Having formed in 2007, Global has already expanded rapidly, acquiring the Heart and Capital networks, Classic FM and XFM, amongst others – and it has already established itself as a multi-channel brand with a successful Events division and the recently-opened Global Academy.
The deal saw Global become the second-largest OOH media owner in the UK, behind only market leader JCDecaux.
Exterion currently has over 20% of the UK market, and holds the £1.1bn contract for TfL’s inventory, as well as UK-wide bus networks and metro systems. As a result, this move is likely to drive competition in a sector that is already experiencing consistent revenue growth.
While it’s unclear what Global’s immediate plans are for the business, we can expect to see the “Global Outdoor” division invest heavily in digital estate.
We’re already seeing major investments in the installation and upgrade of digital inventory across the market. PwC has predicted that digital OOH spend will reach £517m by the end of the year, overtaking static OOH for the first time.
Another focus for the company is likely to be automated trading. JCDecaux is currently leading the charge in the sector, having launched automated trading platform VIOOH in June – a first for the industry.
But as Global already trades programmatically with digital audio platform DAX, it has the technical understanding to introduce this across its new portfolio over the next couple of years. It’s therefore possible that it will introduce this trading model into its OOH estate, prompting other media owners to follow its lead.
Meanwhile, the business has also hinted that it may establish a cross-channel trading model, with plans for integrated radio and outdoor campaigns, as well.
Although the deal hasn’t been confirmed, it already looks to be promising for the UK’s OOH sector, with anticipated investment likely to drive more digital innovation.
This will in-turn bring increased opportunities for advertisers, including higher potential reach with digital-only campaigns and more flexible buying routes.
Ocean, too, were reportedly in talks with Exterion before Global entered into negotiations – will they make a move for another national OOH media owner? It could be all change in the market yet.