Tunity Analytics: The Value of OOH Viewing in Today’s Digital and TV Driven Era

The true Out-Of-Home (OOH) environment is very different from that of in-home. True OOH viewing occurs in bars, offices, restaurants, gyms –not guest viewing in other people’s homes. These differences can lead to many surprises in regards to the overall usage of linear TV in those locations. One important thing to keep in mind, is that while viewing in-home most individuals have hundreds of channels to select from, and they can choose to watch what they want no matter how obscure. When in an OOH location you have only a limited set of channels to select from and those are chosen by the venues themselves. These curated environments are likely to have limited channels perhaps 5 or less under most circumstances, similar to the situation found in homes during the early 80’s. At that time, when thinking about channel availability, it was assumed that most people had three broadcast networks, one or two independent stations, and perhaps a PBS station. Cable was less than 25% penetration and cable systems had low numbers of channels available. It was a battle for cable networks to get carried (no carriage meant no audience). At that time, broadcast networks got a 90 share of viewing in Prime Time and shows were canceled if they did not get a 30 share. Today the OOH environment is much more akin to in-home in the 80’s than it is to in-home today. Shares of the top players OOH compared to total OOH are huge. Channel availability is key.

Another important factor to keep in mind, is that overall usage of OOH during any given daypart can be highly variable. Tunity’s estimation model suggests approximately 3 million OOH viewers during the average minute. OOH usage tends to be flatter daypart to daypart than found with in-home usage. The viewing divides by type of location. Gyms may get substantial OOH viewing during the early morning, offices during the day, and bars and restaurants at night. What drives the use is events such as sports games, news, or entertainment. In the illustration covering July 8th through 16th you can see the relative flatness of use, except overnight. You can also see the large peaks associated with certain events. The yellow line represents the baseline level of OOH usage.

If we examine the data further we can see that the events are driving up OOH usage during their time periods as much as four-fold and we have seen this go higher. As shown below the events are the NBA finals, The Belmont Stakes, and an early game of The World Cup. In each case there was not only a large increase in OOH, but virtually all of the added usage was going to the individual event. These events accounted for 50 to nearly 80% of all OOH usage at the time they were on. This type of variability and shares are unheard of for in-home linear TV. It is the reason why major events can receive very significant lift numbers for OOH compared to the average linear show.

Although OOH can be event driven, it is important to not lose sight of the fact that other programming may on the surface pale in comparison to levels of viewing to these events. The levels that are achieved for most linear programs and networks are still meaningful. OOH linear TV provides entertainment, news and sports to people on the run and its utility for most consumers is high.

Paul Lindstrom, Head of Research & Analytics
Paul Lindstrom
Paul Lindstrom is the Head of Research and Analytics at Tunity, an out-of-home (OOH) data measurement company and consumer application which allows users to hear live audio from muted televisions directly through their mobile devices. In his role, Paul supports the creation of various data products, including Tunity's new analytics product, and helps set strategic vision and direction. Prior to Tunity, Paul spent over four decades at Nielsen, where he was responsible for designing and deploying innovative tools, systems, studies, and measurements for new media outlets. He also directed sales, operations, and strategy for Nielsen Strategic Media Research and Nielsen On Location. Paul is an innovation, research, and strategy executive with a successful track record in pioneering business development, product leadership, and research design. His combination of experience with media and custom research, location, and OOH measurements at Nielsen have allowed him to develop a new metric to capture OOH viewing insights based on Tunity’s traffic, tuning, and attention data.