Despite continuing economic uncertainty, digital out-of-home networks are expanding around the world, often piggybacking onto big-ticket infrastructure projects, while new technology makes DOOH advertising more interactive and local governments look for new income streams from public media. That’s according to a new report from Accenture Interactive, “Out of Home Landlords Venture into Digital Space,” which forecasts a new wave of investment in DOOH in coming years.
The interactive trend is enabled in large part by widespread adoption of smartphones equipped with near-field technology (NFC). In one example from the U.K., cited by Accenture, the town of Reading tested interactive city light posters on a large scale in March 2012. This local NFC campaign, organized by Kinetic and JCDecaux, resulted in over 3,000 people scanning the poster sites using NFC-enabled mobile phones over a four-week period.
According to Kerry Bianchi, Accenture’s managing director and global lead for media management, the mobile-DOOH trend is about to take off: “The continued growth in social media, improved network power, 4G, and the increased sophistication of smartphones means that the convergence of media on the move is inevitable.” Bianchi noted that external trends are also contributing to the trend, including “continued urbanization and more people moving into ‘supercities,’” including scores of new urban powerhouses across the developing world.
Indeed, these applications aren’t limited to Europe and the U.S. Noting that DOOH already has a healthy lead in the developing world, Bianchi, explained that’s because “emerging markets tend to have less traditional or historical static billboards, and this can often mean they ‘jump’ straight to digital, omitting the more traditional paper and lightbox formats,” especially in association with big infrastructure projects.