‘Stake hold­ers need to look be­yond short term gains’

In­dra­jit Sen, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, IOAA

Outdoor Asia - - Media Owner's Take -

OOH Clut­ter – The so­lu­tion

There are two ways to solve clut­ter. One is through en­light­ened reg­u­la­tions - which ap­pears to be an oxy­moron as of now. So that leaves the other way - which is through self - reg­u­la­tion through me­dia as­so­ci­a­tions in cities and states as they ex­ist to­day. At the end of the day, me­dia own­ers and com­pa­nies need to re­al­ize what is ben­e­fi­cial to them and to the long term growth of the in­dus­try.

Reg­u­la­tion of the in­dus­try

The in­dus­try will get reg­u­lated only when me­dia, agen­cies and ad­ver­tis­ers re­al­ize the need for it. All three need to look be­yond im­me­di­ate short term mar­ginal gains and fol­low ba­sic dis­ci­plines. Till then the busi­ness will only see resid­ual bud­get al­lo­ca­tions and lower shares of to­tal ad­ver­tis­ing spends. A big step in this di­rec­tion is al­ready un­der way with the Ad­ver­tis­ing Agen­cies As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia ( AAAI ) and the In­dian Out­door Ad­ver­tis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion ( IOAA ) agree­ing to work on a MOU to cre­ate a body like the INS and the IBF. This should be im­ple­mented by this year it­self and it will see a num­ber of is­sues be­ing reg­u­lated, paving the way for healthy growth.

Dig­i­tal OOH

This de­pends on the way prices of dig­i­tal for­mats pan out. Cur­rently, ex­pen­di­ture on in­stalling a dig­i­tal for­mat is too high in com­par­i­son with short term li­cens­ing of out­door sites. So, the sec­ond very big fac­tor in dig­i­tal for arts tak­ing off in a big way is the is­sue of there be­ing long term con­ces­sions for sites. For ex­am­ple, lo­ca­tions like met­ros and rail­ways, other con­gre­ga­tion points like malls, shop­ping com­plexes need to work on long term li­censes in ex­cess of 10 years for the con­ces­sion­aire to in­vest in ex­pen­sive dig­i­tal me­dia. Cur­rently, there are only the new pri­va­tised air­ports that have long term con­ces­sions and you see dig­i­tal for­mats thriv­ing there.

Credit is­sues – The so­lu­tion

The AAAI and IOAA agree­ment is ba­si­cally to re­solve busi­ness trans­ac­tions and spell out strictly en­force­able credit terms. So this is­sue is likely to be re­solved soon.

Mea­sur­ing the medium

There are a num­ber of ef­forts al­ready un­der way and state-of-art tech­nolo­gies for mon­i­tor­ing are avail­able. How­ever, th­ese ef­forts need to be rolled out city by city and site by site. That ob­vi­ously takes both time and money. When it comes to pay­ing for th­ese in­for­ma­tion, users tend to get bogged down with cur­rent fi­nances in­stead of treat­ing this as in­vest­ments for near fu­ture gains. It is also a mat­ter of ac­cept­ing the trans­parency that mea­sure­ments will bring and change in the way this in­dus­try is man­aged at present. Con­se­quences of not do­ing so are al­ready vis­i­ble - slower or static rev­enues and adop­tion of al­ter­nate op­tions.

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