SYDNEY: The Australian advertising industry's view of outdoor media is changing, thanks to increasingly robust data and the opportunities offered by digital displays according to a trade association.

Announcing changes to the Measurement of Visibility and Exposure (MOVE) metric, Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the Outdoor Media Association, said the latest update was "the biggest for MOVE to date and will give media planners the chance to get insights into OOH audience demographics like never before".

MOVE provides statistics for more than 73,000 advertising facings across the country, combining data from a range of sources, including the Census and government travel surveys.

A new geo-targeting functionality will enable media owners to build out sub-areas based on geographical information, while they will also understand how audiences are seeing outdoor ads, whether as a pedestrian, driver or passenger.

John Grono of GAP Research, and one of the driving forces behind MOVE, said the attitude of agencies was shifting from indifference to enthusiasm, thanks to the detailed data now available.

For example, when they know how many pedestrians they will get, "they start thinking 'ooh, I can do WiFi, QR codes' ... it gets exciting," he said in remarks reported by AdNews.

"It gives the agency the background and proof they need to make better decisions," he added.

The possibilities of the medium were further enhanced recently when outdoor advertising company Adshel announced it was rolling out a network of 3,000 beacons across the country which will give advertisers with beacon-enabled smartphone apps the ability to send geo-targeted marketing to consenting customers when they're in the area.

The head of outdoor business JCDecaux claimed that outdoor was now "a more prominent channel in agencies than magazines" and that creative was getting better.

The next step is likely to be the introduction of automated trading but Moldrich said more data would have to be collected first.

"MOVE has proven to us that an evidence base is really important and verifying that evidence base is really important," she said. "We aren't going to do something that's new fangled that can't be proven."

She added that the growth in out-of-home advertising in the past year had been "unprecedented", as net revenues in 2014 were up 10% to A$602.1m.

Data sourced from Outdoor Media Association, Ad News, Business Insider; additional content by Warc staff