Mediaweek spoke to JCDecaux CEO Steve O’Connor shortly before an OMA dinner after their final board meeting of the year. The board should have been uncorking some of the finest wines available after what has been a blistering year of growth for the sector.
“We have had a great year and we will grow by double digits,” said O’Connor. “There was a whole range of initiatives that have fuelled that growth. The key thing would be our investment in digitising some of our key locations. We have what I call a considered digital approach. We picked out our best assets in Sydney and digitised them. While there wasn’t a lot of them, it has created a great platform from which to grow. We have plans for more and also have council approvals in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to digitise further inventory.”
JCDecaux has added new sites too and now has around 50 in Sydney with plans to double that in the near future. “We are also rolling out another 48 key locations in Brisbane in 2017.”
JCDecaux is not only adding advertising screens, it is helping the development of what it calls the “smart city” with the installation of Live Touch screens. The screens are being rolled out in Sydney and contain community information in addition to advertising opportunities.
The company also introduced tools this year for buyers to be able to plan smarter including a product called Orbit.
“We have also introduced something from the UK called Smart Content which is a dynamic content platform. It enables us to import live data into outdoor campaigns in digital properties.”
As to the outlook, O’Connor is as bullish as his colleagues about the sector in 2017. “Outdoor continues to be relevant as some media is structurally challenged as they lose audience. We will continue to be in a good place.”