Podcast: Everywhere There’s Signs

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Michael Provenzano’s first startup was perfectly timed. Along with his cofounders, he developed one of the industry’s first demand-side platforms, Invite Media, and sold it to Google three years later in one of the most notable deals in the early days of programmatic. His second startup, by contrast, has been a labor of seven years.

After taking some time off, Provenzano moved to Austin and started prototyping ideas for new companies. One turned into Vistar Media, a digital out-of-home (OOH) platform that aggregates supply from media owners.

In this episode, Provenzano discusses the $7.5 billion US market for OOH, about $5 billion of which is based on nondigital signage.

“A lot of our partners look at it purely as a real estate business,” he says. “Just like in real estate, you can have a single-use home or a multitenant home, so if you can convert a static billboard to digital you now have a multitenant asset and you can increase the yield on that real estate asset. And that’s a big focus for all of our media owners. The assumption is that most things will go into digital because it provides more revenue for the media owner.”

But sellers’ eagerness has not yet been matched by enthusiasm from the buy side. “There are a few billion impressions unsold in a given month. Our problem is far from supply constrained – it’s mainly demand constrained. One of the biggest problems Vistar works on is trying to explain to marketers and agencies why out of home is so valuable.”

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