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It’s now been more than 8 years since the last time out-of-home ad revenues declined on a year-over-year basis. In Q2, ad spending grew by 4.7% from the year-earlier period, the fastest rate since Q4 2015, per the latest figures from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

Outdoor is a success story among traditional advertising types in the digital age. It’s true that outdoor ad spend is shifting to digital out-of-home ads, with one forecast calling for digital to increase its share of out-of-home spend from 40.7% this year to 47.9% in 2022.

But the medium as a whole has continued to enjoy steady growth, likely in part as it’s somewhat immune to the consumption declines experienced by TV and print.

Somewhat ironically, some of the larger digital brands are fueling out-of-home ad spending growth. In this past quarter Facebook was the third-largest advertiser by spend, Apple the fourth-largest, and Netflix the 5th-largest. (Last year, Apple was the second-largest spender on out-of-home ads overall.)

Consumers also retain a positive outlook to out-of-home ads. In the US, cinema ads (included in the OAAA’s estimates) and outdoor ads are the leading formats by consumer receptivity and among those with the best net positive sentiment.

Returning to the latest results, the OAAA release notes that McDonald’s and GEICO were the top advertisers overall, and close to one-third of the top 100 advertisers more than doubled their spend from the year-earlier period.

Certain industry categories also boosted their spend to a significant degree. The Schools, Camps & Seminars industry – the 9th-largest spender – hiked its investments by 17.4% year-over-year, likely for seasonal reasons.

Spending growth was also in the double-digits for Government, Politics and Organizations (+15.7%), Financial (14%) and Insurance and Real Estate (10.7%). The only two industry categories among the top 10 by spending to cut back were Media & Advertising (#3; -7.8%) and Automotive Dealers & Services (#10; -7.8%).

About the Data: OAAA notes that it “issues full industry pro forma revenue estimates that include, but are not limited to, Miller Kaplan 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, place-based, and cinema advertising.”

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