Broadening the scope from Go Media alone, that revenue growth and the “arms race” is evident across the entire industry
This year, QMS launched 12 digital screens across it’s Commuter Network, bringing it to 55 screens across buses, ferries and trains. Meanwhile, when StopPress checked in with Lumo in May last year, it outlined a plan to have 20 screens by mid-2019.
More recently, last month Adshel announced it’ll be adding 60 screens to its Adshel Live network as it steps into phase four of its digitisation strategy. The additional screens will take the national digital roadside network to 283 screens by the end of the year.
APN Outdoor is also on the digital path and when StopPress spoke to chief executive James Warburton earlier this year, it had 20 to 25 new digital screens to be commissioned for FY2018. Last year it rolled out 125 digital billboards across Australia and New Zealand.
Both Adshel and APN Outdoor have, in the last week, been sold to Ooh Media and JCDecaux, respectively, pending the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The commoditisation is set to open opportunities for advertisers looking to use a range of different OOH sites.
- See the full story about what Ooh Media's purchase of Adshel means for New Zealand here.
Despite the digital boom, the growth in digital has come with a cost as investing requires capital outlay for the screens, structures, power supply and other infrastructure in order to be operational.
Because of this, Teagle says it’s a far longer timeframe to pay off the capital for a digital site. But are they being paid off? “Yes,” he says.
“As a medium it’s attracting a far greater number of categories back to using out of home.
"It’s becoming a relevant solution for them, so it’s an investment worth doing because it’s helped to grow the category.”
But despite the positive trajectory, Teagle says there may come a tipping point when there will be a lot of inventory and the market growth no longer follows the same path.
He says there will be a challenge in balancing its investment in the channel relative to how much money is in the pot.
There will be a pinch to provide competitive pricing in order to attract what money is available—a good thing for advertisers he says but a challenge for the companies needing to recover costs while growing revenue.
Static stays on
With talk of digital expansion one could think static sites may fall victim, however, that doesn't look to be the case as there's still great value in the site.
Teagle says statics still have their role with one key benefit being their permanency.
“If you buy them for two weeks you get 100 percent coverage for that two weeks whereas on a digital platform you would have up to six advertisers on the same site for the period.”
He says for those with permanent messages, the static formats work well but for those wanting to be dynamic with reactive messages, digital has its strengths.
“Think of a digital billboard like an online banner,” he says.
When asked if advertisers and creatives have opened their eyes up to the opportunities digital sites have opened up, Teagle says they are, but it’s on media owners and media agencies to guide them along the path to see the creative application.
Sharing his own examples of digital used well, Teagle points out a Qantas campaign that used Go Media’s digital billboards to show three different pieces of creative at different times of the day—morning, afternoon and night.
The sites have also been used to create countdowns to sports games, while New World used them to run creative based on daily specials.