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Out-Of-Home Ad Spend Up 4% in 2011, Outpaces Media Overall

Published on February 27, 2012

Out-of-home advertising revenue rose 4% in 2011 over 2010, to reach $6.4 billion, says the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). That increase was consistent for each quarter of the year with total growth up 3.0% in the fourth quarter.

This comes as a bit of a surprise. As Media Life observed, when media think tank Kantar Media releases its final tallies for 2011 in March, out-of-home “will probably be the fourth-fastest-growing category, behind Spanish-language media, cable TV and the internet.” Out-of-home or OOH advertising at 4% significantly outpaced the 1.5% growth pace of overall advertising through the first three quarters of the year. It is also well ahead of radio, the only other media to announce full-year results so far, and which was up 1% in 2011.

Out-of-home advertisements come in the categories of 1) billboards, which includes posters, 2) street furniture like bus benches and kiosks, 3) transit like bus exteriors, and 4) alternative, a catch-all category that encompasses skywriting, blimps, cartons and cups and dry cleaning bags, among others.

“Out-of-home performed well last year,” said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher. “More brands are recognizing the value out of home advertising can add to a strategic media plan.”
Several industry categories performed well all year, most notably the Schools, Camps & Seminars sector, which was up 22.4% for the year. Other notable growth categories were Media & Advertising; Financial; and Miscellaneous Services & Amusements, which is comprised mainly of local brands. The Communications category flattened in 2011 after a decrease in the fourth quarter.

Four of the top five advertisers increasing out-of-home media spend last year were financial brands; namely Chase, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Citi. Five of the top 20 advertisers increasing out of home spend were in the Media & Advertising category.

“Out-of-home advertising outpaced the overall ad business and other local media last year,” said Stephen Freitas, OAAA Chief Marketing Officer. “The industry has grown steadily for the past seven quarters, and that growth trend is expected to remain strong.”

OAAA issues full industry pro forma revenue estimates that include, but are not limited to, Miller Kaplan and Kantar Media (which is not adjusted to reflect changes in data sources), and member company affidavits. Revenue estimates include billboard, street furniture, transit, and alternative media, as well as digital platforms for advertising spend.