which is typically anchored in TV, radio, and digital. The planning tools used to develop those core plans, aiming to deliver reach and frequency against desired target audiences, simply did not take OOH into account because comparable data for OOH as a channel did not exist or was not easily ingestible. The same was true for marketing mix models looking to measure the impact of those media plans. Programmatic OOH has by necessity built that data bridge; in order to participate in omnichannel campaigns, it was necessary to develop the apples-to-apples metrics and methodologies to put OOH on equal data footing with other channels. That in turn opens the door for OOH to move upstream into media planning tools and downstream into marketing mix models, in ways that were not possible before. 2023 will see this transition taking shape.

Programmatic OOH gets creative. 

Programmatic OOH has checked the four foundational boxes of planning, targeting, execution, and measurement. It’s now time for creative to join the fray. 2023 will bring the next evolution in programmatic OOH capabilities, focused on dynamic creative. With the ability to tailor messaging in real-time based on data feeds and triggers – ranging from weather to sports scores to social media trends to inventory levels on nearby shelves, and more – dynamic creative fully unlocks the unique power of OOH to deliver contextually relevant messaging to audiences at a particular place and time. It may even create entirely new ways for consumers to engage with the OOH medium, such as the launch of Shoutable

No major consolidation in programmatic OOH, yet. 

The question of consolidation in the programmatic OOH space comes up a lot, but remains a bit premature. We are still very early in the S-curve and seeing dramatic growth off a still relatively small base. While there may be the occasional acquisition here or there, we may even see more new entrants coming into the space as strong growth continues, as opposed to large-scale consolidation. However, as the space matures, 2023 should start to bring more competitive separation, and possibly some players re-orienting their business models around different parts of the technology stack. “Negative” predictions around things that won’t happen may not be as satisfying as “positive” predictions of things that will, but we’ll reserve a spot in our 2024 predictions to revisit the positive framing of this one.

Wishing everyone a happy and successful 2023!

Modified: 1 year