Outdoor media sales surging

The Out Of Home (OOH) industry is continuing its uninterrupted growth, with the Outdoor Media Association’s (OMA) May figures increasing by 9.6 per cent from 2016, as the digital/static scales ratio tips further away from print.

According to OMA, May saw $70m in revenue for the industry, up from the previous May result of $64m. Digital as a proportion of revenue also increased, from 36 per cent last year, to 44 per cent.

While the industry continues to grow, a mega merger between its two biggest players, APN and oOh! has been cancelled, following strong ACCC opposition around the potential $1.6bn company and its 50 per cent market share.

ACCC director Rod Sims explains that customer’s wishes fed into the decision: “We had tremendous feedback from oOh! customers and the customers of APN about their concerns about the merger.

“So it was not just our view there is not strong substitutability between outdoor media and other media sections, it was also the view of many customers and we could not see evidence that there was strong substitutability between, say, advertising out-of-home and advertising on Facebook.”

APN and oOh! reasoned that the Facebook/Google duopoly for online advertising are the true competitors for the outdoor media giants, not smaller outdoor media specialists.

In a joint statement the companies said: “APN Outdoor and oOh!media disagree with the ACCC’s views. Both parties maintain that the commercial reality is that out-of-home advertising competes extensively and directly with other media channels and as such a narrow market definition is inappropriate.”

Had the merger gone ahead, the new company would have over 50 per cent of market share, including significant sites in Sydney and Melbourne airports.

While this mega-merger has been denied, BJ Ball and KW Doggett have been cleared to merge, while PMP and IPMG also had their merger approved earlier this year.

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