Out-​of-​Home Advertising Bouncing Back in 2021 and Poised to Grow

BY Adam Ambro
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Like most industries in 2020, out-​of-​home advertising took a nasty hit in gross revenue. Due to the COVID-​19 pandemic, the media type dropped 13.1% in revenue to $51.6 billion globally, its worst drop ever according to PQ Media. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, because 2021 has seen out-​of-​home advertising rebound in a big way. According to the Out of Home Advertising Association, U.S. revenue increased 38% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year, accounting for $2 billion.

What industries saw out-​of-​home advertising growth?

According to the report from OAAA, in the second quarter, all top ten industry product categories increased double digits. These included:

  • Local Miscellaneous Services & Amusements
  • Retail, Insurance & Real Estate
  • Media & Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Government Politics and Organizations
  • Public Transportation Hotels and Resorts
  • Financial
  • Automotive Dealers and Services
  • Schools Camps and Seminars

As an indicator of the ongoing recovery of the US economy, the strongest categories all increased more than one-​third. 80% of the top 100 OOH advertisers increased their OOH spend from Q2 2020, and 45% of the top 100 OOH advertisers more than doubled their spend. Twenty of the top 100 increased their spend ten-​fold or more. Some of those advertisers were: Womply, Postmates, Curative, Pacaso and Credit Karma.

Where does out-​of-​home advertising go from here?

While it’s great to see these numbers grow, it’s always more important for your advertisers to plan ahead rather than look back. To that end, PQ Media published a new report for 2021–2025 that shows where they see the OOH media industry expected to flourish. Not surprisingly, it’s the digital advertising realm.

While the economic damage wrought by the pandemic squelched a decade-​long expansion that was building further momentum going into 2020, our research indicates that OOH media, and particularly DOOH [digital-​out-​of-​home] media, is poised for strong growth in the second half of 2021, as the healthcare, transit, and corporate & education venue categories are expected to surge ahead with accelerating double-​digit growth in 2022,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn. “Among future growth drivers will be the continued expansion of programmatic media buying to OOH media operators outside the top-​tier players, increased use of mobile integration tactics and improving ROI metrics driven by smart technology.”

PQ Media points out that miles driven by global consumers had already exceeded 2019 levels by mid-​2021, while static and digital billboards and signage in key indoor and outdoor locations were also recording strong growth in demand. Meanwhile, major international sporting and entertainment events were coming back on track for the second half of 2021 and 2022, with DOOH being used to provide ad-​supported live performances, results and updates in key markets across the globe.

As a result, global out-​of-​home advertising revenues are expected to grow 9.0% in 2021 and consumer time spent with OOH media is projected to rise 1.6% this year, fueled by a 6.3% surge in average weekly consumer exposure to DOOH media. Going forward, global OOH ad revenues are projected to rise at a 7.3% CAGR from 2021–2025, according to PQ Media. Transit will re-​emerge as the hottest overall OOH media location category in 2022 due to major markets upgrading airport terminals, adding new rail lines and deploying new digital transit signage and networks in high-​traffic areas popular with tourists.

What does this mean for your advertisers?

With billions of dollars spent in the DOOH space specifically, you can turn to AdMall’s AudienceSCAN Report, powered by SalesFuel, for any one of the industry categories listed above. For example, according to the AudienceSCAN research for Restaurant Customers, 20.3% of US adults eat at a restaurant or order take out at least twice a week. Being able to show your advertiser where there are opportunities to reach specific audiences, related to specific industries, will help them to be competitive in the marketplace.

Photo by Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura from Pexels