US Out-of-Home Ad Spend Grows Again in 2017; Big Tech Among Top Advertisers

April 3, 2018

US out-of-home advertising revenues increased by 1.2% last year to reach $7.7 billion, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). While the growth rate for 2017 didn’t match the 2016 figure of 3.1% or the 2015 figure of 4.6%, out-of-home advertising has now grown for a record 31 consecutive quarters.

Out-of-home (OOH) has been one of the most resilient traditional media advertising types in the US in recent years, though much of that has been the result of growth in digital out-of-home spending.

The medium’s resilience may be due in part to its appeal with consumers: a recent study ranked outdoor ads second only to cinema advertising in terms of positive receptiveness to ads in the US. (The OAAA actually treats cinema advertising as part of its alternative out-of-home category, thereby including it in its revenue estimations.)

Research from Nielsen, meanwhile, has found OOH to drive strong social and search activity among consumers, particularly relative to investment levels.

Big Tech Invests

Interestingly, large tech companies were among the biggest spenders on out-of-home advertising last year. Apple was the second-largest OOH advertiser overall, behind only McDonalds, with these two retaining the top positions for the fifth consecutive year.

Google, for its part, was the 5th-largest OOH advertiser in 2017, and Amazon was next on the list.

Other notable advertisers included Geico (#3), American Express (#4), HBO (#8) and Verizon (#9).

The OAAA notes that almost one-quarter of the top 100 advertisers in 2017 were from the technology sector.

Financial Advertisers Up Their Spending

Of the top-advertising categories in out-of-home, Financial upped its spending the most in 2017 (+8.8%). Other categories showing above-average increases included Miscellaneous Local Services & Amusements (+5.8%), Media & Advertising (+3.4%) and Government, Politics and Organizations (+2.7%).

Several advertisers more than doubled their investments in 2017 compared to a year earlier. That list features the likes of Barclays, General Motors, Google, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Nissan, Progressive, Toyota and Volkswagen, per the report.

About the Data: The OAAA notes that it “issues full industry pro forma revenue estimates that include, but are not limited to, Miller Kaplan Arase and Kantar Media (which is not adjusted to reflect changes in data sources), and member company affidavits. Revenue estimates include digital and static billboard, street furniture, transit, and alternative OOH (which includes digital place-based video and cinema advertising).”

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