The multi-billion dollar road ahead

Published: April 20, 2021

Yesterday was fun. Appearing on Fox Business on live primetime television is something I had not expected to do this month, but the opportunity presented itself and I’m glad I did it.

It was made extra special because of who I got to speak with.

Since I was a teenager, Maria Bartiromo has always been a news anchor that I respected. She broke down gender barriers 26 years ago by taking a prominent seat inside the NYSE male-dominated environment. Her fiery intelligence and delivery has always made business news interesting to watch.

One of the things I love most about Adomni and the current state of our business is the unexpected.

It happens once in a while.

A jolt of positive news that emerges hot and fast out of nowhere, that invigorates everyone involved and reinforces the importance of the work that we are doing.

The latest jolt took place last month, when a flurry of complex deal-making culminated in Uber signing a multi-year commitment to bring the Uber OOH cartop ad network to New York City.

It was a feat.

Not just because of how fast it was put together (which according to the Uber business development folks was a company-record) but more so because Uber and MTBOT, the largest yellowcab taxi fleet operator in New York City are now business partners, mutually aligned to the goal of building and operating the largest NYC digital cartop advertising network ever.

Uber and taxis, united by digital out of home advertising. 3,500 cabs strong.

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As Maria Bartiromo said on Fox Business –

this is a big deal for Adomni; a big deal for Uber

But it also is a big deal for the yellowcab industry in NYC and a big deal for programmatic digital out of home.

To look at this announcement as “just another NYC DOOH ad network” is to miss the point. Uber OOH NYC is so much more than a collection of yellowcabs with digital screens on top.

Here’s why.

The mission of Adomni and programmatic DOOH at-large is to bring incrementality to the OOH industry.

There are two ways to do that:

1.      Existing buyers spend more

2.      New buyers enter our space

How do you pull this off in a time when there are more ways to allocate media budgets than ever before?

Our answer: Innovate.

New ideas. New approaches. New audience connectivity that bridges the physical ad world with the online/digital ad world.

Since we founded Adomni six years ago, our guiding belief has been that innovation in the form of programmatic technology has transformative potential. Transformative potential to change the way the game is played, and as a result, to drive significant DOOH industry growth.

Just as we have seen in other industries such as Maria's world of stock trading or online travel, hyper-growth took place when technology changed the game.

We believe that

transformation for digital out of home will occur when it is flipped from an advertising medium that is majority sold by sellers to a medium that is majority bought by buyers

We openly recognize that it doesn’t work that way today. But it could.

To be more specific, we believe that out of home advertising’s slice of the global advertising pie grows when digital ad buyers get what they want –

1.      Easy access to DOOH inventory at-scale

2.      Complete control of their ad campaigns

3.      Targetability with high value audience data sets

4.      Third-party measurability of the campaign’s effect on business KPIs

In other words, we all start winning more when our industry is able to confidently answer YES! to the simple question – “Is the channel easy to buy and does it work?”

When you think about the magnetic pull of the ad businesses of Google, Facebook and Amazon, which now combine to more than 50% of all US ad spend, I believe a large part of their success is correlated with how they have made it easy to transact and how buyers have seen that it works.

The other common thread shared by these advertising platforms is the frequency and recency that consumers use their services. Every day (usually all day), we do searches for products and services on Google, see what our friends and family and news sources are saying on Facebook/Instagram and order Amazon products to be delivered 1-2 days later. Especially in the pandemic, it is hard to separate the consumer in us from the professional marketer in us.

You can argue that Uber is right up there too with Uber Rides and Uber Eats.

In the pantheon of platform powerhouses, Uber stands tall.

So when Uber approached Adomni in 2019 regarding a new partnership to create a new Uber OOH ad network, we jumped at the opportunity. Not just because of who Uber was, but more about what Uber could do.

Uber’s ubiquity is a powerful force - thousands of drivers per city, moving people, food and beverages, in every corner of 10,000+ cities. Harnessing that force for advertising - now that is inspirational!

We could not be more bullish about the future of digital out of home. We truly see a multi-billion growth opportunity for DOOH.

We also recognize that Adomni is in a privileged position. We get to pad the pockets of so many different stakeholders - from Uber drivers, to yellowcab companies to Uber shareholders to Cargo shareholders to Adomni shareholders to the media owners whose digital inventory will be bundled and sold with Uber digital cartops. And we get to have fun along the way.

It’s going to be one hell of a ride.

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Written By: Jonathan Gudai

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