Overview: DPAA's Digital Media Summit

Nov. 17, 2010

By Jason Kates, CEO of rVue

The Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) served itself and the digital out-of-home (DOOH) industry well at its Digital Media Summit in New York City at the end of October.

It was clear from the event that the DPAA has the attention of advertising and network decision makers. The summit was more productive than the traditional tradeshows in which vendors talk to vendors and consultants sell to each other. At the DPAA Summit, serious media people were working together, solving problems and discussing innovation.

In terms of the content, the highlights and the lowlights were the case studies. Certainly, they exhibited examples of growth and potential of the DOOH medium for specific products, but during many of the examples, there was an underlying tone that what they had done was defining or inventing the space.

It is no secret, nor is it enough to say when trying to talk about the impacts of DOOH, that consumers respond to good content. We know that. This is true for any media. To really demonstrate value, DOOH success stories shared during future DPAA or other industry events need to dive deeper into their subject matter, talk about the dynamic environments created by DOOH, and demonstrate its ability to target and engage the right audiences with the right message at the right time. We need to share DOOH's success as a part of a broader, more comprehensive media campaign, which will serve to further validate the industry.

Another positive aspect of the event was the research panel. While the panelists representing Nielsen, GfK MRI, Ipsos and Arbitron appeared a little uncomfortable being together on the stage, what they said was important for our industry. For the most part, they all agreed on certain parameters about the industry, and that the data is conclusive: The industry is growing, and it needs standards, proof of performance and better analytics to further gain adoption and confidence of media buyers. With all in agreement, it is time to work on following through with their research.

On a personal level, it was encouraging to see the interest in demand-side platforms for DOOH continue to receive positive reception from industry leaders. Most involved in the DOOH market understand the importance of moving beyond the status quo to have networks and digital signage software providers working together to further advance the industry.

After writing all of the above, the DPAA Summit can really be summed up in a single statement: I accomplished in three hours what would have taken me three months to accomplish otherwise. I think many in the industry experienced the same level of productivity, which says a lot about the DPAA and its ability to get the eyes and ears of the industry.

The DPAA should be proud of what they accomplished, which was a positive environment for serious discussions on how we can move the industry forward. Now, no industry event is all roses, just ask DPAA chairman Mike DiFranza, who was nearly electrocuted by a shower of sparks, but most people that I spoke with left the summit optimistic for the future of DOOH.


Kates is CEO of Internet-based digital media and technology company rVue, developers of the rVue Media Planner, the ad management system rVue bills as the "first demand side platform for digital out-of-home media."

Topics: Associations / Events , DOOH Advertising

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