The Outdoor Advertising Association of America has reported that amid declining usage and advertising spending for many traditional media, outdoor appears to be entering a new "Golden Age" spurred by greater mobility of American consumers, and new out-of-home media technologies and installations. The most immediate evidence of outdoor's ascendancy came when the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) released its latest quarterly figures, showing that ad spending on the outdoor media it tracks rose 7.9% during the second quarter of 2007, far ahead of the pace of most traditional media this year.

The OAAA data, based on a compilation of estimates by accounting firm Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. of OAAA member data, likely does not reflect the true magnitude of the out-of-home media marketplace, which appears to be growing faster than most analogue media, and at rates approximating some of the most dynamic digital media.

According to new projections released this week as part of Veronis Suhler Stevenson's annual Communications Industry Forecast, ad spending in out-of-home media surged 12% in 2006 to $7.06 billion, and is projected to grow 12.3% this year to $7.93 billion. Over the next four years, it is projected to rise at a compound average rate of 13%, reaching $12.99 billion in 2011.

VSS attributed the growth to "favourable consumer trends," improved technology and the rollout of a highly regarded new outdoor audience measurement system developed by the out-of-home industry. Among the favourable consumer trends is increased time spent with out-of-home media.

Despite the first roll back in the overall amount of time consumers are spending with media (MediaDailyNews Aug. 7), consumers are spending more time with out-of-home media. According to VSS, the average American's exposure to outdoor media rose by three hours last year to 133 hours in 2006, and is projected to climb to 154 hours by 2011.

"Brand marketers sought more effective media to connect with elusive consumers spending more time outside their homes," notes the VSS report. "While the traditional out-of-home media subsegment produced solid growth in 2006, the primary growth driver was the alternative media business including video advertising networks, digital billboards, and alternative ambient advertising."

Outdoor Advertising Association of America

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