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Year in Review 2023: Axel Wiehler | Planus Media

Almost all media categories are struggling with the economic impact of the current geopolitical situation. Axel Wiehler from Planus Media explains exclusively for invidis why OoH is performing so strongly and why could grow even faster in 2024.

2023 was a year of crisis in many respects: war in Ukraine and the Middle East, economic uncertainty, political upheaval and much more. Multi-crisis seem to be the new normal madness. In this context, the development of Out-of-Home, a small part of a non-systemically important sector of the economy is almost ridiculously unimportant.

Nevertheless, I am grateful and also a little proud of our industry. For almost four years now, outdoor advertising has been successfully fighting through all the problems and challenges that life throws our way. While many other media categories have been losing profits and growth for years, Out-of-Home remains on a growth path.

Out-of-Home advertisers appreciate the benefits of the combination of reach and precision. One of the drivers is certainly digital-out-of-home. There are now around 135,000 screens available across Germany at all touchpoints in everyday life.

Touchpoints are constantly being expanded or new ones are being developed, such as screens in elevators, in EV-charging stations or at the point of sale. Large retail chains such as Rewe and Lidl are making enormous improvements, particularly when it comes to retail media. (D)OoH ultimately provides decisive impulses shortly before the purchase decision.

As the last real mass medium, we are now not far away from our long-standing goal: a market share of 10 percent (most recently 8.7 percent in October 2023). I am sure we will achieve this in the coming years. Under no circumstances should we now rest on our laurels. Instead, we must consistently advance the media channel. There is still a lot of potential for improvement, especially when it comes to programmatic OoH.

Much more than an additional instrument

In order to exploit this potential, static OoH advertising space must be bookable programmatically and thus finally become a real part of modern, networked media concepts. Only when we appear on an equal footing as an awareness channel or “further down the funnel” as an activating target group medium alongside social, display, video and other digital channels on the DSPs of media decision-makers can we really call ourselves programmatic advertising media.

This requires investments in new technological solutions. Anyone in the OoH industry not investing in new AdTech solutions will be left behind. Without comparability in performance KPIs on advertiser dashboards, we will be left behind in the future.

In summary: The industry’s central goal in 2024 must be: We must become fully programmatic. Far more than half of our high-reach advertising media are not yet there.