Staying current on ALL of the different platforms and methods for planning, buying and placing digital OOH advertising is not easy, and I’ll admit I go a little cross-eyed trying to sort out the programmatic advertising offers of the various vendors who are directly or indirectly in the business.
My sense, however, is that when the biggest out of home media company on the planet announces IT is now doing what a lot of vendors say they do, that’s a big deal.
JCDecaux SA yesterday announced the launch of VIOOH – what it calls “a global independent automated planning and trading platform designed to accelerate growth of Out-of-Home and connect the industry to the programmatic digital ecosystem.
Says Decaux in announcing the platform:
VIOOH’s purpose is to grow Out-of-Home advertising spend globally by offering an integrated platform to provide automation and offer programmatic trading for media sellers and buyers. While Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) is expected to be the second fastest growing medium between 2017 and 2020, the platform will strengthen JCDecaux’s capacity to meet the new expectations of its clients, brands and agencies, and enlarge the Group ecosystem.
JCDecaux, as number one worldwide, is convinced that Out-of-Home can compete with digital advertising (mobile, search, display …) by transforming its whole offering through optimized campaigns using data and technology. This is why the Group decided to create VIOOH organically on a worldwide footprint and to open it to Out-of-Home media owners.
VIOOH has developed a best-in-class planning and trading platform for the Out-of-Home industry. The platform has been in development for over two years, and provides a full stack for automated trading, data management, content serving and ad exchange functionality. The new business is based in London and VIOOH already employs a team of over 65 developers, coders, commercial and support staff.
VIOOH is able to incorporate many data sources and relies on machine learning algorithms to improve the targeting and the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. Out-of-Home being by nature a “one to many” media, VIOOH is almost natively GDPR compliant and therefore will always comply strictly with personal data protection rules to safeguard citizens and users.
Starting in the UK and the USA, the platform will soon be deployed in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Singapore, Dubai, Norway and the Netherlands among other markets.
JCDecaux also announces that the new CEO of VIOOH is Jean-Christophe Conti. He brings a wealth of experience to the business, having been the Vice President Global Partnerships at Yahoo from 2010-2014 and the Vice President EMEA at AppNexus from 2014-2017. He will be responsible for the global development with a remit to develop the leading edge trading platform for Out-of-Home
JCDecaux is a monster:
- 2017 revenue: €3,493m*
- #1 worldwide in street furniture (543,050 advertising panels)
- #1 worldwide in transport advertising with more than 218 airports and 250 contracts in metros, buses, trains and tramways (356,320 advertising panels)
- #1 in Europe for billboards (141,630 advertising panels)
- #1 in outdoor advertising in Europe (672,220 advertising panels)
- #1 in outdoor advertising in Asia-Pacific (216,290 advertising panels)
- #1 in outdoor advertising in Latin America (77,190 advertising panels)
- #1 in outdoor advertising in Africa (26,770 advertising panels)
- #1 in outdoor advertising in the Middle-East (18,650 advertising panels)
- Present in 4,033 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants
- 13,040 employees
I am in no way an expert on digital OOH, but I have to think there are a number of companies in the ecosystem – like BroadSign, Ayuda, DOmedia, Vistar Media, ADomni and so on – who offer platforms that connect media buyers and sellers.
VIOOH’s new COO, Stephan Lavollee, told CIO UK that JCDecaux had been working on the platform for some time – the company’s digital transformation initiatives were anticipating such a shift in the market, and JCDecaux was determined to be a leader in the field.
“This is going to transform the market,” he said. “The digital transformation in this industry is happening, but at a much faster pace. VIOOH aims to become the leader in this activity between digital advertising inventory and digital media buyers.”
“We want to be able to do this not just for JCDecaux, but also for all media owners.”
London-based Tim Harvey, a well-known OOH veteran, is described as the brains behind the platform. He is now VIOOH’s VP of Strategy.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 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, on Canada’s east coast.