New Route data – digital shines, posters hold strong but large formats are disappearing

New data released by Route, show the continued growth of digital screens. They also further underpin the position of posters as the leading medium in offering advertisers ubiquitous reach. However, there is some evidence that the availability of large format posters being on the wane.

Fuelled by continued investment, the number of digital screens measured by Route has increased again and now stands at 11,734. Together, they will be seen by 69% of the population each week.

While the all-adult cover is up from 63% 12 months ago, there is an indication that the new screens now being measured by Route are not necessarily adding significant incremental reach, rather are clustering in areas where other digital screens are already in existence.

Being a broadcast medium, out of home reaches all demographics, however digital screens are effective at reaching traditionally hard-to-reach and commercially appealing audiences such as young adults and affluent ‘ABs’.

While the relatively nascent digital tranche of the industry shows audience growth quarter on quarter, it’s perhaps the oft-forgotten poster which continues to quietly steal the show. While increasing reach of posters is not necessarily evident in the data, this is because it, quite simply, has little room to grow. 98% of the population will see a poster advert each week, a number that has been stable for the past few years.

A notable change in posters over the last 12 months can be seen in the reduced availability of large format sites. This is something that has been mentioned in trade press recently, and there is evidence of a decline availability.

Route now measures 10% fewer large format posters than 12 months ago – a loss of 1,634 sites that have been partially offset by 232 new large digital sites. Proportionately the losses are being felt most heavily in the ’96-sheet’ format which has seen 26% disappear in a year.

While the significantly reduced availability of large format posters does have an effect on the weekly audiences, this is relatively small. Currently 38% of adults will see a 96-sheet poster each week, down from 42% last year, whereas 48-sheets are still seen by 78% of the population (from 79% a year ago).

The data also include measurement of four new media owners for the first time. They include: Emerge Advertising, London Lites, Mass Media and Wold Outdoor.

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