Skip to main content

The 3 Biggest Trends in Digital Signage and DOOH in 2018

And so another year has begun. The digital signage trends we saw in 2017 built a solid foundation for future growth in the industry. In fact, the digital signage market is expected to reach $32.84 billion by 2023.

As this growth continues, there will be more screens, in more locations, displaying more content than ever before. Here is our take on the three trends we expect will make this happen.

programmatic ad sales

Advances will be made with the adoption of programmatic DOOH

With the first screens available for purchase, programmatic DOOH took its first steps in 2017. In 2018, as more DOOH inventory is bought and sold automatically, programmatic will advance with great strides.

Nearly 90% of media planners purchase media programmatically. By selling DOOH automatically, it’s being placed directly in these buyers’ line of sight. As was the case for other media industries, programmatic will revolutionize the way DOOH ad space is bought.

That being said, the supply must meet the demand. Media owners will need to provide buyers with actionable audience data that will put them on the same level playing field as other digital channels. Data is an integral piece of a well-planned media campaign and DOOH will not be in the running until these numbers are in place.

Once this is done, more screens will onboard with DOOH SSPs. While programmatic won’t replace direct sales, it is a good opportunity for network operators to open their inventory to a new type of digital buyer.

DOOH will gain a bigger piece of the marketing pie

As more media agencies recognize the impact of DOOH advertising, they will be willing to spend more of their budget on the medium. In the UK alone, DOOH ad spend is expected to reach £440 million in 2018, representing a 20% increase.

Even so, DOOH still only holds a small percentage of global media spend. For DOOH to gain a bigger portion of the marketing pie, it will be up to media owners, salespeople and consultants to better pitch the medium against other channels.

DOOH media is relevant, impactful and engaging, arguably more so than other media. DOOH also doesn’t face some of the main issues online display, video and mobile are currently dealing with, including ad-blocking and lack of brand safety. Convincing advertisers of this will be a large goal in 2018.

For more on this topic, our VP of business development, Stephanie Gutnik, will present “The case for digital signage: How to sell digital out-of-home against other media” at this year’s ISE and DSE.


Trust and transparency will be a priority

The digital advertising industry, which includes DOOH as well as mobile, online display, social and more, faced a fair amount of backlash in the past few years. Issues with viewability, bots, ad-fraud and brand safety have left many advertisers wary of digital advertising.

“Trust, safety, and transparency have dominated the digital media conversation in recent years. The supply chain’s complexity and opacity net digital advertisers as little as 30 to 40 cents of working media for every dollar spent.” – Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

Given this, accurate and reliable reporting will play an even more crucial role in the future success of DOOH. It is now more important than ever for media owners to provide advertisers with the transparency they are looking for.

Programmatic, praised as the easiest way to deliver effective advertising to the right audience, has recently been associated with opaque trading practices. Luckily, the digital advertising industry is coming together to rebuild the fundamentals for which it was originally designed.

As DOOH is only in the early stages of programmatic, starting off on the right foot with full transparency will play a huge role in its success.

Digital security will be more important than ever

Given the public nature of digital signage networks, a minute of blank screens or unapproved content can cause major concerns. This high visibility is exactly why DOOH screens are a tempting option for attackers. Controlling all aspects of a digital signage network, including physical hardware, operating system (OS) and application security is a must.

While media owners can make every effort to secure their network, they will be looking to work with partners that hold the same commitment to security. Software and hardware providers that undergo thorough testing and obtain security certifications will rise in numbers, as more importance is placed on security and reliability.

To dive deeper into security and how network operators can protect their screens, their clients and their business as a whole, our product specialist, Emmanuel Sanders, will be presenting “Digital signage security: Hackers love your screens too” at this year’s ISE.

dynamic/interactive content

Responsive and creative dynamic content will dominate

As more advertisers look to DOOH to augment their multi-channel campaign, 2018 will be another year of creative and interactive content. Data integration, facial recognition and augmented reality are only a few of the tools that will help advertisers better share their brand stories with consumers.

With this evolving technology, responsive and automated content will become more commonplace and as this happens, a simple video ad won’t pack the same punch as it once did.

This means that media owners will need to make sure their network is ready to support every creative endeavour. Flexible scheduling, dynamic content triggers and real-time data integration will become a must for every network.

Smart cities and digital kiosks will gain traction

The concept of smart cities was born when tech companies and city governments teamed up to improve the lives of millions of citizens through digital transformation and advanced technology. According to Dr. Peter Williams, CTO of big green innovations at IBM, a smart city is “where the Internet of Things and analytics are applied to public infrastructure, services, and participation in the community.”

Every interaction, from using a wayfinding system to connecting to the free public WiFi, is tracked and recorded. With this abundant amount of data, possibilities for hyper-targeted advertising will emerge.

Smart cities will be looking for more than just technology providers to build their network. They will be looking for strategic partners who understand their needs and can use their digital signage experience and know-how to transform their communities.

As the first smart cities continue to reshape urban living, more cities will follow suit. Now is the time for the DOOH industry to get involved.

Looking forward to 2018?

2018 is shaping up to be an innovative and transformative year for the digital signage industry and we can’t wait to see how the year will pan out.