2016 is set to be an exciting year for Out of Home: we’ll continue to see the landscape develop as competitive contract bids fuel increased investment into new technology, opening up new regional, creative and trading opportunities.

Last year saw some sizeable shake-ups in the OOH industry, with Clear Channel “gutted” to lose TFL’s London 6-sheet contract to JCDecaux, decreasing their market share by 6% to 38%. But the media owner has quickly fought back, buying 1,800 phone boxes from Arqiva. The kiosks will offer services including telephone, data, beacon, Wi-Fi and journey planner.

If JCDecaux continues its winning streak and succeeds in wrestling TFL’s underground contract from current representative Exterion, it will represent 53% of the UK outdoor market.

As a result of these competitive contract wars, outdoor sales houses are investing significant amounts into improving their inventory. 2016 will see a whopping £95million invested into new digital sites across the UK, with 60% of this investment outside of London. This will offer regional campaigns access to more digital sites, and advertisers will be able to spend more on tactical buys on a national level.

The investment into digital inventory is also opening up huge creative opportunities. The days of OOH campaigns consisting of solely paper and paste sites are numbered – a growing proportion of the outdoor market is made up of giant iPhones: screens with built-in interactivity and touch screen functionality. 2016 will see this tech come to the fore, with facial recognition software rolling out. Age, gender and even emotions will be recognisable, introducing the option to adapt copy based on audience reactions.

The move from traditional billboard to digital screens is also shaking up the traditional two-week per panel trading model and allowing greater trading flexibility. This requires a new way of thinking from outdoor media owners and advertisers themselves: what else could we be trading on – impacts? Audience? ROI?

The proliferation of data sources opens up opportunities to trade in a more dynamic way. We increasingly expect to fuse clients’ first-party data with social and system output.

In 2015 we tested the use of data in the launch of Jess Glynne’s debut album. We combined Shazam data, which indicated discovery was highest during social moments, with insights into when Jess was playing live dates. This allowed us to deliver a more effective campaign where digital outdoor was up weighted during key moments, rather than the static timings of a traditional two week in-charge.

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