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Healthy outlook for Out of Home spending

Revenue will rise 4 percent this year, topping many other media

Unlike so many other traditional media, the outlook for ad spending on out of home remains very healthy over the next few years.

The latest forecast from ZenithOptimedia predicts that OOH ad dollars will grow by 4 percent this year, to $8.265 billion.

That’s faster than even network television and far ahead of magazines, newspapers and radio.

According to Magna Global, out of home was the only traditional media that saw ad spending rise in 2013, up 4.3 percent.

The gains for the medium have been paced by three main factors.

First, notes ZenithOptimedia, there’s been an increase in inventory.

“The sheer volume of commercial ad space available is growing as buildings, transit systems, airports and restaurants all push towards revenue from ads,” says the forecast.

Second, out of home has become a more flexible medium in recent years because of new technology.

Digital billboards have made it easy to swap out creative, which attracts more advertisers. Those advertisers can now target by time of day, the weather or a number of other factors, which is clearly more attractive than traditional static ads that remain up for months at a time.

Beyond billboards, other out-of-home campaigns have become more attractive with the use of technology. It’s easy to post a YouTube video of an alternative media campaign and double the reach of that campaign in a matter of hours. And social networks make it easy to share alternative media stunts and get a better read on how many people were exposed to them.

Finally, a third factor driving out-of-home spending that does not get as much attention as the first two is that time spent with this medium is actually on the rise. Again, it’s bucking the trend of other traditional media.

A report from Borrell Associates, the ad tracking firm in Williamsburg, Va., forecasts that time spent with OOH media will grow by 10.6 percent from 2008 to 2018. During that same period, time spent with every other traditional media except for cable TV will decline, some by huge percentages.

Magazines will fall 52 percent, and even broadcast TV will dip 21 percent.

That makes OOH even more attractive for advertisers.

Out of home has something else going for it: You can’t escape its messages.

One chooses to watch TV or read a magazine or listen to the radio, or chooses not to.

You have far less choice with out of home. You can choose to ignore a billboard, for example, but to do so you first must notice it.

Any medium that manages to capture people’s attention is valuable indeed to advertisers. (Media Life)