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Out of Home to overtake print as it rides global digital wave

Global Out of Home advertising is set to outstrip newspaper and magazine combined ad sales for the first time in 2020 according to new WPP’s GroupM. It expects Out of Home spending to reach $40.6bn in 2020, $4bn more than newspapers. This equates to 6.5 per cent of a global ad market worth $600bn.

Digital sites, while still in the minority, now account for a bigger and fast-growing share of revenue.

Stephen Whyte, global president of Dentsu-owned specialist agency Posterscope, says: “All the new money is coming into the digital medium. The incentive to extend the paper estate is low, while the margins on digital are high.”

GroupM’s Brian Weisser says: “Outdoor advertising has been resilient because it retains unique characteristics for advertisers. It helps that the medium has continued to evolve.”

There are some clouds on this sunny horizon: the slow inroads made by programmatic buying with its ability to micro-target may affect Out of Home’s status as an affordable broadcast medium while new technology that enables digital sites to track passers-by as they use their phones has raised privacy concerns.

But Out of Home (outdoor plus the growing number of screens in buildings, malls and the like) has proved astonishingly resilient in the era of Facebook and Google when other traditional media, including once all-conquering terrestrial TV as well as print, have been losing share.

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