LONDON: Digital Signage in Europe, a report jointly produced by media analyst Screen Digest and Berlin-headquartered researcher Goldmedia, indicates that major out-of-home advertisers are going digital across Europe.

Moreover, the report predicts that despite the recession, spending via DOOH (Digital Out of Home) networks will continue to grow in 2009.

Right now, the UK is the most advanced digital signage market in Europe. Trailblazers are CBS Outdoor's screens in London's subway system and at the vast new Westfield Shopping Centre; JC Decaux's deployment at London Airport Terminal 5, Clear Channel's digital roadside network and Titan's Transvision ‘digital 6-sheets' LCDs in railway stations.

But DOOH media is also gaining momentum in other European countries, Germany and France for example. The latter's leading out-of-home contractor, Wall, will replace all static posters at Berlin Friedrichstraße rail stations during the first half of this year making it Germany's first completely digitally equipped station.

In France, Metrobus is currently rolling out a large digital signage network in the Paris metro and in rail stations throughout the country.

Observes the report's author, Screen Digest head of advertising research Vincent Létang: "[This year] started with a lot more high quality digital inventory than 2008, and a much stronger commitment from big out-of-home contractors. That alone should fuel the growth of digital OOH revenues, even though overall OOH spending will be under pressure.

"Media buyers and advertisers remain convinced of the added value of digital OOH compared to traditional static sites. However, the market is tough in the short term and the credit crunch will slow the volume of new projects from big contractors in mainstream environments, and even more so in niche environments e.g. point-of-sale and ambient.

"Many digital signage technology providers and niche contractors may suffer and we expect consolidation in both sectors in 2009-2010. Nevertheless, in the long term, digital signage will still play an increasing and substantial role in enhancing OOH media."

The report predicts that DOOH net advertising revenues in Western Europe will triple over the next four years from €220m in 2008 to a forecast of €630m by 2012 – equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 29%.

To view a pie chart indicating the distribution of digital signage networks in Western Europe click here.

Data sourced from Screen Digest (UK); additional content by WARC staff