There’s nothing like cold, hard facts to bring something into perspective, and when we began gathering stats for this look at out of home by the numbers, we were kind of floored.
We love outdoor advertising, of course, but even we were surprised at just how much it has grown, improved and progressed since its invention nearly two centuries ago.
One thing that really caught our eye was this: A recent Magna Global report looked at United States ad spending since 2010 and forecast totals through 2021. Every other major form of advertising, aside from digital, will see its share of total ad spending decline by at least 10 percentage points. Outdoor is the only one that will remain steady, at 4.2 percent.
That speaks to the versatility and, most notably at a time when digital is soaring, durability of this medium, especially when compared to less-flexible formats like radio and print.
But that’s just one thing we found. There are plenty of others, and we’ll wager that even the most seasoned outdoor veterans don’t know all of these facts about billboards and other formats.
A quick note on sourcing, because we know that’s important. We culled our facts from industry trade groups, top researchers, agencies and other well-respected sources. Unless otherwise noted, statistics apply to the United States and shares of people refer to Americans.
So without further ado, here’s a look at some fascinating research and history about OOH. Just for fun, we broke our numbers into eight categories, with eight pieces of information in each. Take a look!
1. Ad Spending
- $7.7 billion – amount spent on OOH ads in the United States 2017
- 2 percent – year-to-year rise in OOH spending in 2017
- 24 percent – technology companies’ share of OOH advertising in 2017
- 12 – companies that doubled their 2016 OOH spending in 2017
- 8 percent – Turkey’s OOH ad spending growth rate from 2014-’19, best in the world
- 6 percent – share of global ad spending devoted to OOH
- $11.5 billion – projected outdoor ad spending in 2022
- 8 percent – increase in OOH spending by financial services in 2017
2. Out of Home Advertising Effectiveness and Reach
- 75 percent – share of travelers who have seen a digital billboard in the past month
- 55 percent – share who say they were “highly engaged” by the ad’s message
- 71 percent – share who said digital billboards stand out better than online ads
- 46 percent – share of the population who see digital place-based networks each month
- 25 million – place-based screens in the United States
- 7,800 – digital billboards in the United States
- 5 percent – share of ad budgets devoted to OOH
- 14 percent – how much more likely adults 25-34 who live in households making more than $100K per year are to notice OOH ads than the rest of the population
3. Outdoor Facts (or Facts About Being Outside)
- 70 percent – share of waking hours people spend away from home
- 300,000 – miles of interstates and federal roads overseen by the U.S. government
- 500 – foot buffer placed around school zones preventing outdoor advertising
- 18 – hours per week the average person spends on the road
- 135 – miles covered in that time
- 93 percent – share of people who have driven in or ridden in a car during the past month
- 194 – minutes the average person spends in a car each weekday
- 57 – minutes the average person spends in a car on Sunday
4. Return on Investment
- 382 percent – more effective OOH is at driving online activity vs. television
- 85 percent – share of consumers who think out of home advertising is helpful
- 2 – OOH’s rank, behind digital, in the fastest-growing forms of advertising worldwide
- $5.97 – product sales generated by out of home advertising per $1 spent
- 40 percent – boost in effectiveness for digital search when paired with OOH
- 14 percent – boost in effectiveness for print ads when paired with OOH
- $4.72 –sales ROI for telecom companies per $1 spent on OOH ads
- $3.79 –sales ROI for retail companies per $1 spent on OOH ads
- 1835 – year the first printed posters were produced in the United States (advertising a circus)
- 1850 – year street railways first displayed advertising
- 1958 – year Congress first passes legislation regulating billboards
- 1965 – year Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Highway Beautification Act, regulating billboards on federally controlled roads
- 1962 – year a French ad company develops the bus shelter
- 4 – states that outlaw billboards (Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine)
- 1933 – year the Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement was established
- 2016 – year it rebranded to Geopath
6. Beyond Billboards
- 1,352 – U.S. placed-based OOH displays in arenas and stadiums
- 34,350 – U.S. placed-based OOH displays in movie theaters
- 30,532 – U.S. placed-based OOH displays in malls
- 60,897 – bus shelter displays in the U.S.
- 32,122 – bus benches, phone kiosks, newsstands and newsracks with advertising in the U.S.
- 2,732 – truckside transit advertisements
- 1,200 – mobile billboards
- 364,785 – rail/subway advertisements
- 25 percent – share who have interacted with an OOH ad using their smartphone
- 59 percent – share of people who saw a digital billboard in the past month
- 45 percent – share of people who saw a video ad on a screen in a public place
- 24 percent – share of people who searched for a brand online after seeing an OOH ad
- 11 percent – share of people who visited the brand’s social media channels
- 22 percent – share of people who accessed a digital coupon for the brand on their smartphone
- 14 percent – share of people who took a photo of the ad on their smartphone
- 23 percent – who have swiped an NFC sensor or scanned a QR code on an OOH ad
8. Top OOH Advertisers
- American Express
Statistics compiled from: Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Statista, Nielsen, Arbitron, Outdoor Media Association, Geopath, Simmons, PwC, Magna Global, Zenith Optimedia