Published: November 4, 2018

The Digital Out-of-Home Industry Is Reaching a Programmatic Tipping Point, Execs Say

Standard-setting and better targeting were big themes at a trade conference this week

Digital advertising is bleeding into the physical world in more ways than ever before, but nascent out-of-home ad technology still has a ways to go before it reaches it’s true potential.

That was the sense among marketers, startup execs and old-guard OOH media vendors at the Digital Place Based Advertising Association’s Video Everywhere Summit this week, among displays touting emotion-tracking facial recognition tech, targeted billboards and other emerging tech that is transforming the space.

Emarketer estimates that digital currently accounts for about 23 percent of all OOH spending, but its share is projected to continue growing steadily in the next few years. While automation of the sales process is still in its infancy, the portion of that money that goes to OOH media sold programmatically is also expected to inch upward.

But as that happens, the industry will have to grapple with how to standardize attribution metrics, consolidate disparate marketplaces and grapple with consumer privacy concerns, industry professionals say.

Adweek spoke with five digital OOH execs about their predictions for the space in the next few years. Here’s what they said:

Gilad Amitai, COO and co-founder at Ubimo

“Everybody understands today that there’s been a huge mindset shift and people are coming from a digital perspective. What we are seeing that’s been really interesting in the last year or so and what will happen even more aggressively in the next year is that many companies will allow out-of-home inventory to be indexed versus digital data.

This will allow companies that are familiar with planning and activating in a digital way to be active in an out-of home way. So today, for example, we have clients that are bringing their own first-party data and using movement and location data to index out-of-home. So this is a major trend that is happening connecting the digital and physical world.

The second trend is that more and more, companies are enabling their inventory to be available programatically. And basically every major supplier is now operating their own SSP [supply-side platform] kind of exchange. By merging those together, we’re going to start to see a significant gross—I’m not sure the gross will happen in 2019, maybe 2020, but the tipping point is happening as we speak.”

Alfred Gonzales-Cuzan, Innovation Manager at AdMobilize

“Analytics and having real-time data on the asset itself are going to be the biggest things. Right now, it’s like a tipping point. I mean we’re a company that does that. We provide the data: face detection, counting vehicles, getting people by demographics, things like that. But having that real data so you know X amount of people saw an asset—all their demographics like age, gender, emotion and then being able to trigger advertisements for them and have actual accountability for the ads we see.”

Ian Bowman-Henderson, Marketing Director at DoMedia

“We’re going to see more consolidation and collaboration within the industry. If you’re talking about digital out of home, you’re talking about a small subset of all out-of-home media, and if you’re talking about ones that are running a specific ad platform, you’re talking about a subset of a subset.

And if inventory saturation is that low, can you really claim to have made a programmatic media buy? If you’re selecting the best of 50 things and not the best of 10,000 things? So in order for the industry to really grow and fulfill it’s promise and provide a really compelling offering to the demand side, I think you’re going to see a lot of consolidation or at least collaboration among programmatic SSPs.”

Jay Hutton, CEO at Vsblty


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