Digital Place Based Media Revenue Growth Rate for 2013 Far Exceeded that of Overall U.S. Ad Industry

DPB: +13.0%

TOTAL U.S.: +0.9%

NEW YORK, April 14, 2014– The Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) announced today that the sector’s 2013 revenue growth rate far exceeded that of the overall U.S. ad industry, as well as that of such media categories as traditional out-of-home and television.

According to Miller, Kaplan, Arase, advertising revenue for the digital place-based sector grew by 13.0% in 2013 over 2012. According to Kantar Media, the U.S. ad industry overall grew by 0.9%.

For 2014, MyersBizNet forecasts a continuation of double-digit growth with a 12.6% gain projected for digital place based media, elevating industry ad revenues to $1.07 billion. With cinema factored in, this figure rises to $1.9 billion, according to the Myers projection.

“The advertising industry is realizing the video and digital benefits that our networks bring fit firmly within today’s consumer and marketing world, and media forecasters like MyersBizNet expect to see strong increases continue in 2014,” said Barry Frey, president & CEO, DPAA. “In today’s ‘Video Everywhere’ world, marketers need a presence on all screens and not just television. Digital place based media has emerged as an important element of this video media mix because of its ability to reach on-the-go consumers, often at or near point-of-purchase.”


Advertising Revenue Growth

Media 2013 vs 2012Growth (%)
Internet (display) + 15.7
Digital Place Based + 13.0
Cable TV + 7.3
Outdoor + 4.4
Consumer Magazines + 2.6
TV Syndication (National) + 0.5
National Spot Radio - 3.3
Network TV - 3.4
National Newspapers  - 3.6
Local Newspapers - 3.8
Local Radio - 4.1
Spot TV  - 8.1

Total U.S. Advertising: +0.9% 2013 vs. 2012

Sources:  Miller, Kaplan, Arase for digital place based media; Kantar Media for all other media


About DPAA

Founded in 2006, the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) represents leading digital placed-based networks by promoting their integral role in the “video everywhere” ecosystem. On behalf of its members, DPAA fosters collaboration between agencies and digital place based networks; provides standards, best practices and industry-wide research; and promotes the effectiveness of digital place-based advertising. Digital place based media is defined as networked digital video screens containing programming and advertising, reaching consumers on their daily journeys in places where they dwell. For more information please visit

Twitter: @DPAAorg




Mark Braff

Braff Communications LLC



DPAA’s Growth Accelerates, Four New Members Have Joined

Blue Bite (, Eye Corp Media (, Grand Visual ( and GSM Worldwide Media ( have joined DPAA as members.

Barry Frey, president & CEO of DPAA, said, “Our Video Everywhere initiative is generating a lot of heat for the digital place based industry, contributing to the growing recognition by advertisers that they need to incorporate DPB into their video media mix to reach consumers on-the-go. This influx of new members to our organization speaks to the growth of the sector and the many benefits that come with DPAA membership, including access to our vast database of research, best practices and case studies; planning and training tools; social media amplification; conference and publication discounts; and further integration into the advertising ecosystem as part of the Video Everywhere conversation and marketing campaign.”

Today’s announcement follows last week’s addition of the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to DPAA’s member ranks.

Source: Digital Place-Based Advertising Association


A Bird’s Eye View of the Industry: Best Digital Signage/DOOH Stories of 2013 from Trade Pubs


Being the editor of, I have had the unique opportunity to monitor all digital signage and digital out-of-home media stories daily, for a full year now. I must say the ‘big picture’ is quite impressive.

I remember when I was looking for any information on digital signage in 2003 I could only find two or three relevant articles. Today, there are over 40 trade publications and blogs covering the industry, and their number continues to grow. In addition, digital signage and DOOH affairs are regularly reported on by general advertising and technology web sites, as well as mainstream media.

Digital Signage Pulse has also been following mobile marketing and social media which have proven to be an effective means of delivering engagement and ROI metrics when used in conjunction with digital signage content. Therefore, developments in mobile and social advertising influence the directions in which digital signage/DOOH networks will evolve.

The rapid adoption of programmatic and real-time-bidding (RTB) media buying also deserves special attention, as it may (if implemented correctly) offer a way for DOOH networks to overcome the current complexities of selling their ad space. That is the reason why programmatic buying and RTB are featured prominently on Digital Signage Pulse.

Looking back at 2013, here are the top 22 (most read) feature posts from various trade pubs that readers accessed via Digital Signage Pulse. Together, they give a comprehensive account of the state of the industry and the technology behind it. Articles from general advertising and mainstream media sources are not included in the list, although many of them were highly popular. I also excluded the most-read PR announcements. Continue reading

DOOH Aggregation Is Dead. Long Live DOOH Ad Serving Platforms!

Analysts report that digital out-of-home/digital place-based media continue to grow faster than the general economy and other media (DOOH is outpaced only by mobile advertising). Although the growth rate has somewhat decelerated since 2010, new digital signage networks keep emerging every month, while successful existing ones get bigger by way of acquisitions and organic expansion. PQ Media calculates that, in the US alone, over 1.5 million digital signs are in operation in 2013. The growth of networks is fueling the supply of hardware, software and services; competition among providers is getting tougher and more big name manufacturers are joining the race.

DOOH Is Not a Budget Line Item Yet

As the new medium keeps maturing, has DOOH advertising finally taken its place as a staple line item in media budgets? Apparently, not yet…

Thanks to some pioneering efforts, we do see a growing number of high-profile campaigns run on major digital signage networks by a few top brands. However, those instances are more the exception rather than the rule. Despite the fact that DOOH advertising has proven its value over and over again in trial campaigns, it has not become a mass phenomenon. According to the latest PQ Media report, networks still lack scale and reach and are hard to find, evaluate and buy. Remarkably, most mainstream ad agencies remain largely unaware of the medium and its capabilities.

The Trouble with Aggregation

A few years ago the concept of ad space aggregation in DOOH media became popular and was perceived to be a solution for bridging the gap between the new medium and real ad dollars. Several companies rushed into the space, offering access to DOOH network inventory, audience estimates and ‘hassle-free’ multi-network campaign placement.

Sadly, by 2012 most of these companies either went out of business or failed to gain any significant market share.

I interviewed Daniel Parisien of BroadSign, Ken Goldberg of Real Digital Media, Stuart Armstrong of ComQi, John Laramie of ADstruc and Jeremy Ozen of Vistar Media. All agree that the problem seems to be not in the concept itself but in the execution. Continue reading

Spafax Networks’ Automated Platform Connects Buyers and Sellers of DOOH Media

Spafax Networks’ Automated Platform Connects Buyers and Sellers of DOOH Media
By Nurlan Urazbaev, editor of

In my October 02, 2012 article “Seven Hurdles to Success…“ I described the lack of comprehensive, reliable media-buying tools for placing digital signage DOOH campaigns and mentioned the “aggravation of aggregation”. I wrote, in particular:

“The past three years have seen several DOOH ad space aggregators go out of business. The visible reasons were lack of scale in the ad space offerings, absence of reliable ROI measurement and the high overhead of behind-the-scenes multi-network campaign fulfillment and coordination, which all happened to be manual.

As a result, the first aggregators were not able to sustain enough demand from agencies and their clients.

The feedback I have been getting from the agency/media houses side suggests that there is still an acute need for an aggregator-type facility that would offer combined ad space from a large number of quality networks, brought to common denominators in media research, planning criteria and audience/campaign ROI measurement.

The next reincarnation of DOOH aggregators should avoid the mistakes of their predecessors and build their platforms on the principles of automation, standardization and accountability.”

The weeks following the publication showed that a long-sought solution to the cross-network DOOH media buying inefficiencies may be coming our way sooner than many expected.

Among other companies developing the next generation of multi-network campaign placement tools, Spafax Networks stands out, as it seems to tackle all major issues in a systemic, logical way that makes sense to the media-buying world.

Spafax Networks is part of WPP’s tenthavenue. The companywas created specifically to find a high-tech way to connect media buyers and sellers in DOOH space, similar to what Doubleclick did for online display advertising.

The fact that this initiative was born inside the world’s largest advertising and PR agency holding (WPP) deserves special attention and gives it a better shot at success. It is the first time that a solution originates from within the advertising community, and not from a digital signage technology or service provider.

According to Patrick Bonomo, EVP of Spafax Networks, the SN: Xchange (SN: X) platform will offer automated cross-network DOOH campaign planning, buying and execution. ‘Near real-time’ inventory updates will allow for real-time bidding (RTB). The planning process will be facilitated by standardized metrics obtained via Nielsen audience impressions ratings and further enhanced by consumer behavior data for the targeted locations.

Every cross-network campaign executed by SN:X will be accounted for by proof-of-play and campaign performance reports that can be broken down to single ad play occurrence level.

When specific campaigns have consumer engagement elements (e.g., via call to action, interactive content or mobile), advertising ROI measurements, such as cost-per-action and cost-per-transaction data, can be enabled through 3rd party providers (outside of the SN:X).

While the methodology, the workflow and the integration of the metrics and analytics were conceived by Spafax Networks, the technology engine for SN:X platform was built by Vistar Media, who customized their existing software product for Spafax Networks’ proprietary solution.

Mr. Bonomo is reluctant to use the word “aggregator” to describe the Spafax networks platform. He prefers to refer to it as a “real-time bidding DOOH ad exchange”, or a consolidated DOOH ad network.

One of the key components of the SN:X is Vistar Media’s API (application programming interface) that connects to individual content management systems running the participating DOOH networks.  This API addresses the current lack of interoperability standards in the digital signage industry. It allows Spafax Networks to insert an ad into a specific network’s schedule, enforcing required playback at required times and locations, regardless of which software is used to operate the network.

Several cross-network digital place-based media campaigns have already successfully run through the SN:X system, however Spafax Networks did not disclose any networks or names of advertisers.

Below is the full interview with Patrick Bonomo.  Stay tuned for my overview of the new generation of DOOH aggregators, ad exchanges and ad serving platforms (Coming soon…). Continue reading

Are Agencies Friends or Foes of Digital Signage/DOOH/DPBM?

Adrian Cotterill of DailyDOOH raised the issue of content creation for DOOH campaigns. He told the audience of the recent Digital Signage Investor Conference that “…the cost to create content for digital signage is 4 to 5 times higher that it actually should be and sometimes it can be 6 to 10 times higher than it should be. Although, Mr. Cotterill points out the main reason for this problem by saying ‘two words’. Agencies. Culprits.”

A agree, and I would like to elaborate on that. Agencies will never be interested in creating low-cost, effective content for DOOH. They want to sell big ticket items. The creative geniuses’ ambition lies not so much in helping the client sell more products, but rather in producing something that could win an award for the “brilliance” of an idea and the “cleverness” of execution. But how many award-winning ads actually sold products? Digital signage/DOOH is meant to be a pragmatic, straightforward medium covering the last 10 feet to the consumer purchase decision. Networks and advertisers should look for content producers who understand that, look for shops that can deliver DOOH-specific content at low cost and in big volumes (multiple versions for different day parts and target location types. etc). DOOH content should move products off the shelves. It is not realistic to expect that kind of creative from traditional agencies.

Agencies were built for selling TV, radio and print and most of them are still structured for that purpose, despite all the “re-engineering” noise in the late 90s. For the same reason, when it comes to assimilating DOOH into the media mix, agencies act more like inhibitors rather than catalysts of innovation. “Nobody ever got fired for buying TV” is the wisdom. Agencies today got used to the idea of buying online advertising, but it took them a long time to adjust. When they felt the pressure from numerous small digital shops, agencies eventually started acquiring them in bulk. The future of DOOH advertising is in specialized DOOH-media-selling companies and creative shops that may or may not become part of big agencies.

How Not to Choose Your Digital Signage Software: Opinions

The recent announcement of a new digital signage software review program by OnPath was followed by Dave Haynes’ commentary that cast doubts on the credibility of such reviews.

The doubts were expressed more explicitly a couple of days later in Ken Goldberg’s post Choose Process Over Pre-Processed.

OnPath announced, in part: “OnPath is stepping up to address this need for detailed, accurate information with our new OnPath Reviews program. Like a “consumer reports” for digital signage, this program will provide in-depth technical reviews of products in the market, beginning with the software offerings. Our team is uniquely qualified to provide this service to the market, having decades of experience on both the vendor and client side of the table, and the technical expertise to dig in and ask the right questions and get the answers.”

Dave Haynes, a digital signage veteran and a consultant in digital signage network deployment wrote in response:

“The idea is that software vendors would pay OnPath to have them lab-test their platform and produce a detailed report (cost is in the four figures, but I forget the first number) that itemizes the strengths and weaknesses. They are also seeking blanket sponsors – like PC and chipmakers – for the reports.

The Mr. CrankyPants in me immediately thinks a paid product review wouldn’t exactly arrive on a desk with the integrity of a Consumer Reports analysis, but Lou says this won’t be advertorial-style reviews that result in endless awesomeness. “No one,” says Giacalone, “is going to come out perfectly rosy.

…The challenge, of course, is finding software vendors willing to spend the money and more so, willing to pay for a report that may not be an easy A.”

Ken Goldberg’s commentary, however, was more straightforward in its criticism of the OnPath undertaking:

“… one thing the industry most certainly does not need is an entity that purports to serve as “Underwriters Lab” or “Consumer Reports” providing a self-described beacon of objectivity as people wade through the apocryphal 300 vendor offerings. That is arguably neither consulting nor a model that will advance the industry.”

I am interested to know what other people (especially digital signage software vendors and network operators) think on the subject.