Lamar Advertising is one of the biggest billboard players and they are expanding their footprint in the Philadelphia market.
Still more recently, they’ve begun using their digital faces to promote that they are offering “33% more” time.
This means that rather than eight “flips” per minute, Lamar will only have six “flips” per minute. Fewer advertisers per flip means each advertiser gets more exposure. Lamar is now providing each advertiser with two seconds more per exposure.
The initial move to digital faces allowed billboard companies to have multiple advertisers on one board. And, they charged a relatively high premium to be on the new digital faces. This allowed billboard companies to further monetize each face.
As an agency, we’ve questioned the value of digital faces. While digital billboards are brighter and they remain lit 24 hours per day, the number of impressions garnered is reduced by the number of advertisers in the rotation.
Now, Lamar’s move to longer exposure times on digital billboards begs the question about the overall pricing and value that digital faces bring to an ad campaign.
Initially, billboard companies did not negotiate off of the rate for digital. These were seen as a premium vehicle. But in more recent months, billboard companies have been more aggressive in pricing digital. And Lamar’s move further suggests that the outdoor advertising market may be oversaturated with inventory.
Out-of-home advertising is a key component to many ad campaigns. And digital billboards have a unique place. But at the end of the day, supply and demand determine price. With demand relatively constant, and a proliferation of supply, price needs to change to reflect this new reality.