“It has been a ground-breaking year for outdoor,” APN Outdoor CEO Richard Herring told Mediaweek.
UPDATE: APN Outdoor and oOh!media to merge – Brendon Cook in charge, Richard Herring departing, deal to close around April 2
“We reached heights with regard the number of panels out there and the audience penetration that has been building for a while, which puts us in a great place.
“The big thing for me is that we have really positioned outdoor to be a main media now as opposed to once being considered a fringe media.
“We are continuing to see a continued fragmentation of audiences in other main media while our audiences are increasing.”
Herring said he finds many advertisers now starting to build their campaigns in outdoor and adding other media as appropriate. “When you see what we are now able to add with digital it makes outdoor a far more exciting proposition and something advertisers see at the forefront of their media plans. That momentum has gathered pace over the past few years and 2016 was a key year for us.”
When it comes to new offerings for advertisers this year, Herring said 90% of the new APN Outdoor inventory was for conversions. “Mainly because those sites are already in the best positions and they already have elements of regulatory approval about them. We have a couple of greenfield sites here and there, but not many.”
APN Outdoor acquired two businesses this year – IOM in Melbourne and Metrospace in south-east Queensland. “They were very deliberate acquisitions on the basis they fit our portfolio almost perfectly. They were metropolitan billboard businesses of high quality and they complemented our coverage placement and are well suited to digital conversion.”
APN Outdoor outlook: “We like to be realistic and almost a little conservative. The overall media market sees to be expecting growth of one to 2% and we would be looking to outperform that. High single digit growth would be a great outcome next year for us.
“We will continue investing in conversions as advertiser demand remains very strong. We are doing a lot more with technology from the point of view of products. We will be launching something called Catch in 2017 which will be available on buses.”