In a move that could effectively recalibrate the way advertisers and agencies value out-of-home media in the U.S. – especially its reach and frequency – the industry’s audience location measurement service this week began releasing new data adding hundreds of thousands of transit media inventory not previously accounted for.
The new data being released by Geopath, covers a full year represent Sept. 21, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022, and updates its reach and frequency model to include transit media, including stations and “scheduled fleet media.”
Ironically, scheduled fleet media is not a term described on Geopath’s glossary of terms, but the glossary does describe various forms of transit media, including display ads in transit terminals and stations, as well as posters placed on buses and commuter railroads.
A spokesperson clarified that it includes "bus-side advertising" and providing this link illustrating examples.
During a preview of the new data streamed by Geopath late last week (see video at bottom), executives from both the buy and sell side of out-of-home media hailed the new data as vital to updating the way the ad industry values the medium, especially the ability to more comprehensively account for the reach and frequency of out-of-home advertising campaigns.
“From a buyer’s side, reach and frequency is obviously one of our key benchmarks that we’re constantly looking at throughout the entire planning process,” said Horizon Media Vice President of Out-of-Home Glynnis Reilly, adding: “We're looking at it to help set budgets. We look at it to tell stories to clients.”
She said Geopath’s new reach and frequency model will enable marketers to understand the audience weight of their campaigns in a given local market.
Geopath President Dylan Mabin said the new data will be available for a “four to five week adoption” period to give users an opportunity to assess it and ask questions, but that it would be the U.S. out-of-home industry’s new standard, replacing older studies conducted in past years.
He said the inclusion of transit media adds “hundreds of thousands” of pieces of out-of-home inventory to the mix, noting, “It’s going to take a while to ingest.”
Aside from the increased supply of inventory, he said the biggest change related to the new data is its impact on Geopath’s “reach models,” which he said are much more narrowly plotted vs. a much wider scatter shot view depicted in previous models (see graphic below).
“The cumulative reach and frequency that you’re going to see when you’re putting inventory into a package is going to make sense,” he said. “It’s going to feel good, because it is right. And we have the metrics to back it up. We have observed data that we’ve been able to verify against.
Horizon’s Reilly described the new data and model release as part of an ongoing process for improving the way the ad industry calculates the medium.
“This is an evolution. The measurement keeps changing and changing and we keep getting smarter and smarter,” she said, adding that she is “more confident” about Geopath’s new reach and frequency models.
In fact, the U.S. out-of-home advertising marketplace is poised to evolve yet again soon, according to comments made by Mabin and Media Research Council CEO George Ivie at an American Association of Advertising Agencies conference earlier this month.
Ivie disclosed that an official MRC out-of-home measurement standard is "imminent."
Good to see that things like bus-side advertising are being included.
In AU when we launched MOVE in 2010 we included bus-side, as well as bus-internals, and also bus-rears.
Gosh there were different opinions as to their audience and their value. In a nutshell, you get high eyes-on and attention but to a restricted audience over its route. Bus-side is actually more of a pedestrian audience as they see the bus go past them. The one that was debated most was bus-rears. If you are in the car behind the bus then you cannot miss seeing the ad ... but if you in a peak-hour crawl it soon loses its attraction (but it has done its job). In off-peak and where there are bus lanes or bus-preference traffic lights the audience increases.