Digital Signage News: LA Billboard Ban in Question, UK OOH 2020 Revenue Numbers, and more!

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Will Los Angeles truly lift the ban on new billboards this month? How quickly does traffic recover after snap lockdowns? Just how bad was OOH ad revenue in 2020? And exactly how does one explain that glowing, morphing, interactive orb of light? These are all questions arising in the recent months, except for maybe that last one, but we shall answer them all, nonetheless, in this month’s set of digital signage news!

 

A proposal to lift the ban on billboards in LA

With 10,000 billboard-like structures in Los Angeles, the city banned implementation of new billboards in 2002. Now, there is a chance this ban may be lifted—or at least altered—in the near future as the city considers new rules. Some of these proposed rules would involve reallocation of existing signs to new locations. They would also permit static billboards to be converted into their newer digital counterparts. One component of the proposal is intriguing: the 9:1 takedown ratio. The proposal suggests that 9 square feet of billboard space will be taken down for every square foot of relocated billboard space, or billboard space that has been converted into digital. This ratio may represent a high cost to some of the smaller Out-of-Home businesses.

An empty billboard

The alternative would likely be a compensation payment to the city. The hearing for new proposals of the bill will take place on February 25th, so it remains to be seen exactly what the city will demand in return for the takedown requirement.

Australia’s post-lockdown traffic recovery quickens!

We haven't posted a COVID-19 traffic update in a while. Suffice to say, there hasn't been any drastic change. But we’ve seen several snap lockdowns occur all around the globe. Having deployed their Audience Mobility Impact Monitor, JCDecaux provides a good look into the numbers in Australia which showcase the speed of recovery. The latest update shows that traffic for roadside audiences in Australia has reached 82% of pre-COVID levels. Meanwhile, suburban street furniture audiences are at 80%. 

Keep in mind that Melbourne's lockdown ended just recently. Some of the major cities have also gone into new lockdowns in the recent weeks. Yet, mobility data is showing audiences bounce back very quickly afterwards. For instance, Perth had a snap lockdown that lasted just under a week at the beginning of February and it had 92% of its audiences return a week later.

A modular, interactive, pulsing digital sphere...

In other news on digital signage, we’re taking a really deep dive as we take you to a piece of new tech that's a bit of a challenge to describe. We won't trouble you with the artists’ description of the piece and possibilities of a "luminous spherical surface" for artistic expression. Instead, Morph is best described as an art installation that is a digital sphere composed of 86,000 LEDs which glow and pulse in a highly synchronized and sophisticated fashion.

After seeing the video above, you would take Morph for some form of digital jellyfish. Regardless of how one describes it, Morph is a perfect demonstration of just how far digital display technology has come and a reminder of its possibilities. Apart from sound and light, it adds the component of motion into the mix. It will be interesting to see this feature implemented in other facets of digital display tech at some (though likely distant) point in the future.

UK rolls out revenue numbers for 2020

Solid numbers for 2020 OOH revenue and its last quarter have emerged! Outsmart, the trade body for the OOH industry, recently released the numbers for Q4 2020. The industry experienced a 46% drop in revenue, year-on-year. Coincidentally, that same percentage, 46%, applies to the entire year of 2020 compared to 2019.

Graph representing UK OOH ad revenue in the previous years

This accounts for £699m (£1.3 billion in 2019). Digital signage had a decline of £279, while classic signage had a decline of £323m. It's safe to say that, unlike the prior years, the numbers for 2020 are hardly surprising for what they are. These numbers merely confirm the challenge presented by COVID-19. Meanwhile, recent numbers maintain a positive outlook for the future. 

The Advertising Association/WARC expects a growth of 295.7% in Q2 2021. OOH advertising effectiveness research supports this with a 51% shift in ad-recall. For more info and numbers on 2020 revenue, take a look at the full report by Outsmart.

What is primary and secondary digital signage content?

We wrap up this month with some guidelines!

This month, we covered a rather intriguing topic of content division in digital signage to help OOH content managers reach greater success with their signage. While digital signage promises to bring much, especially when combined with quality software, there are plenty of challenges to tackle. We’ve talked about creating engaging campaigns for as long as we can remember and wrote plenty of guidelines for creating appealing content. These things are not new to you. But dividing all of your content into two big categories of primary/secondary is. This division is helpful in establishing a healthy balance between the two.

Primary digital signage content refers to content like brand and product information, ads, and even PSAs, to name a few. This is content which delivers specific information to the consumer. On the other hand, secondary digital signage content has nothing to do with business-related information. Instead, it aims to elevate the customer experience by entertaining or enhancing your primary content. It’s also where digital signage scheduling comes into play with all the tools you need!

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    Aks has been a writer in the digital signage world for over 5 years, bringing you the best of cases and news this industry has to show. Thoughts or suggestions on topics you'd like to see? Drop him an email at aks@onsign.tv.