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US out-of-home (OOH) revenues experienced a 4.5% year-over-year increase in 2018 to reach a new high of $8 billion, according to figures released by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The 2018 growth rate represented a step up from comparable rates in 2017 (1.2%) and 2016 (3.1%).

OOH’s Q4 2018 revenue growth reached 7.2% – quite a spike from the 3.8% growth in Q3 2018 and far greater than the 1.1% growth in Q4 2017. It also contributed to a record 35 consecutive quarters of growth and was the highest growth rate seen since prior to the Great Recession.

Digital ad spend in the US is expected to exceed traditional ad spend this year, and WARC reports that while OOH is one of the few traditional media advertising channels that still has a positive outlook, a great deal of its growth is due to digital. In fact, OAAA attributes 29% of the total 2018 revenue to digital platforms within all of the OOH primary formats.

Tech Brands Are Big Spenders

Tech brands made up one-quarter of the top 100 OOH spenders in the US last year, with Apple at the top of the list for the sixth year in a row. Other tech companies who made it into the list of the top 15 OOH advertisers were Netflix (#4), Google (#5) and Amazon (#8).

McDonald’s remained at the #2 spot for the sixth year, as well. It was followed by Geico.

Telecom companies also had a strong showing, with Metro by T-Mobile (#7), AT&T (#14) and Comcast (#15) making the list.

Government and Insurance Increase Spending

Among the top advertising categories in OOH in 2018, Government/Politics/Organizations and Insurance/Real Estate tied for the lead in spending growth (+14.6%). Schools/Camps/Seminars also upped their spending in 2018, by 13.2%. On the other hand, Automotive and Restaurants decreased their spending by 5.4% and 5.1%, respectively.

OAAA also reports that 13 advertisers more than doubled their OOH investment last year. That list includes companies like Facebook, Pepsi, Uber, Pfizer, Warner Bros and Oculus.

About the Data: 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 billboards, street furniture, transit, and place-based OOH (which includes digital place-based video and cinema advertising).”

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