Like every year, this year also saw a big turnaround for outdoor media just before the festive season. Having suffered from the economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic for nearly four months, the outdoor media industry has welcomed this recovery with great relief. This year, from March to August, about 85% of the outdoor sites remained vacant as people stayed home most of the time and businesses remained shut. The recovery from September through November has rekindled the hopes of the outdoor media agencies and owners.
The recovery has been widespread across many industries such as jewellery, auto, smartphones, real estate, banking and finance, and of course e-commerce businesses and video-streaming OTT platforms. In fact, outdoor media in cities like Delhi has seen quick recovery with about 50-60% occupancy in many important locations. The recovery has given a much needed boost to the industry – both the media owners as well as the advertising agencies. The reason behind this fast recovery in outdoor media is that it is mostly managed by family owned entities. Hence, the outdoor media owners were able to offer attractive packages, giving cost effective rates to clients, so that they could come back to outdoor media. This move yielded highly positive results. Cost-effective rates and ROI attracted many new clients to spend on outdoor media. Another factor which helped in recovery of outdoor media is lifting of traffic restrictions within the cities and at inter-state level.
Industry reports say that this recovery is not limited to big cities, but is witnessed in medium and smaller cities too, thanks to local brands’ preference to use outdoor media because of its cost-effectiveness. With this recovery, the outdoor media industry hopes to get their business back on track in the months to come.
(The author is also General Secretary (North), Indian Outdoor Advertising Association)