OAAA Launches Working Group, Sets Standards For Real-Time Bidding

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America this week will launch the OAAA OpenRTB Working Group in the U.S. to establish standards for real-time bidding (RTB), a method and protocol that makes it possible for ad impressions to go "up for auction" in real-time.

The media uses a programmatic exchange with the ability to directly serve ads to OOH screens based on demographic, psychographic, or behavioral audience profiles.

OAAA members representing media companies, buyers, and tech platforms will comprise the group. Ian Dallimore, vice president of digital growth and GM of programmatic at Lamar Advertising, and Leslie Lee, vice president of marketing at Vistar Media, will co-chair.

The road map for this OAAA initiative is diverse. "With OpenRTB integrations already live across many of the leading omnichannel DSPs and OOH platforms, our hope is this group will align on standards and documentation, so the ecosystem can continue to scale," Lee said. "There are unique aspects to OOH media--many different venue types, impression multipliers, creative approval workflows and more. We want to build systems that properly support them."

With documentation available from the existing OpenRTB integrations, Lee hopes to have a standard spec for the industry in early 2021. 

Performance matters. "The first goal of introducing OpenRTB for OOH is to more deeply connect the OOH industry with omnichannel media strategy and buying through automation," Lee said. "Streamlining workflows and enabling more sophisticated ways to buy media based on data are the immediate value adds; from there, it's about taking solutions that tie OOH exposure to consumer actions such as foot traffic, and sales lift, and find ways to align with KPIs that digital buyers are used to without losing sight of the unique value of OOH media."

Dallimore continues to see growth from new brands via DSPs that typically have not advertised in the space. Three-digit percentage year-over-year growth is proving the importance of data-driven impression-based buys and is becoming the new normal, he said.

Programmatic advertising’s share of digital ad spend worldwide is expected to grow to 68% this year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Today, the U.S. share of programmatic spend sits at 85%.

Across the top five programmatic markets internationally, the U.S. is the biggest spender on overall programmatic digital ad spend. Its volume is more than five times that of China, the second-largest market, according to the IAB.

While China has been a leader in technology adoption and has four times the population of the U.S., it has been slow to invest in digital ad spending and programmatic.

In 2019, the IAB reported that programmatic represented 40% of the overall $10 billion DOOH ad revenue in the U.S. When adding the capabilities of geolocation technology, and wearables, which follows consumers from home to out-of-home, becomes real.

The OAAA's OpenRTB initiative comes on the heels of another OAAA working group focused on developing similar standards for OpenDirect trading. OpenDirect automates straightforward media transactions between a buyer and seller.

The organization believes that a standardized approach to direct transactions and real-time bidding is essential, supporting changes expected this year and next in OOH.

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