Despite continuing economic worries, out-of-home advertising revenues grew 4.1% from about $5.86 billion in 2009 to $6.1 billion in 2010, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
In the fourth quarter, total revenue increased 6.5% to about $1.49 billion. This follows a flat year-over-year performance in the first quarter of 2010, which turned to positive growth later in the year with increases of 3.6% and 7% in the second and third quarters, respectively.
Revenue growth in 2010 was spread across a number of major categories, according to the OAAA, with especially noteworthy increases in media and advertising, up 18.8% to $547 million; financial, up 22.6% to $448 million; and government and political advertising, up 16.2% to $295 million.
The latter figure probably reflects increased political spending associated with last year's midterm elections -- suggesting tougher comparisons for this year, which will see few major political contests.
On the plus side, the OOH industry is also benefiting from a secular transition with the rise of digital out-of-home advertising, including electronic billboards and digital video displays. A separate overview and forecast released this week by PQ Media said total DO revenue in the U.S. grew 15.1% from just under $1.8 billion in 2009 to about $2.07 billion in 2010 -- and is poised to grow another 16.7% in 2011, to about $2.42 billion.
While DO revenues are undoubtedly contributing to OOH advertising's bottom line in general, it's not clear exactly how much of the DO revenue measured by PQ Media overlaps with the OAAA revenue figures for 2009-2010.