OMA boss ‘disappointed’ with growth of outdoor citing government regulation as an issue

The head of the outdoor Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has said she is “disappointed” with the growth of the outdoor market and set a target to grow the sector from $600m to $1 billion within three years.

However OMA head Charmaine Moldrich has expressed frustration with government regulation and a lack of “nimbleness” in the industry, which she says is holding back growth.

During a live hangout Moldrich covered the issues facing the industry including the rollout of digital, how it can sustain growth in a fragmenting media market, issues around what can be shown in outdoor ads and how the industry can inspire creativity from agencies and clients.

While growth in the industry has been significant, increasing ten per cent last year. Four years ago outdoor was worth $400 million and is now at $600 million, with market share growing from 3.5 to about 5 per cent, Moldrich said: “We are very ambitious, we hope to be a billion dollar industry within the next three years, and that’s what our challenge is, to convince the people who are buying form us how good the channel is.

“But if you truly want me to talk about it; in truth I think we should have grown more. I’m actually disappointed with our growth.”

When asked what she saw as the reason for lower than desired growth, Moldrich said a failure to sell the strengths of the outdoor channel and a lack of nimbleness in approach were responsible.

“I think it’s about education and working habits; it’s about looking at the way people buy in order to sell better,” she said.

“I think we need to move a bit faster and be a bit more nimble, and we need to actually sell how well our channel works in this new media paradigm.”

In addition, Australia remains behind the US and UK markets, according to Moldrich, with government regulation an issue for the industry.

“I think government regulation is still an issue here in Australia and I think that while governments are still timid about digital networks we will be slightly behind the eight ball,” she said.

“I also think we could have more evidence based detail for how well we do as a channel.”

On the positive side, Moldrich said outdoor had benefited from changes in technology which had been a challenge to other areas of the industry.

“I have to say out of all the industries to be in, outdoor would be the best in terms of traditional media because that growth makes sense where technology has really affected other traditional media models, it’s enhanced us,” she said.

“It’s absolutely given us the ability to broadcast content, it’s given us the ability to day part, to really use creative in new ways, data aggregation; all kinds of things we didn’t have before.

“So I think the growth is yes move absolutely helped that growth, the growth in the industry has been propelled by it, but it’s also the fact that it’s the last truly remaining broadcast channel. So while other traditional media channels have fragmented, we’ve been able to pick up some of that fragmentation.”

The hangout was the latest in a series of hangouts with industry heads including:

Robert Burton-Bradley


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