DOOH is Cutthroat

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 in DOOH

I read an article posted by Bill Gerba of Wirespring several months ago where he speaks about how digital out-of-home advertising is literally snagging valuable and longtime customers from traditional mediums. The article’s title was “Can out-of-home play nice with traditional channels?” Those at least somewhat familiar with the digital signage industry will recognize the familiar tones like, “TV is dead,” and “returns are decreasing for traditional advertising mediums.” While such familiar tones are accurate, the industry still lacks the standards that come from longtime use and experience–standards that help streamline any industry into a more efficient mold.

For instance, after pricing out the costs of just shy of 25 companies for ad space on their out-of-home network several months ago, I realized the numbers jumped all over the spectrum. “We can give an impression for as cheap as five cents,” was the response of NuWave Media–yet another start up hoping to build steam by establishing their own signage network. While speaking with several other companies, I found I could get impression costs down to one cent. At least this is what was said based on supposed numbers on average venue traffic.

The struggle currently is, who’ll emerge when the fighting stops and the dust clears? In previous posts, I’ve quoted Keith Kelson, MediaTile CEO, because I feel he was right on when he said, “Right now, there is a race to capture as much real estate as possible. Once the screens are installed, that venue is tied up and the likelihood of changing technology, hardware and the operator is minimal. [In order] to secure real estate you need a strategy…”

What will be your company’s strategy? Well, it’s interesting to see what is happening. It’s a knock-down, drag-out war. Casualties will not be few when the end comes. Interestingly, I’ve seen a bit of the competition already. Competition is great, but it can get out of hand.

I’m not sure how many have seen the movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” but the premise is the same, “do what it takes to get ahead.” Sadly enough, such a strategy works in many instances. I disagree with such a methodology, but that’s because I was taught to play nice. Let’s not forget that business is not like poker. There are no zero-sum games here. My success is not based on your failure. In fact, the opposite theory should be our reality here. Let’s find a way to work together, combine our strengths, and create something of value for all involved–find what niche we fit into, then exploit it.

My final question is, with things so cutthroat, can’t we a all just get along?


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