Digital out-of-home ad spending to grow 2% this year: PQ Media

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Digital out-of-home media spending in the US will increase 2% year-over-year to $2.47 billion for 2009, according to a study by PQ Media released this week. However, that growth is muted compared to recent years: In 2008, the segment grew 9.2%; and in 2007, it expanded by 24.3%.

“They had had such success during the ‘gold rush' period when the mentality was, ‘If I put up a screen, they will come,'” said Leo Kivijarv, VP of research at PQ Media. “Growing by 2% was a wake-up call to the industry. That said, when you compare it to [other] ad vehicles out there, at least they were one media to generate growth.”

The media research firm, in its PQ Media Global Digital Out-of-Home Media Forecast 2009-2014 report, predicted digital out-of-home spending will grow at a compound annual rate of 9.4% in the US through 2014 and 10.1% worldwide during that time.

US spending on video ad networks, the largest out-of-home segment, is expected to expand by 1.2% this year. PQ Media forecasts a 5.7% growth rate for the segment next year. Digital billboards are the fastest growing out-of-home segment, with predicted spending growth of 9.1% for 2009 and a compound annual growth rate of 31.4% during the 2004-to-2009 timeframe. Digital billboards are expected to grow by 13.2% next year.

Worldwide, spending on the channel is expected to grow 4.7% to $6.69 billion this year. Global growth will be driven by the Asia-Pacific and Latin America markets, according to the report.

Kivijarv said as advertising spending rebounds slowly and the country comes out of the recession, digital outdoor advertising will retain some advantages over other forms of marketing.

“Digital out of home will do better than most media,” he said. “It's impervious to ad-skipping technology, it has high engagement and, in many instances, it reaches target audiences.”

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