CODACAN Launches DOOH Audience Ratings Metrics

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Thanks to many months of work by members of the Canadian Out-Of-Home Digital Association/Association Canadienne de l’Affichage Numérique (CODACAN), Canadian media planners and buyers now have a better means of understanding the audiences and dynamics of DOOH media networks operating in a wide variety of venues – and, need we add, less excuse not to consider these various types of media screens when developing client campaigns.

Much needed standards for measuring viewing audiences in the fast-emerging DOOH media sector were released yesterday by CODACAN, the trade association for many of the country’s digital networks and suppliers.

A common ratings metric for the potential advertising audience for digital screen networks, that can be as widely varied as in retail outlets, bars, health clubs, malls and medical waiting rooms to subway platforms, giant LED ad boards and more, is critical to advancing the DOOH industry’s fortunes, and has long been urged by Canadian advertising agencies and their clients.

While we haven’t read every word yet, CODACAN’s new metrics guidelines seem to be complementary to the Audience Metrics Guidelines developed by the Out-of-Home Video Advertising Bureau in the U.S., as referenced in our Aug. 10/09 article on Suzanne Alecia, OVAB president. They also draw on insights and reach/frequency metrics adopted more than a decade ago by pioneering DOOH networks such as Elevator News Network.

CODACAN’s new formula directly addresses the uniquely nuanced challenges in measuring audiences exposed to these DOOH venues, specifically:

  • Opportunity to see: Rather than measuring how many people were in the vicinity of the media, how many people actually had the opportunity to see the screen or screens?
  • Dwell time: How long were these people in the presence of the screen?
  • Loop length: What is the duration of the programming, content and advertising, before it repeats?

The basic premise is that an ad spot must run once per average dwell time in order to have the opportunity to be exposed to 100% of an individual screen’s (or full network’s) declared audience.

The formula breaks down to…

Opportunity To See (OTS) a Screen or Network X (Dwell time/Loop Length) = OTS Ad

CODACAN is recommending the immediate adoption of this standard formula for audience evaluation. A Request For Proposal to be issued this fall will lead to a contract for an accredited research firm to develop formal methodologies to measure and verify these audience metrics across all CODACAN member networks. The RFP process will be governed by an advisory panel that will include a cross-section of seasoned agency and client representatives, as well as digital network operators.

“We are happy with the progress that we have made to date, and we are particularly enthusiastic about the productive collaboration we’ve seen between all members involved in defining a process to standardize and add more credibility to DOOH audience numbers,” says Michael Girgis, chairman of the CODACAN Board and president of both OneStop Media Group and Fourth Wall Media, Toronto.

(CODACAN’s recommended guidelines and a sample formula are available upon request to, by Fax at 416-646-2722 or by writing the Canadian Out-of-Home Digital Association, 266 King St West, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5V 1H8.)

2 Responses to “CODACAN Launches DOOH Audience Ratings Metrics”

  1. Peter Miles Says:

    Hmmmmm – that’s the formula (with a few additional filters) that we worked out and agreed with Posterscope and Kinetic about 3 years ago and I didn’t witness a huge avalanche of additional bookings at the time..?? :(


  2. Gail Chiasson Says:

    Perhaps not, Peter, but it’s a step up from what the industry was offering in the past, and every step up is usually good for the industry, yes? Unfortunately, DOOH isn’t yet top-of-mind with most media buyers and planners, but CODACAN is hoping at this will bring some solid attention.

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