The year 2006 was a turning point for the outdoor media. International specialists like JC Decaux and News Outdoor entered the arena, while domestic players like Times Group with Times OOH, the Jagran Group with Jagran Engage and the Star Group also entered the fray. Leading players continued to remain upbeat about the sector and saw an opportunity to provide need-based solutions.
According to the Pitch-Madison Media AdOutlook 2007, the outdoor sector grew by 14.9 percent in 2006, clocking Rs 1,000 crore, up by Rs 130 crore and has seen a steady increase in revenues since 2003. It is however ironical that in terms of percentage spends, its share has been constantly declining since 2003 when it stood at 7.8 percent. Percentage ad spends in 2006 stood at 6.9, which was lower than the 2005 figure of 7.3 per cent. In terms of percentage growth, the sector has been growing impressively since 2005-04.
The survey is loud enough to reflect the potential of the unorganised domestic outdoor media that was lying dormant until a year ago. Times OOH chief operating officer Farid Qureshi sounds upbeat about the sector and says, “as this market is largely fragmented, unorganised and lacks brand names, we see it offering a tremendous opportunity to offer a brand need-based media solutions.”
Even though the Survey clearly shows that there was slight fall of 0.4 percent in the total revenue netted by this sector, still the growth rate last year was higher. This can be attributed to booming modern retail formats like multiplexes, malls and increased mobility among the people across the country. One major factor that has increased the number of stakeholders in the industry is innovation. Until a few years back when the out-of-home media was confined to ugly and rectangular hoardings, now there are formats like bus shelters, kiosks, signages, unipoles, mobile display vans, LED screens and ‘blue casting.’
Blue casting uses a digital mode placed on a hoarding or a bus shelter to communicate a brand message using bluetooth technology to all those with a compatible mobile phone in a particular range. Further, in a significant industry development, WPP consolidated all outdoor arms under one umbrella, ‘Kinetic.’