Key Trends and Forecasts: UK Digital Out-of-Home
by Sarah Coften

In the wake of the pandemic, the UK’s Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) market has not only recovered but thrived, setting a new benchmark in 2022 with an investment of approximately £750 million. This remarkable growth signifies DOOH’s commanding presence, accounting for 63% of the total Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising expenditure. With projections indicating an ascent to 75% by 2027, the UK’s DOOH market continues to be a global frontrunner, albeit trailing behind the expansive US market. Post-2020’s decline, the sector has seen a formidable resurgence, with ad spend surging by 39% in 2021 and 33% in 2022, and an anticipated further uplift of 7.2% in 2023 once last year’s figures are reported.

The allure of DOOH extends beyond traditional OOH’s benefits of widespread reach, impactful presence, and brand safety, introducing unparalleled creative flexibility, refined targeting, and superior measurability. These attributes, coupled with its synergy with other digital channels, significantly amplify the efficacy of search and social media campaigns.

The advent of programmatic DOOH (prDOOH) heralds a new era of investment, promising to reshape the landscape with a forecasted 16% share of OOH ad spend by 2027, up from around 5% in 2023. This surge is propelled by prDOOH’s robust data analytics, adaptability, and seamless integration with omnichannel marketing strategies.

Innovation remains at the heart of DOOH’s evolution, with emerging technologies like AR/VR activations and contextual targeting poised to drive future expansion. Furthermore, the impending deprecation of third-party cookies underscores DOOH’s potential as a pivotal player in the realm of contextual marketing.

Addressing inherent challenges, the industry is making strides in measurement accuracy and standardisation. Initiatives by entities such as Route and Outsmart, along with efforts by Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs) to harmonize ad formats, are streamlining programmatic purchases, thus facilitating ease of entry for advertisers.

For creative agencies and advertisers, the burgeoning DOOH sector presents a fertile ground for brand storytelling and audience engagement. As we navigate this dynamic landscape, the emphasis on creative innovation and leveraging prDOOH’s unique capabilities becomes paramount. Strategic partnerships and a thorough understanding of DOOH’s integration within broader marketing objectives will be crucial in harnessing its full potential for brand growth and evolution.

This encapsulation aims to offer a lens into the vibrant opportunities within the UK’s DOOH market, highlighting the strategic and creative avenues for brands to explore and thrive. For a deeper dive into the nuances of DOOH trends, statistics, and forecasts, resources from Clear Channel and IAB UK offer invaluable insights for shaping future-forward creative strategies.

February 29, 2024

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