Perspective - An evolving landscape: out-of-home advertising in 2024

By Ben Baker | 15 December 2023
Ben Baker; image supplied by Vistar Media.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

Arguably, 2023 has been an exceptional year for out-of-home (OOH) in Australia. Each quarter has seen awesome results and encouraging growth. When comparing 2022 to 2023 quarter-on-quarter, the Outdoor Media Association (OMA) showed that Q1 was up 11.8%, Q2 up 11.9% and Q3 up an impressive 14.6%. This constant growth and investment is exciting but even more promising is the deepened understanding and knowledge of programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) as a channel and its vast opportunity for brand marketers.  

Programmatic has managed to capture more media budgets through a variety of reasons, including the increased flexibility and adaptability it offers brands and agencies. With just a click, brands can easily and seamlessly activate DOOH campaigns, strategically choosing where and when to activate their ads based on when their target audience is most likely to encounter the message. It’s really exciting to see more brands and agencies understand all that DOOH has to offer, and is one reason 2023 was a transformative year for the OOH landscape. 

I have no doubt the momentum we’ve seen in 2023 will continue through 2024. One reason for this will be the ongoing shift in consumer behaviour, specifically as they move away from linear TV, forcing brand marketers to adapt and reach consumers at other touchpoints in their day. Not only is DOOH a one-to-many medium, but digital signage is often located in contextually relevant environments where a target audience is most likely to be (think office buildings, gyms, grocery stores, malls and more). It’s also an unskippable or unscrollable channel, presenting a huge opportunity for advertisers to better capture consumer attention when they’re least distracted or even when they’re already in a purchasing mindset. With that, DOOH is best placed to capture additional budgets next year, and I expect these investments to continue YoY.  

Expanded DOOH targeting capabilities also presents new and unique opportunities for marketers in 2024. For example, brands can strategically choose where and when their ads run to achieve maximum impact and results. This helps marketers get the most out of their DOOH campaigns by minimising wastage, ensuring their ad dollars are spent directly towards reaching their consumers when they’re most present and attentive. This is a big reason why we expect to see programmatic DOOH grow massively in the year ahead, with many agencies and media owners predicting 40-80% growth. This is a positive shift for advertisers that have been investing in TV for years with ever-diminishing returns. 

By taking an omnichannel approach and diversifying their media mix, advertisers are reaching new and old audiences alike while driving increases in sales at a time when cost of living pressures are mounting for Australians. The attention economy has forever changed how a large portion of the consumer market engages with advertising, so meeting them with a targeted message at the right moment has become the only way to break through the noise and be noticed for many brands. 

The current state of the market remains characterised by its brevity and volatility. However, the overall outlook remains promising for both OOH and programmatic DOOH. The adaptability demonstrated in 2023 lays the foundation for a resilient industry, ready to seize the opportunities and confront the challenges that lie ahead. As we step into 2024, the narrative of the OOH advertising industry reads as a story of growth, innovation, and a profound understanding of the evolving needs of both advertisers and consumers. 

Ben Baker is Managing Director of APAC at Vistar Media 

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