Outdoor’s digital future

Outdoor’s digital future
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Australia’s entire out-of-home advertising network will be digitised within five years, it has been claimed.

Michael Scruby, founder of OOH platform Site Tour, believes the next five years will see unprecedented change for the industry.

He told B&T: “In three to five years’ time, the whole market is going to be online and location-based.

“Online – through your tablet or personal device – that’s how your TV and press will be consumed. And location-based, which will be either cinema or out-of-home. And within five years, out-of-home will be all digital.

“Digital is going berserk and the cost of digital is coming down. If you can buy a screen by the minute or by the hour, that’s where it gets super-interesting. It’s the convergence of online and out-of-home.”

Site Tour, a technology platform that sits between the OOH buyer and seller, was founded by Scruby (pictured) in 2011 and has just surpassed the $1 million funding mark.

The platform features photos, maps, Google Street View and audience data for more than 80,000 billboards in Australia. It’s a one-stop platform for all of Australia’s outdoor vendors and media agencies – and every single one is using it.

Site Tour averages about 300 sessions in a week and makes its money on a pay-per-search basis.

Scruby, who worked in the OOH industry for 10 years including a year at Clear Channel Communications in the UK, said: “Site Tour was designed to bring some efficiency into the buying of out-of-home. Previously, there were people in Sydney buying billboards in places they had never seen and would never see. Geography makes every billboard different.

“The data on Site Tour reduces the commoditisation of the industry. It’s still a direct transaction between buyer and seller, but Site Tour saves time and is far more precise for the buyer.”

He describes the platform as “the eBay of outdoor advertising”.

Some of the biggest names in Australian business, including Ted Pretty and Jamie Olsen, have invested in Site Tour.

The latest boost in funding will enable Scruby and his team of 10 staff to continue developing the Site Tour software. 

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