The past year has been one of consolidation and digital change, but also a year that gave the out-of-home sector plenty to shout about.
December 2011 provided a taste of what was to come, when Ooh!Media was bought out by Champ Private Equity. This was swiftly followed by APN News and Media divesting 50% of its interest in APN Outdoor to Quadrant Private Equity, and Ten Network Holdings looking to offload its outdoor business, Eye Corp.
After an initial offer of $140m from Champ Private Equity (which controls Outdoor Media Operations) for Eye Corp was withdrawn in October, Ten’s outdoor business sold to OMO in November for $113m.
The sector had a strong year. Out-of-home advertising revenue grew from $229m to $235m year-on-year to June – a 3% growth, according to a report by the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia. The second quarter of 2012 saw out-of-home post its 10th consecutive quarter of growth.
The out-of-home audience grew too – by 13% in the 12 months to September, according to the sector’s audience measurement system MOVE. It showed that the total daily contacts with out-of-home advertising grew from 299 million in 2011 to 338 million this year.
2012 has also seen technology gain more of a footing in the outdoor sector, with advances such as QR codes, touch screens and augmented reality playing bigger roles.
Other highlights for the year in outdoor included the appointment of former UM Melbourne managing director Wendy Gower as client marketing director at APN Outdoor in August. In November, APN also lured former Eye Corp global marketing director Janine Wood back to the out-of-home space from her current role at InLink, appointing her as general manager of marketing. APN’s head of marketing, Paul McBeth, quit the company in July.
Australia’s largest outdoor advertising contract – for the NSW State Transit Authority Bus Fleet – was retained by APN Outdoor in July. APN beat competitors Moove Media, Bus Advertising Media and Ooh!Media Digital to retain the 2,000-bus contract. APN also won exclusive contracts with the South Australian Government Bus Fleet and the Brisbane City Council Bus Fleet this year.
In August, Aegis lifted the lid on its out-of-home business, Posterscope, with former Mitchell & Partners general manager Joe Copley heading up the new operation.
Ogilvy & Mather and Clemenger BBDO Sydney were among the creative agencies to be awarded for their outdoor work. ‘Share a Coke’ won a gold Cannes Lion for Ogilvy & Mather, while ‘Aus to US’ for Virgin Australia picked up a gold Lion for Clemenger BBDO Sydney.
In November, Val Morgan announced its plans to have the biggest digital out-of-home network in Australia after it bought out Pump TV. Pump TV already has 800 panels across 100 service stations in Australia and will be rolled into Val Morgan’s network of retail media – with plans to expand the network to 2,000 screens.
2013 is looking bright for the outdoor sector too. Richard Herring, APN Outdoor CEO and chairman of the Outdoor Media Association, said: “With the fragmentation of media that’s happening all around, out-of-home is almost in a bubble. Our audience is growing – there are more pedestrians in the streets and more cars on the roads. Add t that the fact that we are progressing in our forms of delivering out-of-home and there are some really positive insights going forward.”
With a forecast compound annual growth rate from PwC of 4.8% to 2016, out-of-home is on a roll.
Charmaine Moldrich, CEO, Outdoor Media Association
"The Out-of-Home (OOH) industry in Australia continues to experience terrific growth at a time when other traditional media are seeing a decrease in audience and market share.
Strong growth of 6.5% in the third quarter resulted in OOH posting its eleventh consecutive quarter of growth. The industry also recorded overall growth of 4% year-to-date.
OOH’s ability to keep growing in a volatile media landscape is testament to its strength and relevance in today’s society and proof of its staying power.
US technology company Cisco has predicted that there will be more than 10 billion mobile connected devices by 2016 – more than the estimated global population of
7.3 billion. Add to this the Morgan Stanley prediction that worldwide mobile devices will have overtaken PCs as the most commonly used method of web access by 2013 and it’s clear where our future is headed.
So it’s no surprise we are seeing the rapid trend of OOH campaigns that use mobile technologies to engage consumers. A new product can now be launched by creating a virtual product immersion experience. Street furniture can be transformed to offer instant retail transactions via Near Field Communication. Sound and video can be embedded to deliver rich content. Free product trials can be offered at the tap of a phone or the push of a button. Consumers can play a game or pair their portable device with creative to upload their own content and data. This pattern of consumer engagement is set to boom in OOH in 2013.
OOH has always been the purist creative showcase and new technology only furthers its creative potential. As such, we have been working behind-the-scenes on some exciting new forums for celebrating and interrogating strong creative design. OOH is the ultimate creative stage and this will be a key focus of ours in 2013.
In September, the OOH industry’s audience measurement system MOVE (Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure) launched the results of its 2012 data update which showed a 13% increase in total daily contacts in the system to 338 million contacts up from 299 million in 2011. This was the result of an increase in available inventory within the market, as well as a methodology update to the transit model which now allows for the measurement of people waiting for buses.
Updating MOVE annually is our commitment to providing the highest quality system to all users by maintaining the accuracy of data published and ensuring MOVE remains world class. To this end, the next full update of MOVE is scheduled for release in March 2013 and will incorporate the latest Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) Census 2011 information, transport and other infrastructure changes.
Thanks to MOVE we are gaining insights into our audiences, their behaviours and the growing Return on Investment (ROI) for brands that OOH provides. These new insights will be used in 2013 to further engage audiences and give advertisers even more reason to add OOH to their media mix.
In response to two parliamentary Inquiries in 2011 into regulation and classification of OOH advertising content, the industry has spent much of 2012 working on strengthening the self-regulatory system and working to reduce the number of upheld complaints to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB). The OMA has put in place new initiatives to assist members to this end, including a Content Review Policy, Content training and a concept advisory service. Since the introduction of these initiatives there has been a reduction of over 50% in upheld complaints since 2010.
In 2013 we look to further develop these initiatives in keeping with changing community attitudes. While we have successfully reduced the number of complaints about sex, sexuality and nudity we will need to shift focus to the more prevailing community concerns with regards to content reflecting health and safety, language and violence.
As a broadcast medium that reaches massive audiences we are committed to making a meaningful contribution to the economy and the community.
We donated media space valued in excess of $2M to two important national campaigns including the Wall of Hands (WOH) Indigenous Literacy Appeal, which raises funds to develop literacy education programs to remote Indigenous communities, as well as the National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) to help raise awareness of the issues and impacts associated with missing people.
Our commitment to these sponsorships will continue throughout 2013.
Since 2002 the OOH industry has grown a massive 91%, which proves the power of the medium to return solid Return on Investment (ROI) to clients. Half yearly results from Nielsen also reinforce OOH’s strength and steadiness with most of the top ten OOH advertisers remaining the same year-on-year.
We will continue to remain at the competitive forefront next year by thoroughly understanding our audiences and adapting to change. We remain a highly cost effective media option that delivers mass audiences. Our assets are increasingly relevant in today's changing media landscape as we continue to develop exciting digital interfaces. We will continue to develop the highly successful MOVE audience measurement system to assist in delivering outstanding results to clients.