Media entrepreneur tasks OOH industry to evolve to remain relevant

A media entrepreneur, Soni Irabor has said that in spite of various challenges confronting advertising in Nigeria, there is always a place for Out of Home, OOH segment. But he said the industry needs to evolve to continuously remain relevant.

As the industry embraces digital technologies, Irabor who is also a veteran broadcaster noted that “the OOH industry is already taking a step into playing a key role in the advertising space regardless of other forms of advertising especially social media”. He spoke at the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria annual conference and exhibition recently in Lagos.

Looking at the projections for industry, he said OOH media ownerships in Africa will continue to consolidate, using knowledge, scale economies and global buying networks to expand, and entering into local partnerships to better understand laws, regulations and local nuances.
“This, in turn, will propel standardization of OOH media formats and sizes and formalization, further driving industry growth”. He said developments across the continent, along with current media trends, suggest that out of home (OOH) advertising is in for an exciting ride.

To buttress his point, he said OOH presently attracts a higher percentage share of advertising in Africa than in most other global markets.

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According to Irabor, while television and radio have mostly remained fairly stable and newspapers and print have been declining, OOH and digital media have expanded dramatically. “In fact, OOH media now account for 13% of advertising revenue in most key African markets”. Irabor did not provide the total advertising revenue but Nigerian ad spend is over N120 billion
He also said that though the 2020 pandemic has negatively affected the industry, especially at airports, OOH made a sharp recovery in 2021 and it is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 3%-6% over the next five years.

On the challenges confronting OOH, he identified social media. He said as at 2021, 75% of Gen Zers and 48% of millennials are making purchasing decisions influenced by social media ads. Other challenges are economic cost of transiting from static OOH, challenge in the age of targeted audience fragmentation, that other forms of media provide, especially social media, uncertainty that the upcoming elections bring, insecurity, regulations and government policy towards OOH which differ significantly by market and even by city or council, which makes operating across markets difficult.

He said all these challenges hold back an industry that is evolving in other climes and adapting to challenges as they evolve beyond the age of the threat of the internet, social media and the coming metaverse.

Also speaking, the President of OAAN, Emmanuel Ajufo said the association started the OAAN awards this year with a conference with theme: Outdoor Advertising at the Edge.