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Will Digital OOH Ad Spending Beat Social Media Spend in 2017?
CMS Wire
By Matthew J. Olivieri
March 24, 2017

This is the year more advertisers will shift their marketing dollars to digital out of home (OOH) as the space gains traction and acceptance. As CMSWire readers have heard before, OOH - one of the more conventional ad channels - is ripe for transformation by mobile data.
With location data, brands can measure the effectiveness of using marketing channels like TV, mobile, desktop and OOH advertising in tandem to drive results in physical locations. At the same time, online ads continue to feel crowded.
Out of Home advertising can take many forms, including:
  • billboards
  • street furniture (bus stops, phone kiosks, digital signs)
  • transit (airports, buses and taxis)
  • alternative forms (arenas, cinemas and shopping malls)
OOH advertising revenue rose 3.1 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, accounting for $7.6 billion, based on figures released by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

OOH spend was up 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 2015. The revenue total marks a record high for OOH with 27 consecutive quarters of growth since the recession.

OOH has set record revenue levels for two consecutive years, and every OOH format grew in 2016, the OAAA reports. OOH continues to grow alongside digital media, while most forms of traditional advertising struggle in today's audience-fragmented environment, the organization notes.

OOH is ripe for continued growth. Here are four points that illustrate this trend.

Increase in Digital Billboard Inventory

All the major OOH advertising companies, i.e. Clear Channel Outdoor, JCDecaux, Lamar and Outfront, have announced an increase in digital ad units going up to replace traditional static.

This represents an increase in efficiency for both billboard providers and advertisers, including access to more inventory and quicker turnaround times, ease in management and ROI tracking capabilities.

More Brands & Advertisers Break From Social

Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat ads may be all the craze. But upon asking advertisers about the results, the sentiment remains: "Not sure what it means, we just know we have to be there."

Meanwhile, Facebook users, as an example, are becoming savvier when it comes to ignoring these ads and are not engaging with them.

To drive successful online conversations via social media, an idea must first take shape in the offline world. Marketers that were previously only using social media advertising are coming to realize that they were missing that critical first step channel to connecting the two worlds.

New Unique Benefits

More and more advertisers will become comfortable with the idiosyncrasies of digital OOH including the idea of sharing ad-space with others in a loop, in exchange for having their ad appear in high-definition, bright, crystal-clear displays, all front and center of their customer base.

The process of booking the medium will also continue to be made simpler. Traditional billboards require coordinating with someone who works for the billboard company and waiting several weeks for a giant canvas to be printed.

But new and emerging platforms will continue to allow individuals to shop online by clicking the digital billboard they want, uploading their ad, swiping their credit card and instantly go live to hundreds of thousands of people.  
Budget Friendly Alternative

The price point to launch a digital OOH campaign will continue to decline to allow more and more advertisers to create campaigns alongside the same budgets required for Facebook ads, Instagram ads or Google AdWords.

At the same time, they achieve an outdoor experience that still has the potential to create viral conversations online. Intelligent advertisers have always known that, now everyone else will start to get on board with it too.

In summary, thanks to the forthcoming increase in the supply of digital billboards, the unique benefits of the medium and declining cost of a campaign, along with the crowded feeling of social media ads, 2017 will see digital OOH advertising continue to provide marketers with an opportunity to make a meaningful branding impact.

About the Author
Matthew J. Olivieri is founder and chief executive officer of AdSemble, an online marketplace where advertisers can name their own price for digital out of home campaigns.

By Paul Hiebert,
March 27, 2017
New data shows that nearly three-quarters of US adults feel the ads they see, hear, or read are generally honest

Three years ago, in March, 2014, a YouGov survey found that 56% of US adults who came across at least one advertisement per month felt that the ads they saw, read, or heard were generally honest. Today, that number has risen 16 points - meaning that, at present, nearly three-quarters of the American public considers advertisements honest. 

A similar lift appeared when people were answered if they trust the ads they see, read, or hear. In 2014, 50% of US adults said they trust advertisements. In 2017, however, this number increased to 61%.

As people's overall trust in advertising has grown, so has their interest in more regulation. In 2014, for instance, 58% of US adults agreed that there should be stronger requirements for proving claims in advertising. Currently, this number sits at 64%.
Clear Channel Pulls Proposal for 2-year Digital Billboards Pilot Program Amid Opposition
By Jake Martin
March 29, 2017
Florida-It's back to the drawing board for Clear Channel and other outdoor media owners in St. Johns County after the company withdrew its bid last week for a digital billboards pilot program along Interstate 95.

County Administrator Michael Wanchick told The Record on Tuesday he believed Clear Channel, in its decision, was being "sensitive" to opposition garnered in recent months against the proposed two-year program.

While industry representatives said going digital is another sign of the times, residents speaking in opposition said the boards are distracting by nature, costly and pose increased safety and environmental hazards over their canvas counterparts, which they also opposed.

The county's Planning and Zoning Agency had excluded the digital billboards component from its 5-1 recommendation on Feb. 16 to approve changes to signage regulations in the Land Development Code. The item was due back to the County Commission for a final hearing on April 4.

Discussion on the pilot program was lumped in with other proposed amendments to bring the county's sign code into compliance with a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding content neutrality. Wanchick said those amendments would come back before the board, likely at the April 18 meeting, minus the provisions for digital billboards.

Clear Channel formally backed out Friday via a letter sent to commissioners.

Wanchick said Clear Channel determined it would be a "better strategy" to drop back, address the community's concerns, refine its proposal and, perhaps, bring it back for consideration "at some point in the future yet to be determined."

"I don't think it will be anytime soon," he added.  
Wanchick said he thought it was "only fair" to give the industry a chance to address some of the questions and concerns raised by a community that had "become more engaged on the issue" as it proceeded.

"I commend Clear Channel for their observations and their assessment of the situation and I appreciate their efforts to be constructive and not put everyone through a long, drawn-out process," he said.

Wanchick said the company can decide if and when it wants to bring proposal back before the board, unless the commission or another party altogether wants to proceed with something different on its own.

County staff had recommended approval of a two-year test run "to allow time for multiple electronic billboards to be erected and observed, then assessing the strengths and possible downsides of the program."

The proposed changes would have allowed billboards using light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, to project multiple advertisements on a single billboard. Those advertisements would remain static on the billboard no less than eight seconds before changing, on an automated basis, to a different advertisement. Provisions would be included to prohibit animation, flashing, or the appearance of moving objects on the face of the billboards.

Locations of digital billboards would have been along "appropriately zoned" parcels adjacent to I-95. There were also several limitations regarding separation between signs, distance from existing structures, as well as size and brightness.

According to a draft ordinance, however, any digital billboards permitted within the two-year window would have been permitted to remain regardless of whether the program was extended by the County Commission upon expiration of the pilot.    

AdSemble Launches a Self-Serve Platform for Buying Digital Billboard Ads
Tech Crunch
By Anthony Ha
March 30, 2017

AdSemble has launched a new way for businesses to buy ads on digital billboards.

To use the company's new Open Display product, advertisers just set their weekly budget, choose the region where they want their ad to be displayed and upload their creative assets. Then AdSemble will automatically serve the ad to different billboards across its network, optimized to deliver the most impressions for your budget.

Open Display also includes a performance report showing where the ads are being displayed, with photographic evidence.

If you come from the world of online advertising, this might just sound like the ad-buying should work, rather than something special. But that's kind of the point: AdSemble has been trying to simplify the often complicated process of buying billboard ads. (It launched a self-serve product for the billboard owners last year.)

In fact, when I first wrote about the company in 2013, founder and CEO Matthew Olivieri told me his goal was to build a "self-service, AdWords-style marketplace" - but the industry wasn't ready yet. Perhaps it is now.

Open Display is currently available to advertisers in San Francisco, with plans to add  Chicago, New York and Los Angeles by the end of the year. Also, the first 100 advertisers to sign up with the code "techcrunch" will get a $50 credit on their account.

Lightking Receives Patent for its Revolutionary Air Series LED Billboard
Yahoo News
By Staff Writer
March 29, 2017
Air Series (Patent No. 9607533) has taken the industry by storm since its commercial launch in January 2017.
"The industry is loving the Air Series LED Billboard. It's easy to transport, easy to install, easy to service, and easy to sell to advertisers because it's simply the most beautiful picture quality in the marketplace," said President of Lightking, Timur Colak. "It's also the longest lasting, brightest, and best-value-for-your-money LED billboard available today."

Air Series has the sharpest picture quality on the market due to the most contrast of any LED billboard. Front vents create over 20% open space, contributing to this high contrast while also lowering wind loads and continuously cooling the LEDs. Proprietary electronics such as the world's largest LED chips and innovative 12-volt power supply make Air Series the most energy efficient and reliable LED billboard you can acquire.

As one Lightking client said, "Lightking has done for our industry what Apple did when they launched the iPhone. This is our industry's equivalent of the smart phone. Thank you for literally thinking outside the box."

About Lightking
Lightking is the fastest growing manufacturer of premium LED billboards and signs in the United States. Its focus on innovative products and white-glove service ensures that its partners in the outdoor advertising and sign industries thrive. Lightking is the North American and Caribbean joint venture partner of Lightking Tech Group, a global leader in LED lamp and digital display technology with a presence in over 100 countries. Lightking's products are designed, assembled, and supported in the USA.

For more information on Lightking and all of their products, go to www.lightkingoutdoor.com.