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‘We do see a spring awakening for the industry’

By Rajiv Raghunath - April 19, 2021

Barry Frey, President & CEO, Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) underlines the imperative of impressing upon brands and agencies about today’s OOH with Its digital and data infused capabilities. He also points out that when trade associations are formed and leaders in the industry come together under one umbrella association, brands begin to notice and revenue begins to flow to this media sector.

Barry Frey, President & CEO<br>Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) Are we seeing the greenshoots of OOH recovery in different markets across the globe, or is it too early to predict a business rebound for this industry?

It is early, but we are starting to see indications of a rebound for the overall advertising category as well as out of home. Brian Wieser, President of Global Business Intelligence for GroupM, has predicted an 18% rebound for OOH globally. Lock down orders in some parts of the world are being eased, vaccines are rolling out, many companies are beginning to look at back to office plans and brands are saying they will spend more. Combine all of these elements and we do see a spring awakening for the industry in general on a global basis.

Would you agree that the Covid19 impact on OOH business could well pave the way for accelerated digitalisation of OOH in different markets? 

Yes, we are seeing this already. Brands in many markets were able to pause and switch their schedules because of the digital nature of today’s out of home media. Further, programmatic DOOH help inform brands where their consumers really were and they could adjust their schedules appropriately.  In this challenging time, the digitisation of OOH showcased the dynamic targeting power and agility of the medium.

Is consolidation of media ownership necessary for big investments to flow into DOOH business?

I believe we will see some consolidation. What is importantly needed is education to brands and agencies about today’s OOH with Its digital and data infused capabilities. It has all of the properties other digital media have. Part of what DPAA does on a global scale is work to get that message across, specifically to brands, agencies, and the full demand side through news articles, webinars and in-person conferences, video interviews, committees and more.

Is there a DOOH tech eco-system in the making that will support the industry’s expansion in the coming years?

There is a tech eco-system already in place. This system mostly supports online advertising, but many are discovering the digital powers of OOH. These platforms will help grow the industry for sure. Some are home grown and meant exclusively for DOOH, others are already in use to trade online media and are rapidly expanding to include DOOH.

From the regulatory perspective, are there any collective steps needed to facilitate establishment of more DOOH media assets, especially at traffic-facing locations?

Regulatory environments are different in each region of the world, so there is not one solution here. We encourage DOOH companies to work within the framework established in their countries. DPAA makes the business case for the need for DOOH and signage, in that, we do however stress the need for public private partnerships. Once governments understand they can use these screens to direct traffic, alert their populations about news and important events – whether it be a train out of service or need for Covid testing – they are more likely to see the benefits of the industry.

What is your assessment of the prospects for DOOH business in emerging markets like India? Would you suggest any collective steps that will usher in a DOOH renaissance here?

The best way to grow DOOH business in emerging markets such as India is for all of us around the world as DPAA Member companies to work together. Digital crosses borders very adeptly. When trade associations are formed and leaders in the industry come together under one umbrella association, brands begin to notice and revenue begins to flow to this media sector. It has happened in the U.S. with the internet, cinema, and most recently mobile. DPAA is already helping members who are leading in India, Japan, and China with best practices, knowledge, connections and capabilities as DPAA is ushering in a DOOH renaissance.

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