December 03, 2007

Outdoor advertising is experiencing a new lease on life as a result of emerging digital, video and wireless technologies. A key driver of this evolving market is the growth of video content and advertising in out-of-home locations.

Outdoor video advertising networks constitute the largest component of what is described as the "alternative" out-of-home advertising sector.

Out-of-home video is a similar concept to narrowcasting. It's video content and advertising distributed to captive audiences in retail outlets, transit vehicles, office buildings, shopping malls, theaters, bars and restaurants, gas stations, hotels and gyms, and other places. The falling costs of flat-panel LCDs, combined with the emergence of IP and wireless Internet technologies, are driving the out-of-home video advertising market.

eMarketer forecasts that out-of-home video advertising spending in the United States will total $2.3 billion in 2011, up from $1.3 billion in 2007.

According to InfoTrends, at the end of 2006, the North American narrowcasting industry was valued at $1.1 billion with an installed base of 630,000 screens at 97,000 sites. By 2011, total revenues are expected to reach nearly $2.6 billion, which corresponds closely with eMarketer’s projection of out-of-home video advertising spending for the US.

According to PQ Media, there are four key areas of out-of-home video advertising: in-theater, in-retail, in-office and in-transit. These four categories do not cover the entire out-of-home video ad sector, but they constitute a significant proportion of it.

In-Theatre

The leading company in the in-theatre video advertising market is National CineMedia. It operates a network of 14,000 screens and has long-term partnerships with the leading movie-theater owners in the US. Along with traditional cinema advertising on the big screen, National CineMedia has a network of screens in lobbies offering advertisers a variety of options to target waiting movie and theater patrons.

In-Retail

Point-of-purchase advertising is a $19 billion dollar industry in the US. This type of advertising has traditionally been cardboard displays, but video networks in major retail stores are beginning to change the paradigm. Companies such as Premier Retail Network have more than 200,000 digital screens in retail outlets including Wal-Mart, Cosco, Best Buy and Circuit City.

Wal-Mart’s in-store video network alone is touted to number 100,000 flat-panel screens. Using IP technology, the Wal-Mart network is distributed throughout its locations and allows audio and visual advertising to be displayed directly where customers shop. Advertisers can buy ads in a similar way to broadcast TV, targeting demographics and particular day-parts.

Shopping malls are also a captive environment to target retail customers, and companies such as Adspace Networks, Reatrix and Onspot Digital Network at Simons Malls are targeting retail shoppers in the common areas with digital screens and interactive displays.

In-Office

The office block is not immune to advertising. The Wall Street Journal Office Network broadcasts Wall Street Journal news updates to premier office blocks in a growing number of locations, and the network allows for day-part and event-based targeting. The ultimate captive audience is perhaps the office elevator, and Captive Networks now has more than 6,000 screens in elevators across the US.

In-Transit

Video in buses, trains, ferries, taxis and other public transportation vehicles is becoming the norm. Transit TV is one of the largest companies in this sector and boasts more than 8,400 screens in buses and trains across the US. Stopping for gas? Gas Station TV will keep you amused for as long as it takes you to fill your tank.

Courtesy of http://www.emarketer.com

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