A Brooklyn, N.Y.-based start-up is attempting to revolutionize the way outdoor media sellers interact with the buyers, including offering real-time online bidding and negotiating.
Book-a-Billboard.com , launched two months ago, provides advertisers with a one-stop solution “that allows making media buying and placement decisions easy and fun,” says its management. While concentrating initially on traditional boards, it also can deal with digital out-of-home screens and will offer a specialized secton for DOOH in about three weeks time.
Owned by Andreas Neu, Marat Bexultan, and several investment partners, Book-a-Billboard.com helps media buyers to make split-second decisions by allowing them to access information on billboard availability across the country and search through listings by state, zip code, media type, and rate. When the buyer finds a match, he or she can contact the owner directly and proceed with the booking. If an advertiser wishes to shop around and receive multiple offers by email, the site’s ‘Request for Proposal’ feature allows them to post campaign parameters, sit back, and watch proposals arrive.
In addition to aggregating information about outdoor media availability, Book-a-Billboard is currently testing a real-time bidding platform that allows media buyers and sellers to instantly negotiate and trade available billboard space. The RTB platform is powered by technology developed by Mercurus.com .
Book-a-Billboard.com is a neutral party in the advertising process, providing a level playing field and equal opportunity for companies of all sizes. All services are currently offered free of charge.
Asked if Book-a-Billboard.com competes with such companies as Adcentricity  or BookingDOOH, Bexultan disagreed, saying that these companies were welcome to offer their capabilities as vendors for Book-a-Billboard.com.
“We’re not interested in seeing their customers,” he says.
“Agencies are already using our services and we are taking their wish lists into consideration as we further develop,” Bexultan says. “We are trying to streamline the processes and to make everything transparent and effective.”
The service provides agencies with relief from the cumbersome campaign planning process by having all available billboard space and rates consolidated into a single user-friendly database.
Finally, Book-a-Billboard.com offers billboard owners a terrific opportunity to gain the kind of incremental reach that would otherwise be unavailable to them. The market obviously likes it, as the company has had a healthy flow of new listings since inception.
“While we’re concentrating initially with traditional boards, our feeling is that almost al static boards will eventually be replaced by digital, because dgital is becoming much cheaper and also brings more money to the owners,” says Bexultan.
Neu’s background is in the technical side of the industry. He has worked as a programmer and his most recent work was on an IT project for a German financial regulation authority. Bexultan comes from a background as an independent in the finance and economics sector.
While Book-a-Billboard.com is currently operational for the U.S. and Canada, the company has Europe in its future sights.