“What do you see as the biggest positive or negative change in digital signage adoption/usage due to this pandemic?”
Firstly, I hope all are safe and healthy!
Let’s face it – these are unprecedented times. The pandemic has been greatly detrimental to most industries, DOOH being one of the most impacted. As such, DOOH usage has come to a virtual standstill and is significantly reducing company revenues. Adoption and usage are virtually gone, although this comes at no fault to DOOH. What are media owners to do?
DOOH is still highly valued and impactful. While most screens have few viewers currently, many are displaying public service announcements or highlighting businesses that are open. The medium itself is seen as a public utility. This reinforces the power and need for DOOH in our everyday lives.
Prior to March, this was a growing and vibrant ecosystem filled with innovation and executions. We’ve come to expect media displays as we experience the world. So, to have this all come crashing down has impacted everything. There is now less revenue to continue growth (in the expansion of screens, location types of screens), the integration of new technologies (e.g., programmatic), and capabilities (e.g., measurement). This comes at a time when marketers have been seeking incremental functionality to enhance media spends.
The good news for DOOH is that people are ready to get back out into society. When they are out, these screens will appear to offer exciting new experiences. People will seek out information and things to do. This will bode well for a recovery in DOOH. Obviously, a decline/steep-decline in revenues reduces what can be done financially, but to plan for reopening, it is my hope that media companies have continued their advancements.
History has shown that continued focus leads to longer-term gains/rewards. This time will be no different. Those companies that failed to act may take years to regain momentum. This enables competitors to come in, new companies to form, and rewards to come for those that continued to expand technical solutions. So, while usage is “gone” or severely limited during this time period, the business decisions made now will have long-lasting impacts. Everyone (users/viewers and venues) wants and needs these screens, and marketers recognize the value of reaching the audience out “in the world.” There will be a large rebound, and I hope media owners are ready!