ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK: Digital signage grows up

Out with digital billboards sold on a per-play basis, in with AI and machine learning that has the back-end data making recommendations to the screen

14 March 2021 - 00:13 By Arthur Goldstuck

When the pandemic took millions of cars off the road and shut down industry, live entertainment and events, it also took out the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry. With no-one there to spot your billboard on the highway or digital signs in shopping malls, it was unlikely you would plaster your messages across public spaces.

In the US, according to data released last week by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), revenue for the sector was down 29% in 2020. However, it still achieved a respectable $6bn in turnover. New SA OOH data is not yet available, but it was an industry worth close to $200m in 2018, according to PwC, with digital signage making up more than a third of the total, and growing robustly at about 9% a year. At the same time, physical OOH had been in decline every year since 2014...

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