The online version of Ad Age had a piece on the weekend about the rapid growth of the digital out of home sector, and the need to get some proper measurement happening. “Double-digit growth means it’s time for organized metrics — no easy feat for a market that includes everything from elevators to urinals,” read the tag end of the lede paragraph.
Jason Brown, who runs sales for the health club video network IdeaCast, said measurement is sorely needed, but let loose a big stinkie on his industry colleagues by suggesting most of the installed base out there is crap.
“This industry has a lot of players, and there’s about 700 different opportunities out there,” Brown said. “Only 50 of them are worth looking at, and about 10 are really exciting. But in order to fit into reach and frequency systems, you have to be able to tell marketers who’s watching and how many.”
That will not make him real popular at industry events, though it’s not unfair to say there are plenty of networks that seem doomed from the get-go.
Out-Of-Home Video Advertising Bureau head Kim Norris said her group is trying to pull together what measurement results are out there and can be pried from the hands of the sponsors.
“But what we intend to do is really pull that all together with the research providers … to collectively come up with the guidelines we would like to have speak for the industry,” said Norris.
Getting OVAB to a metrics system as both the board and industry grows is a detailed process, however, that involves creating a glossary of terms, building a website for members and clients and checking back with the agency advisory board. This could take until at least first-quarter 2008, but Ms. Norris said the system will look similar to Nielsen’s TV ratings, since the majority of the metrics are impression-based.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.