the first time, the island city of Singapore played host to an event that stands for what the city follows from the heart. The dominance of OOH media is clearly visible in Singapore and the city is currently hosting a conference, Asia Outdoor Advertising, which will be followed by an awards ceremony. The conference began on October 24.
Alex Thompson, CEO, Asia Pacific, of the $2 billion Kinetic Worldwide, an OOH specialist firm, set the tone for the conference by talking about the potential for this industry in Asia. Thompson said that there was an increasing trend of consolidation among the three main players of the OOH chain - media owners, agencies and clients. He ran off some quick numbers to make his point. Globally, seven agencies - Omnicom (18.5%), WPP (17.7%), Interpublic (12.6%), Publicitas (9.4%), Dentsu (5.2%), Havas (4%) and Aegis (2.3%) - buy almost 70 per cent of OOH media. A similar number of media owners such as Clear Channel, JC Decaux, CBS Outdoors and Stroer own close to 50 per cent of OOH properties.
At the Asia level, however, these global groups still account for less than 10 per cent of the total space owned and sold. This indicates that there is a huge opportunity for local players and that the possibility of consolidation in the region is even stronger.
In India, a relatively small player such as Laqshya has won the rights for the complete OOH options at the upcoming Hyderabad airport; other local players such as Times Innovative Media have won similar rights for the Delhi and Mumbai airports against global peers. This indicates that India's presence is being felt as more than just the next big market.
Nicolas Loeillot, managing director, LM3LABS, expounded at length on the future shape of OOH media, stressing on the need to make it more interactive in a way that could be spontaneous for consumers. He referred to some great work done in Japan and Singapore, but also pointed out that Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are some of the other hot Asian markets, besides the obvious India and China. He laid huge stress on taking OOH analytics to the same level as the precision tracking of online analytics, rather than informed guesswork or traditional media.
At the conference exhibition, visitors were treated to some breathtaking innovations involving the use of 3D projection of images, with more than one delegate taken in by the 'live' dance on the 'stagepod' set up by a vendor.
Large format printers, industry publishers from the region, signage suppliers and other innovative media suppliers were all there at the exhibition. One lot that could certainly have done with greater representation was clients.