The Down Under DOOH Update

Guest Contributor, Damien Edmonds

It is no surprise that the Australian digital out-of-home industry is showing signs of resilience during these troubling times, especially as it’s felt that there are benefits to be obtained in this market from a geographical proximity to the rapidly growing interactive-communications markets of Asia.

Kit Kat-00100-VIC1-20.07.09-7207-LrezPaul McBeth, General Manager of Marketing at APN Outdoor was able to pass comment on the opportunities that lay in Australia, “Australia compares well to other countries with its digital out-of-home environments. The digital opportunities at Airports and Shopping Centres are of a similar quality to international markets, whilst there is an increasing emphasis on digital roadside billboards.”

Australian Outdoor media revenues were worth AUD$ 453.8m in 2008, the Australian DOOH industry is taking advantage of its valuable position with consumers’ journey to retail and with three of the top five Australian advertisers being in the retail industry the Australian DOOH market looks to be good business.

The industry is rich with opportunities for Australian marketers with digital offerings such as:-

  • Adshel (largest mobile handset network)
  • APN Outdoor (Australia’s first digital mega-structure)
  • DAT Media (instore media)
  • Executive Channel (office network)
  • EYE (portrait and landscape digital network in airports, shopping centres and universities)
  • Inlink (Office Tower Media Company)
  • Octupus Media (roadside digital)
  • oOh! Media (shopping centres)
  • Prime Digital Media (in store networks)
  • Torch Media (pharmacy and alcohol retail)
  • Yeah Point (consumer supply chain solutions).

“Australia has seen up to 15% growth in innovative offerings at retail with a rise in the number of clients using these products. With the current economic uncertainty, there is an understandable flight towards immediate return on investment – hence the growth of retail outdoor.” McBeth mentioned.

In July 2009, the Australian Outdoor media industry released half yearly figures showing a 13.5% fall for the period (PDF report here)

Despite it being the first drop in outdoor revenue in six years, the result does compare favourably with outdoor markets in the UK (down 19% in Q1 2009) and the US (down 18% in Q1 2009).

A persuasive endorsement of the effectiveness of Outdoor media comes from the continued international growth in advertising revenue. In 2007, 95% of the UK’s top 100 advertisers used Outdoor compared to 83% in 1998.

In Australia, Outdoor media has experienced the continued growth due to its ability to offer marketers cost effective audience exposure (mass or niche audiences), valuable branding opportunities and all whilst remaining complimentary to other mediums.

At AUD$ 453.8m, Australian Outdoor media revenues are 3% of Australian media advertising revenues (AUD$ 13.7 billion) in 2008 (source: CEASA).

Over the next several months, Australia’s Outdoor Media Association (OMA) is set to release Australia’s first industry-wide audience measurement tool.

Covering five capital cities, MOVE (measurement of outdoor visibility in exposure) is a web-based reach and frequency planning tool, providing a more accurate level of measurement by determining the ‘likelihood-to-see’ of outdoor signage, rather than traditional ‘opportunity-to-see’.

MOVE is allegedly a world first in that it will provide audience measurement data for all main outdoor formats including roadside, transport (railway stations, airports, etc) and shopping centres. It will also be the first time in Australia that media buyers will have direct access to accurate and measurable data on outdoor media campaigns.

MOVE is owned by the OMA and its five largest members: APN Outdoor, EYE, Adshel, oOh! Media and JCDecaux.

MOVE has been built by a consortium of Australian and international research companies, including Veitch Lister Consulting (transport planning and modelling) and Simon Cooper Associates, the world’s leading research expert of visibility of outdoor media. Cooper was the architect of the UK’s Postar system with the assistance of the Australian researcher, Dr Paul Barber.

Yet to be released, but word on the Hunter-Valley and Mornington Peninsula grapevines is MOVE has definite merit and is another feather in Cooper’s and Barber’s cap.

International companies should be watching the Australian industry with interest due to the size of the Australian population (21.9m) and the interactivity influences presenting themselves here. According to Bill Obermeier (Chairman at Myne – a digital marketing consultancy in Australia), Digital Media is not experimental any longer – it is now 100% mainstream.

It is also felt that ownership of 3G phones has achieved critical mass in Australia, with a current network of 10.6m 3G phones here (Telstra 5.2m, Optus 2.1m, 3 has 2m and Vodafone 1.3m).

“Consider, for instance, the following two examples of consumer media consumption,” said Obermeier, “The number of Australians who say they watch TV or Video on the Mobile (25%) is greater than the number of Australians who subscribe to a Magazine (23%). And the number of Australians who say they visit social networking sites (67%) is nearly double the number of Australians who read subscribe to a Newspaper (34%)”.

Obermeier’s opinion is that by mid-2010, Mobile Phone interactivity will be part of the consumer experience in malls, airports, at point of sale, even traditional outdoor media formats. Mobile marketing should be mainstream – examples of its value are:-

  • Reading Rate: More than 90% for SMS/ MMS campaigns
  • Click through rate: 2-10 times higher than the web
  • Recall rate: More than 60%
  • High pass-on: 20+%

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