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Earlier this week I hosted an interesting webinar that took a look at monetizing digital out-of-home (DOOH) networks, and I was both surprised and then not by the idea that local advertisers are making up the bulk of ad spends on DOOH networks.

The webinar, sponsored by NEC Display Solutions, featured NEC’s recent staff addition, Graeme Spicer, formerly of ADCENTRICITY, and Steven Keith Platt of the Platt Retail Institute.

Spicer obviously brings with him a wealth of experience in that sector from his days with ADCENTRICITY, and Platt, with his background in marketing research, brought a wealth of interesting information about agency — and agency client — perspectives on DOOH advertising.

I know it’s a bit contradictory to say I was both surprised and not surprised by something, but that little factoid was one of those things that, when you first hear it, you’re surprised about, but then upon further reflection seems to make perfect sense.

In the newspaper website world, the race is on to tap into what’s being called the “hyper-local” market, or running news that appeals to a smaller geographic area and drawing interest — and revenue — from local advertisers who are looking for ways to advertise economically to just their local area, but in a broad and far-reaching manner.

I recently wrote about a digital billboard company in the Midwest that’s successfully competing with local newspapers and radio stations to tap into the hyper-local market, even reaching into previously newspaper-only domains (e.g., running obituaries from funeral parlors).

And a recent startup company in the physician’s office DOOH network vertical is still making most of its money from the local bar network it also runs as a side business.

So while I tend to think first that it’s the national brands that have the most money to spend on national campaigns and who might most want to drill down to specific niche audiences in ways for which DOOH is particularly well-suited … it makes sense upon further reflection that it might be the local advertisers and local “brands” that really will spend to reach local audiences on local DOOH networks.

And of course more small payments can quickly add up to be more than a smaller number of large payments — so maybe it behooves the DOOH advertising market to embrace the idea of thinking globally (or nationally) but acting locally.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Keith McPherson
    Thank you for your insight on this subject. I feel that you made some great points.
    The "Hyper-Local" is now a hot place to create your brand if you entering into the digital signage market today. I am currently in the process of deploying a start-up that will have run community based signage. This means that the content being deployed on the screen (for the most part) will be geotargeted to the area in which the screen resides. This allows you the ability to create a relevance to the watching consumers while offering a platform for the local small business (the fuel of America) a digital platform to Captivate Attention Through Content Hosting (TM). Ive taken the time to study what is going on in our constantly changing and evolving market and decided to bring to the company that could get the most effective use for it, the local small businesses that surround the companies where my screen are located which just happen to host the local consumers whom are consuming in the general area where they advertiser and the consumer both happen to live. It;s a win-win. For those looking to get into digital signage I strongly suggest that you not forget the community because as you state in this article its better to cash a bunch of little checks than to wait on one big one which may never come.
    Keith McPherson
    Digital Visual Media
    CATCH TV Captivating Attention Through Content Hosting (TM)
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Christopher Hall
Christopher is the editor of A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.
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