India’s OOH industry is expected to benefit this year from infrastructure spending and government initiatives – as well as elections and sporting events – but it urgently needs to address the lack of standard metrics for this this sector, according to observers.

While the ‘smart cities’ campaign and the expansion of the airport network, for example, are opening up new opportunities, OOH lags other media in reporting impact – and that may affect how advertisers choose to use it.

“Better measurement tools can get OOH a better place in the plans,” Mehraj Dube, Vice President Programming, Zee Media, told Exchange4Media. The danger is that without such capabilities “it will remain an announcement platform while other media tools take the centre stage”.

Rajiee M Shinde, President – Epic Television Networks, agreed and argued that the industry needs to invest in an independent measurement system. “The new third-party measurement must have participation from all stakeholders of the industry to be accepted by all,” he said.

“The stakeholders also need to make a case for the same and pursue it to raise awareness among advertisers and push the selection of media basis numbers and market share,” Shinde added.

As to what such a system might look like, Karan Shah, Director, Society Tea, suggested “installing an eyeball calculation meter which is digitally recorded and stored as a dashboard or creating a city-wise survey with respect to footfall patterns in different sectors and regions, so that some kind of behavioural consensus can be finalised upon, with regards to traction and impact of OOH marketing”.

Last week, there was positive movement on this issue, as the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association unveiled a new initiative that will see local start-up Display Metrics India working with Ipsos India and MGE Data of the Czech Republic to develop Metrics for Out-of-Home Displays (MOD).

This is a major project that will involve mapping inventory and monitoring site displays and then combining that with traffic intensity data travel survey data.

The first phase will cover Delhi NCR and then the Mumbai-Thane-Navi Mumbai cluster, Media4Growth reported, before expanding to another top eight markets.

Sourced from Exchange4Media, Media4Growth; additional content by WARC staff