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‘DOOH can do the same things as TV and digital’

By Rajiv Raghunath - February 20, 2023

Jun Sakurai, CEO of LIVE BOARD, Japan’s foremost DOOH ad network publishing service that enables demographic targeting and measures the number of impressions, shares his perspectives on the business growth trajectory, prospects of pDOOH and globalisation of business, in an interview with Rajiv Raghunath. Edited excerpts:

Jun Sakurai, CEO, Live BoardWould you reckon that DOOH has an instrumental role in boosting overall OOH share of the ad pie? Please share the LIVE BOARD outlook for your addressable markets.

Digitalisation has streamlined conventional complicated OOH operations and reduced the workload of media owners  and agencies. Ad network has made it possible to distribute advertisements in many places at the same time. The programmatic world has made it possible to flexibly choose the time and place for delivery depending on the target, and further to the weather and temperature. Now, DOOH can do the same things as TV and digital. LIVE BOARD is a perfect platform that makes it possible to measure the impression in accordance with global standards, planning such as target analysis, programmatic distribution, and attribution of the campaigns in a one stop solution by utilising abundant mobile data. It is an effort to increase the ratio of OOH based on DOOH.

As the foremost adtech company in Japan’s DOOH sector offering advanced audience metrics, how do you see the metrics contributing to the DOOH advertising growth? Are media planners showing a greater preference for DOOH in their plans?

Even in Japan, the biggest issue for the OOH industry is the lack of usage of the unified metric that compares the value of each OOH advertisements (currently the guideline was issued by the Digital Signage Consortium, but it is difficult for all media owners to prepare the data by themselves or to find the data provider). Also, there is no unified metric for comparison with television and digital excluding LIVE BOARD.

LIVE BOARD is the only Japanese company that realises nationwide VAC based on global standards. For impression measurement, we have developed an appropriate method for environments such as outdoors, stations, in trains, and stores. We succeeded in calculating its reach and frequency, and also succeeded in developing a simulation of an optimal budget allocation with TV and digital. Global advertisers and Japan's top advertisers, who value accountability, and agencies who engage in them will adopt our approach, just like TV and digital planning. 

Finally, the Japanese DOOH market will definitely grow. However, LIVE BOARD has evolved too much at once, so it will take some time for it to penetrate.

Are planners, advertisers and buyers seeing value in programmatic DOOH buying? Does this work for both place-based networks and iconic and large format DOOH?

To be honest, at the moment, I don't feel that advertisers, agencies, and media owners expect an OOH world that can be bought at an auction in Japan. However, buying through DSP is becoming a common method for global agencies and major Japanese agencies which are undergoing digitalisation, so they are finding value in it. The DSP ratio in LIVE BOARD is at about 20%, but it is still low in the entire OOH and DOOH markets in Japan. We need to enlighten the benefit of it, but it is also a problem that Japanese media owners and agencies engaged in OOH put importance on human relationships and have a low awareness of "efficiency". In the world of programmatic OOH, we think that the place-based networks sold with data are more suitable than iconic and large format DOOH sold without data, but even iconic and large format DOOH will rely on us if sales are sluggish.

Studies show that DOOH delivers best when planned along with TV or digital. With adtech solutions, is there greater scope for such integrated plans?

LIVE BOARD has conducted nearly 500 post-buy campaign analysis in the four years since its establishment. Among them, (1) “feeling popular effect” to increase “purchase/usage intention”, (2) increasing the interest and usage intention of users who love competitor's brands, (3) boosting the effect of TV and digital, (4) recognition of teens and 20s (Generation Z) (5) immediacy effect and store visit effect, etc. have already been visualised in the data. Effectiveness is quantitatively measured using industry-uniform metric, making it possible to propose optimal media allocations that are more effective with the same budget to advertisers and agencies. These will open up the possibility of a more effective integration plan.

Do you see a global ecosystem taking shape for DOOH, and would LIVE BOARD look at expanding your business footprints across geographies?

LIVE BOARD has a unique presence in Japan with three aspects: (1) media owner, (2) platform distributor, and (3) advertising sales, centred on mobile data. In the global market, Hivestack, our partner, a global platform company from Canada, is connected to 25 countries around the world, and in-out and out-in business is already possible through DSP. 

Out-In business is a 600% increase from the previous year. We anticipate that in-out needs will emerge in the next fiscal year. We want to be the one and only player that connects Japan and the world. Regarding the overseas expansion of the LIVE BOARD business, fortunately, various overseas companies have approached us to collaborate, but it is not easy to satisfy mobile data + the three aspects in other countries, so it is up to our partners.




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