Everyone's a Joiner! OVAB Gets New Members, Who Get New Members

There was more movement (a bit convoluted) in the digital out-of-home space this week, as the Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau inducted two new members, Adcentricity and Ecast, with Adcentricity also announcing that it added Ecast to its own roster of digital out-of-home networks. Adcentricity also said it has signed up Provision 3D. The announcements, reminiscent of stacking Russian dolls, are evidence that DO is still kicking even in the face of a sharp economic downturn.

OVAB said the new members bolster its already substantial coverage of the DO industry: Ecast operates a hospitality network that delivers digital music, games, entertainment, and information (plus interactive advertising, naturally) to 10,000 bars and nightclubs across the U.S. Meanwhile Toronto-based Adcentricity claims to be the largest planner and aggregator of DO media in North America. In addition to aggregating DO networks to present media buyers with a single point of contact, Adcentricity emphasizes its role as an adjunct to media planning, helping select the appropriate networks to reach particular demographic and geographic targets.

One of OVAB's main missions is disseminating a standard metric for DO audience measurement, formulated and presented last year, which will hopefully attract advertising dollars to the medium by making comparisons between networks and ROI calculations more transparent. However, while bigger companies like Adcentricity and Ecast are signing up with OVAB (and each other), there remain hundreds if not thousands of smaller digital out-of-home networks that probably won't make it into the industry organization, simply because they're not big enough to manage the dues.

Here aggregators like Adcentricity and Ripple can play a crucial role by educating their affiliates about the metrics and helping them ensure that their networks are set up to allow measurement per the OVAB guidelines. According to Adcentricity's Graeme Spicer: "We are uniquely placed to take the guidelines that were released and operationalize them across all the smaller networks." He said that the company's smaller affiliated networks were eager to adopt the OVAB metrics, realizing that they will be crucial to their future success in attracting advertisers: "They all recognize that 12 months from now you won't be able to get a buy if you can't quote an OVAB standard measurement."

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