Are 2021 DOOH predictions on track?


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The year is approaching its halfway point, and we are all curious as to where the DOOH industry is going for the remainder of the year and beyond. The last 12-18 months took a toll on the global economy as COVID-19 rocked many industries in its path. For years now, the future of DOOH has looked very promising with continual growth and newer tech and while everything came to a halt last year, predictions for a rebound have been very optimistic. So, is digital OOH back and stronger than ever?

In December 2020, Mediapost cited GroupM forecasting that OOH will see a 23% growth in 2021, while eMarketer predicted OOH ad spend will rise by 19.2%. While we’re obviously not there yet, we are on our way and could see close to these numbers by the end of 2021 provided the pandemic continues to subside.

Sean Reilly, Chief Executive of Lamar, one of the largest out of home companies in the US, recently said: “The advertising rebound is well underway, both local and national sales activity have accelerated, with digital showing particular strength. In fact, bookings in March and April for the rest of 2021 handily exceeded bookings in the same months of 2019 for the rest of that year.”

Lamar Advertising reported net revenues of $370.9 million for Q1 2021 versus $406.6 million for Q1 2020. While it is an 8.8% decrease YoY, the difference is far lower than expected considering the rebound of COVID.

A recent report by eMarketer shows a prediction of a 14.5% increase in OOH ad spend in 2021, climbing to $6.96b. Nothing like the $8.65b in 2019, but quite the rebound after a 30% drop in 2020.

As Summer quickly approaches and people step out more after widely available vaccinations, the growth potential for digital OOH continues to stay on track. 72% of American travelers are planning a summer vacation and more than 41% of US companies plan to restart domestic business travel this summer. Apple’s mobility dashboard has been reporting a 30% increase in consumer walking and driving. What does that mean for out of home advertising? More foot and vehicle traffic means more impressions for DOOH advertisers and more revenue for the industry.

The most important part, brand marketers understand that their audiences are back outdoors and have screen fatigue after a year and a half long lockdown. Advertisers recognizing the captivating power of DOOH screens and the results that the channel delivers is the fuel the industry needs to make the comeback everyone predicted and exceed forecasted expectations!


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