Nearly half of UK OOH ad revenues ‘reinvested’ in public infrastructure

Nearly half of UK OOH ad revenues ‘reinvested’ in public infrastructure

The UK out-of-home (OOH) industry dedicated just under half of its £411m of its advertising revenues to public services, infrastructure, communities and employees in 2021, new figures have shown.

Outsmart, the trade body for the UK OOH, commissioned PwC to produce a follow-up to its report to in 2017, supporting the idea of OOH developing circular economies, local infrastructure and sustainable initiatives.

Based on industry survey figures collected by the auditing giant using Outsmart data, the UK OOH industry generated £901m in ad revenue in 2021 — 46% of which went back into the public realm. The industry was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020; in 2014 the sector’s total annual ad revenue had surpassed £1bn.

In 2021, OOH media owners invested £16m in installing public infrastructure and £73m in maintaining and upgrading existing sites. This translated to 1,786 new OOH site installations (excluding replacements) on top of 107,052 existing installations. Examples of these include bus shelters, telephone booths and outdoor panels, some of which are equipped with defibrillators, free wifi, device charging and phone calls.

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In the same year, UK OOH companies also paid £188m in business rates, public rent and revenue share for their sites to local councils, public bodies and private landlords, and £105m in total direct staff compensation to 2,003 employees.

In addition to this, OOH offered media space discounts for charity totalling £27m that year, and OOH raised £1.5m for charity directly and spent £0.2m in staff time volunteering.

The report also estimated the OOH industry contributed £1.1bn to public infrastructure between 2008 and 2021.

The industry’s investment in public infrastructure has “outpaced growth in OOH industry revenue”, with the exception of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic began, the report added.

Source: Outsmart/PwC – Supporting UK society: the impact of the Out of Home advertising sector.

Outsmart and PwC also revealed the participating OOH companies’ share of renewable electricity consumption increased from 62% to 94% between 2019 and 2021, with Ocean Outdoor, Global, JCDecaux and Clear Channel all using 100% renewable energy across their businesses.

Andy Lobo, senior manager at PwC, said: “The OOH sector has long benefitted both advertisers and local communities as demonstrated by the wide range of OOH media owner investments and initiatives — from funding public infrastructure through to celebrating and promoting diversity on advertising screens across the country.”

PwC surveyed nine media owners representing 92% of total UK OOH ad revenues, including: Alight Media, Bay Media, BlowUP Media, Clear Channel, Global, JCDecaux UK, Mass Media, Ocean Outdoor and Wildstone.

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Adwanted UK is the trusted delivery partner for three essential services which deliver accountability, standardisation, and audience data for the out-of-home industry. Playout is Outsmart’s new system to centralise and standardise playout reporting data across all outdoor media owners in the UK. SPACE is the industry’s comprehensive inventory database delivered through a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution which delivers the ooh industry’s audience data quickly and simply into clients’ systems. Contact us for more information on SPACE, J-ET, Audiotrack or our data engines.

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