Taking OOH into the future

While Covid hit the Out of Home industry hard, it’s bounced back exceptionally well reporting a sixth consecutive quarter of growth. With much movement in the way of standards, measurements, and buying opportunities for advertisers in 2022, outdoor media operators are optimistic about what the future holds.

In 2022 three key developments in New Zealand’s advertising market had a significant impact on Out of Home (OOH) media. These included the introduction of a NZ Standard, a universal audience measurement system via Calibre and the establishment of programmatic Digital Out of Home (pDOOH).

For advertisers and marketers, the introduction of a universal AMS and New Zealand Standard will mean a more unified and accountable industry going into 2023, something that the Out of Home Media Association Aotearoa (OOHMAA) is pleased about.

Natasha O’Connor, General Manager at OOHMAA told StopPress that when other international markets have developed an audience measurement system and it is embraced by the majority of the operators, the result is market share and revenue are positively impacted.

“When the Outdoor Media Association introduced MOVE (Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure – a quantitative audience measurement currency for OOH) to the Australian market in 2009 it coincided with DOOH hitting its stride; these two developments resulted in significant, continued growth of the OOH market.

“In our market, Calibre has been years in the making and AMS has been top of the request list by advertising agencies, so for the project to be reaching its completion it is really exciting, and we look forward to agencies embracing it.

“Calibre was originally a JCDecaux proprietary tool however, in the name of unity and growth, JCDecaux invited fellow OOHMAA Members oOh!media and MediaWorks to join as Shareholders. All OOHMAA members are either onboarded or will be by the end of 2022; representing 85 percent of New Zealand’s OOH formats. This means agencies will be able to get one true reach and frequency number regardless of format or supplier used.”

In Q3 of 2022, OOHMAA reported growth of 26 percent YOY, a total of $32.2 million in media revenue, up from $25.5 million for the same period in 2021. 

Aotearoa’s DOOH share of media revenue has consistently averaged 66 percent +/-2 percent since Q4 2020, a trend that remains in Q3. 

Still in its infancy, pDOOH has experienced steady growth since OOHMAA started reporting its numbers early this year; in Q3, pDOOH almost doubled from Q2, from 2.6 percent share of digital media revenue in Q2 up to 4.3 percent in Q3.

Digital revenue also grew by three percent for the same period in 2021, accounting for $40.4 million, with its share of total revenue for H1 2022 holding at 67 percent, the same share percentage as H1 2021. 

“These revenue results for OOH reflect the faith agencies and advertisers have in this channel, however there is still capacity for continued growth and we hope that developments like a NZ Standard and an AMS will add a layer of transparency and ease of trade for agencies that translates to more engagement with our sector,” says Natasha.

“Our audience numbers have recovered to pre-Covid levels across most formats; there’s the ongoing development and implementation of pDOOH, the ongoing focus and dedication of JCDecaux, oOh!media, and MediaWorks for delivering a universal audience measurement system to enhance further the value our industry offers advertisers, and all these tailwinds look set to ensure OOH builds on its 2022 success in 2022.” △

With the vast majority of OOH’s revenue coming from digital, Natasha says this shows we’ve embraced this technology and its capabilities.

While programmatic is also set to contribute to the industry’s growth, she says it’s not a “silver bullet”.

“In New Zealand, and globally, the uptake of pDOOH is still in single digits as a percentage of revenue. We know that will increase because pDOOH offers greater flexibility around budgets, timings, and real time optimisation, and that is going to appeal to clients to engage with OOH where they haven’t before.”

Anecdotally she is hearing from OOHMAA members and agencies alike that many of those embracing programmatic offerings are new to OOH, building on our clients rather than cannibalising existing revenue.

“[Programmatic] will deliver a really nice layer to amplify advertisers’ OOH strategy. But we are also very aware that with programmatic we need to build on really solid foundations.

“There is going to be a lot of education needed and upskilling for agencies and sites, as well as testing the various programmes available and developing a set of standards.”

OOHMAA and supporting vendors are also collaborating on a New Zealand standards proposal set to be released in the coming months.

This work will set guidelines around verification, standardise which of the metrics identified should be included in a common Digital/OOH IO and agree common definitions and descriptions for D/OOH terms.

Jack Plowright, LUMO Digital Outdoor GM – Programmatic says the first topic to tackle is verification. 

“It is important that expectations are set around what constitutes ‘campaign delivery’ at the point of the IO approval. That the campaign deliverables are agreed between buyers and sellers, and platforms like OIS verify whether those are achieved or not.”

As campaigns are measured differently amongst the third-party verification (3PV) platforms, agreeing within the industry on those measures will help to establish sound verification practice in our market he says.

The standardisation will also mean that the definitions of terminologies will be agreed upon and published in a New Zealand D/OOH Standards document, following industry agreeance on the deliverables from the Verification workstream.

“Buyers should expect to see DOOH metrics like ad plays per booking period, share of voice/share of time per screen, lats and longs, pixel dimensions etc. on the IOs they sign.”

As the first DOOH player to integrate 3PV DOOH verification in the country, LUMO has been vocal about the importance of verification since 2019

“We acknowledge that clear ways of working are best established early and done so collaboratively. Other markets have taken years to agree on verification standards – a time we are certainly keen to beat.”

Plowright says it is important to LUMO that it integrates with the necessary 3PV platforms buyers use.

“So far we have completed onboarding with seedooh, veridooh and OIS. We welcome any additional platforms buyers wish to use.”

He says LUMO will continue to monitor and test 3PV solutions, ensure verification technologies are understood, limitations are made clear and the team are educating buyers about the OOH standards introduced.

Having pioneered 3PV for the OOH industry a decade ago, Founder and CEO of 3PV platform OIS, Justin Singh, personally attests to the importance of standardisation and how this can support scaling and adoption of industry best practises.

For 3PV to be effectively deployed he says obvious areas considered for standardisation include campaign delivery metrics, such as screens, plays and share of time delivered, and
creating an industry campaign delivery ‘common currency’.

“It’s proven that 3PV is a ‘growth driver’ for the industry, and as DOOH and Classic campaigns are bought, sold and executed in more complex ways, it’s important that the industry sets a high benchmark for campaign delivery, so advertisers can audit what they bought against what was received.”

This is a difficult concept to scale however he says, because of a lack of industry standards in New Zealand, despite demand from advertisers.

“In recent times, there have been a number of standardisation projects initiated across the globe, the closest to New Zealand being Australia, one of the most innovative and largest OOH markets. Standardisation of campaign delivery reporting is a hot topic.”

The standardisation of technology is also particularly important to the Chief Technology Officer at OIS.

“Our platform is reliant on integrations with other industry stakeholder technologies, and it can sometimes be difficult to align with all of the different types and legacies that exist,” Justin says.

“A recent example of this is when OIS launched our world-first third-

party tracking pixel for pDOOH, we were required to deploy different technical approaches due to the different technologies currently employed by demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms.”

However, with all the benefits that standardisation brings, Justin says the industry would do well to pay heed to the consequences of the adopting local versus global standards.

“A couple more watch outs for the verification sector would be the adoption of local versus global standards, a huge consideration for globally focused AdTech platforms △ such as OIS, and ‘over’ standardising, as standardisation should never commoditise or block innovation, new approaches or the adoption of more advanced technologies.”

Nick Vile, General Manager at oOh!media, says the number one thing clients say they want from the OOH industry both directly and in client benchmark surveys, is unified audience measurement.

“For a channel like OOH whose core purpose for many clients is to deliver broadcast reach this is especially important. The objective of Calibre is to deliver just that.”

In June this year, Calibre integrated a new insights partnership with Landmarks ID to offer unique and actionable insights for OOH planners and advertisers. This single source, mobility model offers a range of benefits to enable extensive development of Calibre capability over the next 12-18 months.

Nick says the data enhancement and switchover to Landmarks ID represents an industry leading solution to unify OOH audience measurement under one platform.

“The use of mobile data sourced from over 300k+ mobile devices will enable Calibre to deliver accurate audience insights for advertisers across all OOH platforms, while also laying the foundation for more in-depth audience reporting. In the short term the data enhancement allows us to go beyond just roadside OOH formats and enables us to develop audience measurement insights for place-based OOH assets such as retail centres and airports.

“With the change we have also onboarded MediaWorks as the latest Calibre partner. So, while the day-to-day platform remains relatively the same for agencies, there will be a number of significant enhancements coming out to market later this year.”

Calibre will have a significant impact on client’s ability to plan and buy Out of Home cross format says Kurt Malcolm, Head of Programmatic and Trading at JCDecaux.

“Our clients have been telling us they want one source of measurement truth. Calibre will incorporate static, digital, airports, retail and transit formats to create efficiencies in the planning and buying process.”

Angus Swainson, MediaWorks Outdoor Director, says their clients have already been enjoying the benefit of reach and frequency planning through Datalab for many years but Calibre is bringing together the best of the existing audience measurement capabilities into one unified platform.

“At the same time, we are able to evolve the offering with even better foundational data (Landmarks ID) to give clients confidence that when they are planning campaigns using multiple out of home publishers, they have an industry leading common currency to use. It is a giant leap forward.”

So, what does Calibre mean for the OOH industry as a whole?

While the industry has been growing steadily for the past decade, minus Covid lockdowns, Nick says Calibre will prove the broadcast reach that OOH can deliver versus the other channels.

“As traditional media fragments advertisers have increasingly turned to OOH as one of the few remaining broadcast channels. Audience measurement through Calibre will only accelerate this trend.”

It will also provide a platform for much broader collaboration across the sector and Nick says this is already being seen with the recent progress that’s been made around Calibre.

“This includes higher order initiatives and issues that face both the sector and our agency clients for example verification, where we are looking to engage with the market collectively to develop the key principles and guidelines to ensure verification delivers the benefits it is designed/intended to.”

During this transitional phase, oOh!media will be supporting a sector based relaunch of Calibre, (“More to come on that,” Nick says) and will continue to offer support to agencies in conjunction with the standard platform training provided by Calibre.

Kurt says that having one endorsed AMS is critical to the future success of the OOH market in New Zealand.

“We want to drop all barriers that make it harder to plan and buy OOH. Calibre is a giant step in the right direction to deliver a trusted marketplace for our clients.”

 “Calibre is a dynamic AMS platform that will continue to push forward with new developments,” Kurt says.

“Expect to see airports and retail measurement made available in Calibre by Q4 2022. We’re also in negotiation to bring on new Calibre members giving us the majority of the New Zealand OOH market. 

For big reach broadcast media campaigns Calibre is simply unbeatable when it comes to viewability and impact, which will drive significant engagement in 2023. 

This article was originally published in the Dec/Jan 2022/23 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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About Bernadette Basagre

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email [email protected].

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