The Inside Scoop On OOH’s Post-Pandemic Revival With OAAA CEO Anna Bager

Anna Bager, president & CEO, OAAA

The start of the pandemic was a tricky time for the out-of-home advertising industry for obvious reasons.

It’s hard to reach people outside when they’re being encouraged to spend as little time outside as possible.

And so as digital advertising soared in 2020, out-of-home (OOH) ad revenue plummeted. During the first three quarters of last year, OOH was down by 28.5% to $4.6 billion, according to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association representing the industry.

But as businesses have started to open up, so have OOH ad budgets, says Anna Bager, president and CEO of the OAAA, on this week’s episode.

OOH ad spending was up 38% last quarter compared with Q3 2020 and, year-to-date, OOH ad revenue is at $5.1 billion, an increase of 10% over 2020, according to the OAAA’s most recent ad revenue report.

“Spending is definitely back … Q1 this year was a little tough, but after that we’ve had incredible growth,” Bager says. “MAGNA projects a 16% increase for out of home in 2021, so we’re up, and the numbers for the coming quarter look promising as well – it’s a rebound.”

Also in this episode: The state of out-of-home ad measurement today and what’s coming; the OAAA’s work with nonprofit and community-based organizations; what has to happen to get more women working in ad tech, especially at the executive level; and what it was like for Bager to take on the top job at OAAA just a few months before the pandemic started. (“I think I can summarize it in one word, and that would be ‘petrifying,’” she says.)

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