US Out-of-Home Ad Spending Recovers to Pre-Pandemic Levels

September 27, 2022

The US out-of-home advertising market was hit hard by the pandemic, but has rebounded quickly in recent quarters and is now almost back to its pre-pandemic highs. The latest figures from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) indicate that Q2 ad revenues grew by 28.9% year-over-year to reach $2.62 billion, just shy of Q2 2019’s record-setting $2.69 billion.

For the first half of the year, OOH ad spend totaled $4.43 billion, up 33.4% from the year-earlier period, and almost at the H1 2019 level of $4.47 billion.

For its part, PwC recently forecast the OOH ad market in the US to end the year not quite at 2019’s level, but these OAAA figures provide some indication that pre-pandemic levels could be reached – or even exceeded – by year-end.

During the second quarter it was digital OOH leading the way again in growth rate, registering a 37% increase over the year-earlier period. In terms of formats, the Transit and Place-Based formats each more than doubled in spend and combined to account for 21% share of spend for the quarter. The Billboard format remained the dominant one at 73.5% share of spend, and experienced a double-digit rise in revenues.

Nine of the top 10-spending categories upped their expenditures by double-digits, with Public Transit, Hotels & Resorts advertisers (6th-largest spenders) hiking their outlays by 56.2% and Financial (#8) increasing theirs by 36.5%. The only industry category among the top 10 to cut spend in Q2 was Insurance & Real Estate (#7; -8.6%).

Meanwhile, 78 of the top 100 advertising brands increased their spend year-over-year, and more than a quarter (27) more than doubled their spend.

Some 22 of the top 100 advertisers were technology or direct-to-consumer brands. The top-spending brand overall on OOH ads for the quarter was McDonald’s, taking over from the previous quarter’s leader Apple (now #2).

See the full results here.

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