The article that really caught my eye this week is unassumingly called "Screens secure bigger foothold" (clearly indicating that the Brits haven't quite caught on to the American style tabloid headlining, since after reading the article I would have called it something like "digital signage explosion changing the world!!!" :) The crux of it, backed up by numbers, is that there has been a considerable up-tick in the amount of money being spent on digital retailing (mostly digital signs and in-store media networks, but a good number of new kiosk projects as well). As they say it, "Digital screens have made it firmly onto the advertising radar as latest figures from the Outdoor Advertising Association show revenue for the emerging medium grew 81% last year." They go on to say that "The OAA is predicting a 'conservative' increase of 44% to 28.2m in 2005 and so far has recorded revenue of 5.4m for the first three months of this year, a 35% increase year on year." 28M is about $52M, and all of those projects are going on in a country roughly the size of Oregon. Not too shabby.
The Mediaweek folks of course talk about the extremely well-publicized Tesco digital signage deployment, which has been underway for about a year and a half now. While still not quite in the same league as the WalMart TV network (which is expected to generate $100M in revenue for the company in 2005), they say that while initial ad sales were more sluggish than expected, sales are improving (from 10.8m in 2003 to 19.6M last year, and rising). You might recall that one press release from JCDecaux (the company managing the Tesco deployment) famously said that they expect to capture 1% of advertising revenue in the UK. From what I understand, they still have a way to go.
The last, and perhaps most interesting piece that came from this article was a summary of some research conducted by Avanti Screenmedia. From the article:
Key findings from the Avanti Screenmedia research
- 77% of the planners and buyers surveyed expected to purchase airtime on screen media in future, rising to 85% for those targeting 18 to 34-year-olds.
- 59% of respondents expect to purchase airtime on bar screens, rising to 72% for respondents targeting 18 to 34-year-olds.
- Gyms look set to be the fastest growing sector with 15% of respondents having previously purchased airtime, compared with 46% expecting to purchase.
- 60% of advertising decision-makers agree that screens should be considered as part of the marketing mix.