The recovery in the outdoor advertising industry appears to be gaining speed in the second half of the year, with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America reporting that total revenues increased 7% from $1.35 billion in the third quarter of 2009 to $1.44 billion in the third quarter of 2010.
The strong third-quarter performance follows a 0.7% decline in the first quarter and a 3.6% increase in the second quarter. Crunching revenue figures from previous OAAA reports, total revenues for the year-to-date are up 3.3% to just over $4.6 billion.
The OAAA pointed to big spending increases by categories like financial, which grew 33.3% year-over-year to $109.2 million, including big campaigns from JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, and American Express, as well as media and advertising, up 11.3% to $148 million.
Increases were also seen in government and politics, up 9.4% to $64.7 million; services and amusements, up 7.6% to $238.6 million; and retail and restaurants, both up 5.7% for a combined total of $227 million.
OAAA president and CEO Nancy Fletcher also credited improved measurement following the industry's adoption of the Traffic Audit Bureau's new "Eyes On" metric, which replaced simple traffic counts with more precise measurements. They detail the actual likelihood that passers-by will see a particular billboard or other out-of-home ad surface.
Also noteworthy: revenues are growing thanks to the burgeoning digital out-of-home medium, which includes electronic billboards, place-based digital TV and associated mobile advertising tie-ins.
According to a separate forecast from PQ Media, digital out-of-home ad spending is projected to increase 15% in 2010 to nearly $2.1 billion, with strong sustained growth forecast through at least 2015.