US out-of-home (OOH) advertising revenues decreased by 29% year-over-year (y-o-y) in 2020, totaling $6.1 billion, per figures released by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA). This significant drop is in marked contrast from the respectable growth seen in recent years, including in 2019 (7.5%) and 2018 (4.5%).
OOH’s Q4 2020 revenue fell by 30.5% y-o-y, making it the third consecutive quarter of revenue losses for this form of advertising. As an illustration of the negative impact the pandemic had on OOH, revenues grew by 4.8% in Q1 2020 before COVID took hold, only to plummet 45% y-o-y in Q2.
Although recovery in OOH revenue is expected this year, it may take some time before it is back on track with the growth seen pre-pandemic. GroupM estimates that US OOH revenue will grow by 22.8% y-o-y in 2021, while PwC forecasts that OOH ad spend (excluding cinema) will not exceed the spend seen in 2019 until 2022.
Tech Brands Continue to Spend Big on OOH Ads
As in 2019, last year Tech brands made up a chunk of the top 20 OOH advertisers in the US. Apple moved up to #2, while Amazon slipped down three spots from last year to #4. Other tech companies that made it into the list of top 20 OOH advertisers were Google (#12), Netflix (#13) and Facebook (#17).
In the meantime, McDonald’s topped the list after spending 7 years in the #2 spot. It was joined by other Food/Restaurant brands Cracker Barrel (#11) and Dunkin’ Donuts Restaurant (#14).
Retail Was the #2 Spender for Market Share
Although no industry increased spending in OOH in 2020, the category that accounted for the largest share of total spend was Miscellaneous Services & Amusement (23.6%) with some $1.5 billion in spending. It was followed by Retail (9.7% share), Insurance & Real Estate (8.8%), Media & Advertising (6.7%), Restaurants (6.6%) and Government, Politics & Organizations (6.4%).
Government, Politics & Organizations had the smallest decrease in spending y-o-y, at -4.9% (likely as a result of the 2020 Presidential election), while Media & Advertising had the highest (-39.8%).
The figures can be viewed in more detail here.
About the Data: Revenue estimates include digital and static billboard, street furniture, transit and alternative OOH (which includes digital place-based video and cinema advertising).