Adcentricity: More Advertisers Do DOOH

Advertisers and agencies express great interest in digital out-of-home networks and talk up the potential, but historically, curiosity has far outweighed actual dollars invested. And though it’s a fast-growing medium, so far advertisers have stuck with the networks that have been around the longest. But that may be about to change, according to a new report from Adcentricity, an aggregator of DOOH inventory across more than 90 networks.

In 2009, 80 percent of ad spending on DOOH went to 20 percent of its players, according to Adcentricity’s analysis. Of the 70 venue categories the company tracks, the top six accounted for 30 percent of all dollars. Most of those venues were the more established networks in retail locations, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores.

“Agencies and advertisers buy what they know,” explained Rob Gorrie, Adcentricity president, CEO and founder. “We’re starting to see more dollars dispersed to new networks and smaller networks as advertisers switch from a network-by-network approach to a more traditional planning approach.”

Gorrie said Adcentricity’s research points to more ad business being landed by networks in retail locations and in quick-service restaurants. Categories such as health (medical), gym, and bars and restaurants could also enjoy significant growth. Overall, bookings were up 1,000 percent in first quarter 2010 over Q1 ’09, and second quarter is up by 500 percent over Q2 ’09, Adcentricity reported.

That said, one lingering issue for some buyers remains mass, or the lack thereof. “The biggest problem with DOOH continues to be scalability,” said David Matera, CEO and co-founder of Digital Hive and DOOH Pitch, Optimedia’s OOH arm. “Requests for proposals aren’t coming to fruition because it’s still piecemeal.”

One somewhat promising sign in Adcentricity’s research shows that ad category spending is beginning to mirror spending patterns in other media; likewise, new categories are showing interest in the medium. For example, while automotive represented 33 percent of all spending in ’09, the category all but disappeared in Q1 ’10, down to 2-3 percent (Gorrie is expecting it to pick back up in May). Financial services was the leading category at 49 percent in Q1, followed by telecommunications (32 percent), healthcare (12 percent), and food, beverage and candy (7 percent).