Long Read - Out-of-home resumes its ride on a digitisation rocket

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 11 July 2023
Joe Yates via Unsplash.

Out-of-home (OOH) has emerged from the chaos of pandemic lockdown to continue its climb as one of the fastest-growing channels in the media industry.

IPG Mediabrands’ MAGNA predicts a 5% lift to $1.1 billion for outdoor media in 2023, while GroupM’s mid-year forecast puts OOH with 9% growth in 2023. SMI numbers from May put OOH up 8.2%, or 12.1% when adjusting for government spend.

With consumers returning to CBDs in droves, technological advancements propelling the sector forward and a takeup of both programmatic and dynamic creative spurring innovation, the outdoor media sector doesn’t look likely to join other sectors in a slowing of growth.

"A stronger, more prosperous industry"

Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO of the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), said the industry’s continued investment into innovation and the streamlining of processes to make it easier to buy are positively contributing to growth.  

“This year we’ll be launching our automated Insertion Order platform OASIS which will save time as bookings travel seamlessly from the media owner to the agency to the verification provider,” she said.

“In addition, the Impression Multiplier will provide MOVE audience data for programmatic campaigns, leading to greater transparency for advertisers wanting immediate and more targeted campaigns on the digital network.”

McIntyre said that the industry as a whole continues to collaborate to evolve platforms and processes while individually, OMA members are continually innovating and showing that OOH works throughout the funnel: data-targeting, location-specific and contextually relevant OOH experiences can bring brands to life. 

“Products like 3D anamorphic activations and QR code enabled real-time consumer interactivity also offer advertisers higher levels of measurable engagement,” she said.

“Our evolving strategy to build a stronger, more prosperous and resilient industry into the long term is working. Our 2023 initiatives are laying the groundwork for the launch of MOVE 2.0 in 2024, when we’ll see continued transformation for the channel.”

The only way is up

The OMA said the OOH industry net media revenue increased 11.9% to $283.2 million in the June quarter compared to the same three months last year, with digital OOH (DOOH) revenue accounting for 68.1% of total net media revenue year-to-date 

Year-to-date net revenue is sitting at $543.5 million, up 11.9%, while for the whole of 2022, the outdoor industry posted a record $1.06 billion in net media revenue, an increase of 27.6% over 2021.John O'Neill

John O’Neill (pictured right), CEO of QMS, said that the OOH company expects to see a similar trend throughout the rest of 2023 due to its resilience as an industry, being one of the few media sectors to be showing consistent growth.  

“We estimate it could grow to $1.3 billion over the next few years, up from $1.06 billion in calendar 2022,” he said.

Cathy O’Connor, CEO of oOh!media, agreed with that sentiment, saying OOH has continued its strong structural growth momentum through the first half of the year, with digitisation and more compelling creativity opportunities driving better results for advertisers.  

"The OMA predicts the OOH sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9% from 2022 to 2026 and this has been achieved May year to date,” she said. 

“OOH is outperforming traditional media as advertisers increasingly recognise the reach, creativity, effectiveness and measurement the medium can deliver.”

According to SMI data, OOH is currently up 15% year on year, while television is back 15% and the total media market is 4% behind, indicating that some budgets are being redirected from TV to OOH.

"Several categories, including auto, travel, retail, alcoholic beverages, food produce, and dairy, have witnessed significant year-on-year growth and airport spending is up 125% YoY, according to SMI data,” she said. 

Steve O'Connor

Steve O'Connor (pictured right), CEO of JCDecaux Australia and New Zealand, said that while everyone appears to be talking down the prospects for the second half with the prevailing economic headwinds, the OOH sector seems to be holding up well. 

“Specifically, at JCDecaux, our commitment to innovation, customer-centricity, and strategic partnerships has positioned us as a leader, enabling us to capitalise on the recovering market and deliver good results,” said O’Connor.

He said that he’s cautiously optimistic about the second half of 2023, and failing a significant economic decline, the industry should see growth compared to the same time last year.  

“Our diverse portfolio, coupled with our data-driven insights and technological advancements, places us in a strong position to meet the evolving needs of our clients, and capture a larger market share from other media channels,” he said. 

Eric Fan, founder and CEO of LUMOS, a martech platform with programmatic IoT-enabled LED smart screens displaying DOOH advertising to the home delivery economy, said that the growth behind OOH so far - GroupM's mid-year forecast identifies OOH as the leading channel for growth in 2023 with a 12.7% increase - can be attributed to the flourishing tourism industry, exemplified by the record-breaking visitor numbers at Vivid Sydney, as well as the increasing adoption of back-to-office policies in major capital cities.

“We expect this positive trend to continue throughout the remainder of 2023,” he said.

Kirsty Dollisson

Kirsty Dollisson (pictured right), MD of TorchMedia, said that the tough economic climate so far in 2023 has led to a slightly softer market than initially expected, but landmark events such as Sydney World Pride, Vivid Sydney and the FIFA Women’s World Cup have assisted OOH to perform better than other mediums given the opportunity to reach mass audiences at scale in contextually relevant environments.

“From a transit media perspective, 2023 has seen commuter levels stabilise nationally, with patronage across certain transport modes now having surpassed their pre-COVID levels,” she said.

“Now that uncertainty has reduced in regard to audience numbers, we are seeing a strong return for Transit Media investment with clients embracing the high impact and targeted formats available.”

Michael Selden, head of sales and platforms for JOLT – an Australian network of free, fast electric vehicle fast charging stations that doubles as a carbon negative, verified DOOH advertising network – said that the OOH sector is buoyant, having remained strong and resilient in comparison to other mediums this year, with spend up almost 18% YoY according to the latest SMI data, and back above where it was in 2019.

“Through the remainder of the year, the industry will continue to grow share of overall marketing dollars as advertisers continue to reap the rewards of an industry that has successfully diversified, digitised, invested and innovated with its ability to reach and engage with valuable audiences with relevant messaging, and deliver strong measurement analytics,” he said.

Both Simon Chappell, head of growth and commercial for Scentre Group BrandSpace and Ben Baker, APAC MD at Vistar Media, said the sector has been consistently outperforming the market so far in 2023, as advertisers recognise the value in the channel, marketers are increasingly prioritisising OOH in their campaigns and consumers are receptive to the non-intrusive nature of OOH. 

“As we look toward the end of the year and the OOH landscape continues to expand, we are expecting to see programmatic digital out-of-home (pDOOH) leveraged even more due to the flexibility and data-driven capabilities it offers marketers,” said Baker. 

Mo Moubayed, cofounder of Veridooh, said that there’s been steady growth as OOH continued its climb out of the depths of COVID-19, and while current economic uncertainty has impacted consumer confidence, putting a damper on revenue for other mediums, OOH is proving to be resilient. 

“The next few months will be filled with ups and downs before we head into the summer period where we can expect a stronger performance from OOH as people head outdoors more,” he said.

Sev Celik

Sev Celik (pictured right), commercial director for Tonic Media Network - a health and wellbeing media network created by health professionals in collaboration with OOH media specialists - said that confident about where OOH is at this point in 2023 and that confidence will carry us through to the end of the year.

"Tonic Media Network has experienced exponential growth since the end of lockdowns and we’re now exceeding our 2019 actuals – which is really satisfying for both Tonic and the sector," said Celik.  

"What sets our market offering apart is its uniqueness – a digital placed-based media positioned at point of care and pharmacy environments. When coupled with today’s hyper focus on health and wellbeing, we’ve managed to insulate ourselves from many of the external pressures faced by the media industry and as a result, we’ve been able to stabilise and experience growth."

Celik said marketers have learnt to be agile and navigate through challenges during a global pandemic so they are ready for any economic headwinds that come along.

"Media owners similarly have faced uncertainty and have had to look for the opportunities that present themselves as norms change. It can be tricky but also exciting," she said.

Media agencies bullish

Jules Hall (pictured below right), CEO of The Hallway, said that OOH has been one of the most exciting creative formats for the past few years as the digitisation of the channel and the improved measurement tools have seen OOH achieve a huge growth in share of advertising spend. 

Jules Hall

“There's lots of analysis to explain why this is the case, but at a fundamental level, it works because you can put your brand in lights, in moments that matter. And you can do that in more interesting ways than were possible when it was just a static media,” he said. 

Back in 2014, The Hallway worked with Google to launch voice triggered search, creating Australia's first large scale data-driven OOH campaign – something Hall said worked because it was “creatively interesting”, and the product being advertised was compelling. 

“Just like any media, OOH works well when advertisers find surprising and exciting ways to use it. Our days are full of same-same adverts - all rigorously considered, carefully validated by strategy and studiously put together, but often totally missable,” he said.

“OOH gives you the springboard to be truly distinctive. Us marketers have a duty to leap as high as we can off that springboard to maximise our impact.” 

Marianne Lane, Kaimera’s head of investment, said that the agency traditionally sees an uplift in OOH spend into the back half of the year in the lead up to Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the Christmas retail period and 2023 will be no different. 

“I predict OOH will sustain this momentum and achieve a growth rate of approximately 20%,” she said.

Josh Greive, trading director at UM Australia, said that with international travel being back on the cards, the airport environment has experienced an explosion of demand with 163% growth YoY, driven by a combination of rate increases and brands returning to the environment. 

“We anticipate that the back half of the year will slow slightly from the first half, however, we believe outdoor will finish the year with about 5% growth in revenue,” said Greive. 

Natalie Murray

Natalie Murray (pictured right), head of media planning at Yango, said the OOH sector has been continuing its shift towards digitalisation, with the integration of technologies like programmatic advertising and data-driven targeting. 

“This has allowed us to deliver more targeted and dynamic campaigns, enhancing the sector's appeal to our clients,” she said.

“The future for 2023 looks good for OOH and I think we’ll continue to see growth especially with digital billboards and programmatic as it becomes easier to transact on; at the moment the buying process still needs some work. 

Andrew Gilbert, director of platforms AUSEA for Yahoo, said that looking at the performance of any media channel in 2023 requires looking at two points of reference - the COVID years (‘20-’22) and the year preceding COVID (‘19) - to understand trends as per SMI results. 

He said that comparing the January to April period this year to 2019 shows that these growth results are predominantly coming from large format (+5%) and retail (+1%) with other formats declining in comparison, although most likely to rebound soon.

“This potentially may show that brands are focusing on top and bottom of funnel tactics for OOH right now in recessionary times rather than the middle. This is a trend that will continue throughout 2023 in order to drive large scale awareness, and influence at point of sale,” he said.

Bryce Cameron, PHD Australia’s group investment director, said that retail, auto and travel category spends in OOH are leading the charge YoY, which has given the sector a healthy start offsetting any government spend, as not only is marketing confidence back, but the mobility data is supporting this too.  

“The appetite for attending live events is a strong opportunity for brands and an area we can capitalise on across the out of home market in the second half of the year,” said Cameron. 

“AFL reported the best attended opening nine rounds on record. We also have the Women’s World Cup selling over a million tickets and we know locally and internationally what impact the Australian Open has, with 2023 the most attended event which we predict growing again in 2024.”

Justin Arlt

Justin Arlt (pictured right), head of partnerships for Melbourne at Initiative, said if he was solely using the amount of trade press releases about 3D anthropomorphic billboards, he’d say the sector is in fantastic shape, but a good chunk of data supports that assumption - OOH is up 15% in spend volume compared to 2022 and not only has 2023 exceeded pre pandemic levels, but it’s also the strongest start to the year on record.

“This is even more impressive in the context of the broader market being back 4%. We’ll absolutely see this momentum carry through for the remainder of 2023 and it’s an early call, but I think we’re going to see a record-breaking year for OOH,” he said.

Dani Simoni, account manager at The Media Store, said the industry’s commitment to innovate, developing the historically upper-funnel medium into a nimble and pliable channel, means that OOH has emerged as the third above the line channel, along with TV and audio, to be digital-led, supported by robust insights that position the medium alongside the same channel consideration as programmatic. 

“OOH, however, has the unique advantage of being able to traverse further up the marketing funnel, seamlessly integrating with broader media strategies,” said Simoni.

“The increasing adoption of digital technologies within the channel and the continued growth of DOOH capabilities will further drive revenue and enable brands to deliver cohesive and immersive brand experiences across various touchpoints, showing up at the critical moments along the consumer path to purchase journey."

To effectively achieve this objective, Simoni said it is imperative that creative executions improve significantly as it’s unrealistic to rely on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in today's landscape. As media budgets are expected to work harder to reach the consumer at the right moment, she said enhanced creative is essential to continue OOH’s ability to capture the consumer’s attention.

“The true potential of programmatic delivery lies in its ability to leverage dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) technology,” she said.

“It is crucial that we do not squander the potential of DCO by neglecting its implementation. With DCO, brands have the capability to deliver highly targeted and dynamically generated creative assets that resonate with the individual consumer."

What’s behind this exponential growth?

The OMA recently finalised revenue reporting for Q2 2023, which shows a third quarter of growth for the industry.

McIntyre said the OMA attributes this to advertisers’ confidence in the channel to get attention and reach, plus the ability to show impact with the Neuro Impact Factor measured for every campaign.  

“Outdoor is the only channel that can reach 82% of the population daily - it’s part of people’s daily lives and the consumer journey,” she said. 

“Insights from the build of MOVE 2.0 will give media planners and buyers more data to help plan effective campaigns and use Outdoor more strategically for top and bottom of the funnel objectives.  

“The MOVE 2.0 IPSOS Mobility Surveyi shows that 98% of people leave home at least once a week, taking on average almost five trips each day. This survey is the most comprehensive travel survey undertaken in Australia to date and involves second by second tracking of more than 4,000 respondents over 14 days.”

This means that every day, most Australians are exposed to and look at outdoor advertising as they commute, shop, and socialise. Increasing urbanisation and the rise of transit hubs and public transport patronage also creates more OOH opportunities for advertisers. 

“High foot traffic areas such as train stations, trams, ferries, airports, shopping malls and footpaths offer prime locations for advertisers to reach an increasingly large and diverse audience, particularly with the rise of return to office working in our capital cities,” said McIntyre. 

Michael Selden

Selden (pictured right) said that digital transformation and programmatic buying are key drivers behind the growth in OOH, as is the ever-increasing sophistication of audience targeting, flexibility and creativity with dynamic content being used consistently across the board, as well as real-time optimisation, which leads to outsized benefits for brands.

“Out-of-home companies that are innovating and providing real purpose, value, accountability, automation and measurement are seeing the strongest growth,” he said.

“The shift to trading audiences rather than ‘off-the-shelf’ packages has been extremely successful, with significant value seen by advertisers who can tailor and flex their buys to reach specific audiences more efficiently and effectively, with seamless, contextually relevant messaging.”

Baker said that measuring the success and the true ROI of a DOOH campaign has been somewhat of a grey area, but marketers and brands can now measure campaign results with clear success metrics tied back to programmatic DOOH, positioning OOH as a key player in the marketing mix. 

“This is demanding more spend, which equals more growth. OOH campaigns can be measured through precise measurement studies based on location data and advanced studies including brand lift, foot traffic and online conversions, to name a few,” he said.

“Knowing that measurement of OOH campaigns has become so advanced, showcasing the true impact the channel has on full funnel KPIs, marketers are continuing to invest and prioritise OOH in their media mixes.”

Baker said that while OOH has long been used as an awareness tool, it is now being used to drive a variety of marketing results from the top to middle and even bottom of the funnel, creating even more demand from advertisers. 

“I also think the data-driven capabilities available today, such as dynamic creative, weather triggers, advanced audience targeting and more, is another key driver of the channel’s growth,” said Baker.

JCDecaux’s O'Connor agreed that digital evolution and advanced data capabilities is driving the growth, and as marketers grapple with increasing media fragmentation, they will be looking to OOH for cost-effective, true broadcast reach. 

“Programmatic trading offers the ability to buy flexibly, upweight where needed and get granular,” said O’Connor.

Celik said the evolution of programmatic technology in the OOH space is "really exciting", allowing Tonic to make it easier and more efficient for brands to zero in on and connect with fragmented audiences.

"We can deliver campaigns that effectively engage and talk to First Nations and culturally diverse audiences right across Australia, bridging the gap by communicating with them in their own languages, delivering a level of inclusivity and personalisation that can transform a campaign’s once linear messaging," she said.

Simon Chappell

Chappell (pictured right) said that the OOH industry is on the right side of the market as advertisers increasingly look for more performance for their ad spend. 

“Growth is being driven by more advertisers being able to access higher quality networks, better measurement, and more flexibility in how they buy, as well as the constant growth through new and emerging client categories,” he said. 

Moubayed said the explosive growth of the sector is partly due to its ability to be both a high-reaching medium, cutting through the noise when marketers need it most, but also being able to work increasingly as a performance marketing tool, thanks to the growing amount of data available on OOH campaigns that marketers can tap into. 

“We’re seeing clients that independently verify their OOH campaigns layer their Veridooh data with other data sets and use that to analyse and optimise their campaigns, encouraging them to spend more in the sector,” said Moubayed.

TorchMedia’s Dollisson said as observed in recent years, growth is being driven both by DOOH, with vast digitisation occurring across all categories of the industry, as well as by brands shifting more spend to OOH has other mediums no longer deliver the same audiences or ROI. 

“The post-pandemic return of large-scale events and government investment into reinvigorating our cities is creating growth through new and exciting opportunities for brands to align campaigns with these leisure-seeking audiences in a receptive mindset,” she said.

“Large scale investment into new transit infrastructure, such as the Sydney Metro and Melbourne Metro Tunnel, will change the way we travel in the future, promoting growth through new transit environments and assets for advertisers to embrace.”

Agency revenue per Standard Media Index (Australia only). Other consists of 37 media owners.

Digitisation and programmatic leading the way 

Marcelle Gomez, MD of iProspect NSW, said that growth in OOH spend is a trend observed not just in Australia but also globally due to the digitisation of OOH inventory, which allows greater targeting ability than ever before, whether that be signal, geography or audience based. 

“We can’t forget that OOH is a great channel to reach mass audiences – it offers scale, impact and accessibility in a way that is unique to the medium,” she said. 

Andrew Gilbert

Gilbert (pictured right) said the year-on-year growth is supported by the significant push from OOH vendors on large format and retail, as consumers have returned over the last 12 to 18 months and retail destinations have become a key point of consumer visitation. 

“Within the overall OOH sector, there is a significant movement to technology and data innovation to drive differentiation across networks,” he said.

“This isn’t just by the vendors, but also through innovations in standardised measurement in MOVE’s latest release. We’ve seen this through the significant growth of pDOOH from around 1% in 2021 ($8.3M) to approximately 3% of total OOH spend in 2022 ($31M), according to the World Out-of-Home Organisation.  

“OOH is a great channel to build brands and I think the combination of mass audience reach with the compliment of targeting capabilities is where agencies and advertisers can get strategic and win versus the competition,” she said.

Cameron said future growth will have its foundation in digitisation, which has had huge impact in recent years on the OOH sector as the flexibility and impact media agencies now have in this space is “immense”.   

“The real world we move in only becomes clearer & more impactful with OOH vendors leaning into all the benefits of the technological age with data enhancement and improved platforms and systems,” said Cameron.

“This sets the sector up to utilise programmatic to its best ability which is still in its early stages comparative to other channels, as well as open up inventory to brands, clients and categories that need that flexibility and immediacy.”

Rebecca Ho

Rebecca Ho (pictured right), Starcom Sydney’s head of investment, said that over the years, outdoor vendors have made significant investments into data partnerships, creative solutions and measurement, which has helped better define the role of outdoor beyond a reach medium. 

She said that while programmatic outdoor currently makes up less than 5% of total outdoor ad spend, it’s growing at a rapid pace. 

“This will continue to grow as advertisers tap into the benefits of flexibility, lower entry costs and the use of data to bridge the gap between offline and online channels,” said Ho.

“The growth of programmatic digital OOH will also be driven by omnichannel strategies, with the majority of outdoor assets now available for programmatic trading, coupled with enhanced targeting capabilities.”

Sarah Kent, business director at Alchemy One, said there's three factors driving OOH forward at the moment, the first being that with budgets from clients becoming tighter and audiences becoming more fragmented, broadcast channels such as OOH become a great way to achieve broad reach but also to reach people in key moments of cut through.

"OOH provides the opportunity for innovation and with the diversity of formats and locations also allows for a focus on locations, communities and audiences," she said.

"The second is the renewed push for programmatic OOH. With a lower barrier to entry and OOH partners also pushing this as a source of growth I can only continue to see this grow.

"The last is new formats. The new revamped City of Sydney was a change up for 2023 and the new Sydney Metro formats launching in 2024 will prove to be another great growth opportunity for oOh! especially."

UM’s Greive said a key driver to this growth is the increased level of flexibility, which has been provided with the breaking down of traditional packs. 

“The digitisation of inventory has meant that there is more inventory to trade programmatically, the industry is really embracing the benefits of programmatic OOH with agencies and their respective clients utilising it to efficiently target high value audiences at scale,” he said.

Euan Macdonald

Euan MacDonald (pictured right), Half Dome's performance director, said that both advertiser preference and publisher inventory have started to favour increased investment in DOOH.

“Access to self-serve programmatic inventory leads to increased flexibility and customisation in inventory selection, day or hour-parting, and easy-to-update creative assets make OOH accessible to a whole new type of outdoor advertiser,” said MacDonald.

“As the programmatic OOH space continues to thrive, advertiser demand for functionality that aligns with existing digital channels will be key drivers for emerging growth and trends.”

Murray said the key areas that Yango are watching closely are digitisation, data-driven targeting and innovation and creativity.   

“DOOH will offer flexibility, but there is still some work to be done on making the process user friendly,” said Murray.

“Location data, demographic information and consumer behaviour insights are exciting developments for advertisers, as are creative executions such as augmented reality experiences, interactive installations, and experiential marketing.”

“This growth has supported OOH vendors seeing new brand entrants into the channel and allowed these brands to influence their consumers without some of the restrictions of direct bookings.” 

Arlt said from a revenue standpoint, almost every OOH format is seeing growth and there is some “fantastic” technology and creative innovation coming through the pipeline. 

“There are a number of factors that are driving this growth, but I’d say the two biggest are linear TV dollars shifting into OOH and a fully restored client confidence in the medium, post-COVID lockdown,” he said. 

Looking ahead to 2024

Elizabeth McIntyre OMA CEO supplied feb 2023The OMA’s McIntyre (pictured right) said that the DOOH programmatic space will continue to grow and more multiformat campaigns will come to life as advertisers take advantage of the immediacy and impact of digital combined with the reach and ownership of place of classic.

“MOVE 2.0 will launch in mid-2024 and has the potential to deliver audience data for digital and classic signs in a more granular way that allows for monthly and seasonal variations, as well as hourly movements, 365 days a year, across more than 100,000 metro and regional OOH signs,” she said.

“With our $17M investment in developing and launching MOVE 2.0 in 2024, the industry will continue to evolve and thrive, driven by solid data, technology, creativity, and a commitment to community and sustainability." 

JCDecaux’s O'Connor said he expects to see the continued growth of programmatic trading as the progress in data integration capabilities has been crucial for the expansion of programmatic DOOH, enabling OOH companies to efficiently connect with target audiences. 

“The wide range of data available now allows us to achieve maximum outreach by tailoring messages to highly specific and customised audiences, with precision,” he said.

“Crucially as we continue to transition to a largely digital media channel and we continue our investment in our digital estate, four areas are key to success to support the continued convergence of out-of-home and online marketing. - measurement, verification, attribution and dynamic creative optimisation.

“Towards the end of this year, JCDecaux will see close to 10% of our digital revenues from programmatic. Programmatic contextual advertising will accelerate as dynamic creative optimisation becomes more accessible. In 2024 we expect to offer a greater percentage of our inventory available to buy programmatically to meet this demand.”

Ben Baker

Baker (pictured right) said he sees two main trends continuing to gain momentum next year, one of which is the results generated by pDOOH demanding further advertising spend, taking a larger chunk of the pie. 

“From efficiently activating DOOH media at key touchpoints during a consumer’s journey, leveraging data to more accurately and safely target audiences, incorporating dynamic creative components to create more personalised campaigns, and even being able to launch campaigns within minutes, a programmatic advertising strategy delivers immense value to marketers and I’m confident it will be prioritsed in 2024 and beyond,” he said.

In the past few years, the industry has also seen greater adoption and interest in dynamic creative for OOH campaigns, something Baker said will continue to drive creative strategies in 2024.  

“The reason for this is that dynamic creative enables messaging that can be highly tailored for relevance in a specific moment in time, including capabilities that bring relevant, targeted and effective messaging to an audience,” said Baker.

“Essentially, dynamic creative utilises data to inform certain elements within an individual advertising asset – automatically swapping out items like product images, taglines, ad copy, promotions and more to create tailored experiences for different audiences.”

While there are many different dynamic creative use cases depending on the brand and target audience, Baker said one compelling use case that’s gaining popularity is weather. 

“As one of the most influential buying factors for consumers, advertisers can leverage dynamic creative to automatically swap creative elements to capitalise on current weather conditions,” he said.

“This tactic delivers contextually relevant ads for brand marketers that are more likely to resonate with their target audience.”

Mo Moubayed

Moubayed (pictured right) said OOH is an “incredibly nimble” medium that can do so many things for advertisers with ranging from the rise of programmatic to 3D OOH and retail media. 

“I think in 2024 we will see all these technologies be pushed even further by amazing creativity. At the end of the day, OOH has stood the test of time because it allows advertisers to show off great creative work in a way that seamlessly blends with people’s everyday lives rather than be obstructive,” he said.

“Now that things are back to ‘normal’, marketers are really embracing this opportunity to connect with consumers in fun ways. Uber Eats is just one example of a brand that is making OOH fun and engaging. 

“We’ll also see brands and agencies go from introducing independent verification, which is where we’ve been the past two years, to using that data to combine with other data sets, such as POS data, to better understand how OOH is impacting their brands performance. This means more dynamic OOH campaign planning than ever before.”

O’Neill said that the three key elements to focus on in 2024 from QMS’ perspective are the industry’s ongoing investment in digital; the increased take up of programmatic buying that will enhance DOOH and bring new spenders to the industry; and the launch of the new audience measurement platform MOVE 2.0, which will be a game changer and growth driver for the industry.  

“As the global, gold standard audience measurement tool, MOVE 2.0 will provide even greater confidence in the effectiveness of OOH,” he said.

Chappell said that 2024 will bring a focus on establishing deeper audience connections and improving performance outcomes to meet advertiser expectations, particularly in a market prioritising greater return. 

“Further evolution of the development and enrichment customer data capabilities is a key priority for us,” he said. 

“Programmatic buying continues to bring new advertisers to the sector and greater consistency in measurement continues to build more confidence.”

Cathy O'Connor

oOh!’s O’Connor (pictured right) said that while all the OOH companies are in a competitive marketplace, the industry works together to advance the sector and has invested in enhanced measurement - such as MOVE 1.5 and the forthcoming MOVE 2.0 - that will provide more granular audience measurement data across digital and classic OOH sites in metro and regional Australia, including seasonal variations and hourly, weekly and monthly audience changes.

"oOh!’s three pillar strategy is to lead OOH to a digital-first future through growth-increasing digitisation of trading and automation, capturing audience attention at scale and making it easy for customers to achieve better outcomes,” she said.

"Like all OOH media companies, oOh! will make strategic investment decisions that enhance our digital network portfolio and offer new opportunities for advertisers to connect with audiences, as evidenced by our recent Sydney Metro win.”

O’Connor said that oOh! is delivering on this through constant innovation and investment, including partnership agreements with News Corp, Broadsheet, the AFL and Tennis Australia to make oOh!’s place-based environments even more compelling for audiences.  

“We have expanded our 3D Anamorphic - full motion video 3D - offering across the eastern seaboard with the recent announcement of new locations in Sydney and Brisbane, complementing ‘The Bourke’ site in Melbourne, with plans to launch further sites across the country to give advertisers even more iconic storytelling and shareable moments,” said O’Connor.

"After several years of disruption, the OOH sector has bounced back strongly. This momentum is set to continue into 2024, with ongoing innovation and investment across creative, content, technology, data and measurement, that will make it harder for advertisers to ignore and audiences to miss.”  

Tonic Media Network's Celik said DOOH will continue to evolve in 2024, delivering dynamic content, real-time updates and interactivity for audiences, meaning deeper and more impactful engagement for consumers and elevating their overall experience with the platform.

"Programmatic technology will continue to revolutionise our industry and ensure efficiency and effectiveness," she said.

"Personally, I'm really invested and interested in AI. Not only will AI play a critical role in how we optimise and analyse data but I’m excited to see how we can use it as we create content for health consumers and clinicians alike – enabling us to personalise content and campaigns for different audience profiles and demographics, particularly in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities."

“In particular, we expect to see additional consideration of OOH outside of the 5 capital cities with MOVE 2.0 covering all assets nationally and bringing industry standard measurement to markets such as Canberra and Tasmania.” 

Looking ahead to 2024, Fan (pictured right) said that one notable emerging trend in the OOH sector is the utilisation of advanced data analytics and AI to accurately forecast and measure the real-time impact of OOH advertising. 

“At LUMOS, we have experienced a growing demand for ROI measurement and attribution, which involves determining the correlation between geo-behaviour and audience spending insights for the OOH campaigns we help measure with our intelligence platform,” he said. 

“As marketers increasingly seek transparency and precision in their marketing results, we anticipate a significant shift towards a data-driven media planning approach in the OOH sector." 

Selden agreed that 2024 will see the evolution of programmatic OOH, as brands continue to see the benefit of sophisticated audience and targeting capabilities to drive more effective campaigns results.  

“The medium will become even more simple and automated to transact and measure,” he said. 

“The emergence of the smart use of AI will be come into play across the media industry as a whole this year, 2024 and beyond, and the OOH sector will embrace it to help empower how we provide the best solutions to brands, in areas such as even more rigorous audience intelligence and analytics, dynamic content optimisation and personalised messaging.”

“OOH’s role in omnichannel marketing strategy will also be crucial now and ongoing, for cross-channel consistency, reach, location-based targeting, and data-driven measurement, delivering a seamless and impactful brand experience to consumers across multiple channels.”

Dollisson said further growth in the OOH sector in 2024 will come by clients looking to use creative executions that go beyond posters or spots and dots to create meaningful engagement. 

“Requests for market-first opportunities, activations and special builds will continue to introduce new clients and categories to OOH and elevate traditional campaigns to become integrated customer experiences,” said Dollisson.

“We also project that the launch of MOVE 2.0 will reinvigorate interest in OOH as buyers are able to more accurately target their media buys with expanded demographic and geographic coverage.

Media agency predictions

Dani Simoni

Simoni (pictured right) said the potential of AI in revolutionising the creation and delivery of personalised creative messaging could result in a “remarkable transformation” in the way brands engage with their consumers.

“With the power of AI resting in its ability to analyse vast amounts of data, we can expect creative content where consumer preferences, behaviours and interests are translated into highly personalised, relevant and timely creative messaging that resonates with the individual consumer on a profound level; not only capturing attention but also evoking genuine emotional connections,” she said.

Murray said that the shift to augmenting traditional static displays with more dynamic and engaging approaches is a prominent trend, incorporating technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and interactive elements into OOH campaigns.  

“These immersive technologies help advertisers captivate attention, foster meaningful brand interactions, and create lasting impressions and deliver unique and memorable experiences that go beyond passive viewing,” she said. 

Much like what’s performing well so far this year, programmatic, data optimisation and dynamic creative were all mentioned by the media agencies AdNews spoke with as areas to keep an eye on as 2024 approaches.

MacDonald said data matching will allow for seamless integration of DOOH into existing programmatic buys, reaching users across multiple devices whilst in the vicinity of DOOH inventory.

“Demand for advanced analytics and measurement techniques from advertisers will lead to more integration of real-time data and more robust measurement options from DOOH suppliers,” he said.

“Digital inventory opens the door to DCO, with a wide range of variables opening for advertisers to explore. Proximity to bricks and mortar stores, time of day, key events and more will begin to work their way into DCO schedules to ensure every impression is relevant.”

Josh Grieve

Greive (pictured right) said 2024 will see an increase in convergence with the best elements of digital advertising start to be utilised within outdoor, with UM anticipating outdoor providers starting to engage in more content deals with digital publishers/sporting rights holders, which will help provide brands key moments on which to capitalise. 

“It’s anticipated that brands will look to leverage data strategies in both activation and measurement to prove the efficacy of the channel. Further to this, we are now starting to have conversations with providers about utilising dynamic creative optimisation in our campaigns,” he said.

Initiative’s Arlt said the level of programmatic OOH sophistication will increase as brands become more comfortable with the technology and vendors are to demonstrate the true value it can deliver. 

“Another very cool thing to keep an eye on is going to be Dynamically Optimised Creative across OOH. VMO recently announced their DCOOH product which will create some fantastic opportunities for brands to leverage DOOH in the way it was intended to be used,” said Arlt. 

Marianne Lane

Lane (pictured right) said that digital transformation will continue to accelerate as we move in 2024, which includes advancements in digital signage, interactive displays and programmatic buying, enabling more dynamic and targeted campaigns. 

“Sustainability and Green Initiatives are also gaining prominence across the media industry. I believe there may be an increased focus on sustainable practices, such as using energy-efficient displays, renewable energy sources, and eco-friendly materials,” said Lane.

Gilbert said there will be a greater story delivered in 2024 around the success of retail OOH channels as a driver of consumer spending, a trend partially in-line with the large global retail media push, but also because consumer destinations such as shopping centres harness so much buying influence for brands these days. 

“There is also the emergence of new capabilities within programmatic such as Dynamic Creative based on audience data, greater site level real-time optimisation, and a greater understanding of DOOH’s place within the consumer programmatic path to purchase,” he said.

Starcom’s Ho said that new technologies such as 3D, dynamic creative, and interactivity has brought excitement into the OOH channel, and will assist in delivering brand impact and cut-through. 

“In 2024, we will see more attribution studies to prove the effectiveness of outdoor in both upper and lower funnel,” she said.

“We will also see more advanced tech capabilities to engage with users through outdoor assets, providing multiple touchpoints and enabling advertisers to follow their customers’ journeys.”

Sarah Kent

Alchemy One's Kent said that cross platform channel integration will only continue to grow.

"With budgets becoming tighter and tighter, agencies have to make channels work harder and more efficiently, so how OOH works with other channels, whether it be as directly as QR codes or AR (augmented reality) integrations, or indirectly such as podcasts or radio, will be key," said Kent.

"With 3D the hot topic and only a handful of sites providing a fully animated experience, I expect this to continue to grow too as media agencies, creative agencies and clients navigate what 3D can deliver for their brands."

Gomez, MD of iProspect NSW, said the industry will continue to see further digitisation of the sector, which will help increase inventory supply and make it is easier for agencies to transact across the medium.  

“I also expect we’ll see increased demand for full motion video and more creative innovation as advertisers continually look for ways to cut through to audiences,” said Gomez.

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