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US out-of-home advertising expenditures climbed 4.4% year-over-year in Q3, to more than $1.5 billion, according to new figures from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). That marks the 10th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth, following a 4.3% increase in Q2 and a 4.5% rise in Q1. The OAAA figures are slightly below a PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast from earlier this year, which predicted a 4.9% compound annual growth rate for this medium through 2016.

For the year-to-date, the OAAA reveals that out-of-home ad revenues have grown by 4.4% to $5.05 billion. In those first 9 months, McDonald’s was the biggest-spending advertiser, followed by Verizon and Chase.

OOH Captures Political Ad Budgets, Retail Dollars in Q3

Breaking down the ad expenditures into various industry categories, the figures show that the government, politics, and organizations segment showed the most rapid growth in Q3, with spending up 21.3% to $76.3 million, or about 5% of total revenues. As OAAA Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Freitas said, “Political candidates and action groups put OOH’s innovation to use, embracing flexible digital networks and seizing a captive commuter audience.”

Also seeking out that commuter audience was the retail industry, which spent 16.6% more on out-of-home advertising in Q3 relative to the year before. As the back-to-school and early holiday shopping periods beckoned, retail advertisers spent $136.2 million, or about 8.7% of total Q3 expenditures.

In Q3, as with prior quarters, the miscellaneous services and amusements category was the top spender, at $286.5 million, or 18.3% of the total. The media and advertising category was next, with 10.5% share of the total, or $164.9 million. According to the OAAA, FOX and NBC have been on the top spenders list throughout the year, while BBC America has increased its expenditures by almost 10 times.

Other Findings:

  • For the year-to-date, the retail industry has seen the most spending growth, up 16.3% year-over-year to $438.8 million, or 8.7% of total expenditures. The government, politics, and organizations segment has also seen rapid growth, up 14.2%.
  • The communications industry has cut its spending by 14.5% over the course of the year, now accounting for 6% of the total.
  • Outdoor expenditures remain highly concentrated. The top 10 categories accounted for 78.6% of total expenditures in Q3, and 79.7% in the first 3 quarters of the year.

About the Data: OAAA 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 billboard, street furniture, transit, alternative, and cinema advertising, as well as digital platforms for advertising spending.

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