JCDecaux’s Hong Kong Office Charts Dramatic Audience Drop And Gradual Recovery Through COVID-19 Era

August 3, 2023 by Dave Haynes

You could argue that data from media owner JCDecaux that shows a dip and then recovery of out of home audience counts through the 2020-23 pandemic era is mostly just confirming what we already knew or assumed, but it is nonetheless interesting to see it visualized in a chart.

The Hong Kong business unit of the global OOH/DOOH media company collected the numbers and generated what it calls a Data Lookout that charts OOH audience impressions from early 2020, when the understanding that what was being seen in China was not going to stay in China.

From a Decaux post called: Embrace the uncertainty: What audience movement data captured near JCDecaux Cityscape’s inventory tells

Back in 2019, Hong Kong hosted 55.9 million visitors from all over the world (Hong Kong Tourism Board, 2020). As Covid-19 spread across the world, street footfall slumped and forcibly changed people’s habit completely. In 2021, overall visitor arrivals to Hong Kong dropped by 97% (Hong Kong Yearbook, 2021).

Just as the situation began to recover in Q4 2021, arrival of the 5th wave in Q1 2022 caused a 25% decline on Cityscape’s OOH impressions*  trend during February to March in comparison to 2022 weekly average (JCDecaux Hourly Impressions Measurement data solution). 

Nonetheless, as always, people adapt and overcome tough times – New Normal, an era of recovery and transformation. Followed by a steady decrease in confirmed cases and distribution of consumption vouchers in Q2 2022, an upward trend line is reflected on impression data, in which most were contributed by inventory located in retail area.  Indicating that people were starting to be back on the streets, in masks. Fast forward to year end of 2022, Q4 average weekly impressions exceeded 2022 weekly average by 32%.  

Soon after, the authority lifted all Covid-19 related policies in 2023, presenting the globe a new Hong Kong with the campaign “Hello, Hong Kong”; Business hour prolongs and large outdoor entertainment events bloom. The continual growth of weekly impressions soars to an average of 57% in Q2. In April 2023, near 2.9 million visitors arrived Hong Kong (Hong Kong Tourism Board, Tourism Statistics 2023), industries affected by the pandemic have gained its feet back up on business. During May 1st Golden Week, a record high of 63% increment  is noticed. In times of uncertainty, our impressions data kept up with traffic footfall captured by JCDecaux’s inventory . As the economy staged a visible recovery, will the growth of weekly impressions remain steady in the coming quartile? Stay tuned. 

*The JCDecaux Hourly Impression Measurement platform constantly measures the traffic around its selected assets at hourly intervals. This data is then used to determine how many opportunities to see an advertisement by each frame at each hour of the day.

  1. Bill Evans says:

    We at BlueZoo are delighted to have been entrusted by JCDecaux to provide the audience measurement technology that they use in Hong Kong! JCDecaux is the world-leader in OOH advertising and a savvy employer of the industry’s most advanced technologies.

    BlueZoo measures audience sizes accurately, at low cost, and with full respect for the privacy of the consumer. We are GDPR-compliant, certified by ePrivacy of Hamburg, Germany. We believe that audiences should *not* be measured by mobile apps that use GPS to track a consumer’s location if that tracking is done without the knowledge and explicit consent of the consumer. Surreptitious tracking may be stopped by market forces before the regulators stamp it out. Accuracy of these GPS-based solutions is already declining as consumers limit mobile app location services to “When I use the app”, causing data sample sizes to plummet. By comparison, BlueZoo counts the presence of *every* mobile phone, using mobile phones as a proxy for people.

    BlueZoo believes that advertisers should only pay for impressions they receive and that media owners should be paid for every impression they deliver. (Bill Evans, CEO of BlueZoo)

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