Out-of-home advertising revenue increased 4.2% from $6.43 billion in 2011 to $6.7 billion in 2012, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association. This result included a 3.4% increase in outdoor ad revenues in the fourth quarter, to $1.8 billion.
Over the course of the three previous quarters, ad revenues were up 4.5%, 4.3%, and 4.4%, respectively. The fourth-quarter result represents the 11th straight quarter of year-over-year growth for the outdoor ad industry.
The fastest-growing advertising category for the year was government, political, and organizations -- which
increased 16.2% to $319 million, reflecting 2012’s hotly contested national, state, and local elections. Meanwhile, the retail category increased 15.2% to $618 million and the miscellaneous
services and amusements category was up 7.3% to $1.21 billion, making it the biggest category in dollar terms.
These gains were offset somewhat by decreases in financial advertising, down 8.5% to $462 million; insurance and real estate, down 5.9% to $325 million; and communications, down 4.6% to $426 million.
Despite the decrease in the latter category, individual
communications brands were still big spenders, representing four out of the top 10 advertisers in OOH (Verizon, Samsung, AT&T, and MetroPCS). Samsung alone increased its OOH spending by a factor
of four in 2012, as it pulled out the stops to promote its new Galaxy smartphone.
OAAA Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Freitas noted the synergy between outdoor and mobile devices, which allow consumers to research products or visit company Web sites after exposure to OOH ads, saying “OOH also provides the perfect opportunity for consumers to interact with mobile and social technology when outside the home.”
OOH ad spending also continues to benefit from the rapid expansion of digital out-of-home advertising, including digital billboards, in-store media, and place-based digital video networks.