2023 | A DOOH Year in Review

Adam Malone reflects on Screenverse's achievements in 2023, navigating economic challenges to innovate in DOOH advertising and set the stage for 'OOH 2.0' success.

By Adam Malone, Co-Founder & President at Screenverse

In last year's installment of my 2022 | Year In Review I said that “all ad-supported media would face headwinds in 2023.” I imagined that high inflation and interest rates would affect consumer and advertiser demand, and that the OOH industry would especially feel the effects of tightening capital markets as media owners try to expand their footprint.

That has been largely the case, although the US consumer has been remarkably resilient, which certainly helped many in the retail venue-type finish the year strong.

Notwithstanding the macro headwinds, Screenverse set upon a path to deliver revenue growth for our partners, invest in our people, technology, and partnerships to keep them strong, and blaze the path for “OOH 2.0”.

We wanted to leverage those things about OOH that are undeniably great – OOH is a ubiquitous canvas, fully viewable, fraud free, and interwoven into the lives of consumers wherever they are.

We wanted to give omni-channel advertisers easy access to digital advertising in the physical world. We did so by utilizing standardized ad units, got all of our partner networks PerView audited, and we worked diligently every day to stand up the Screenverse deal desk where we crafted deals, educated, and supported the leading omni-channel DSP partners including TTD, Yahoo!, DV360, and others.

Finally, we made sure that all of our partner inventory was fully digital, programmatic enabled, and we even launched a first-of-its kind pricing optimization tool that delivers significant revenue growth for each of our media owner partners.

The great John Wooden believed that “success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you were capable of becoming.”

2023 was a success for Screenverse on almost any measure.

Our Partners:

We are proud that we delivered Alpha (% growth above category growth) for each of our partner networks, with our average partner network growing sales 60%+ Year-over-year.

Offering great results and excellent service has afforded us the opportunity to continue to add unique and powerful stars to the Screenverse constellation.

  • Olyns - An innovative AI-powered recycling solution and retail media network, the Olyns Cube features 55-inch HD video displays at highly foot-trafficked retailers' entrances. It provides convenient self-serve recycling for consumers while enabling brands to connect deeply with their target audiences through advertising.
  • True Sync - A tailored in-house TV network for bars and restaurants, offering dynamic, fast-paced content blended with venue-specific advertising to captivate patrons and enhance their entertainment experience.
  • Advana - Positioned at the heart of workplaces, Advana effectively engages consumers at the point of purchase through immersive video content and targeted messaging on self-checkout screens in 40,000+ self-service food and beverage micro-markets.
  • FuelMediaTV - A dynamic, place-based media network located at fuel and convenience locations, providing brands with opportunities to engage their audience through vibrant full-sight, sound, and motion video displays.
  • Screenverse + Apparatix Billboards - 1,300+ digital billboards strategically positioned across the nation, providing advertisers with unparalleled access to high-impact advertising opportunities. Through Screenverse + Apparatix, a transformative solution unifies disparate digital billboard networks from independent operators in the US into a single access point.

We finished 2023 with 12 member networks, and we are eternally grateful for the trust they place in us as we help them build thriving and profitable businesses.

Our People:

As we reoriented our business to reflect our lazer-focus on programmatic DOOH, we invested in our sales machine, our technology team, programmatic operations, and brought in a leader to build out our client services team.

  • Nery Merchant is our absolutely essential accounting manager
  • Daniella Skific is our undeniable midwest sales director
  • Jun Hee (Phil) Kim is our brilliant programmatic manager
  • James Lavin is our jack of all trades senior engineer
  • Steve Peternell is our wise and witty client services director

[We have since added three more awesome astronauts to our Screenverse flight crew.. But we’ll save those announcements for next year’s YIR!]

Trends and 2024 Outlook:

I’m going to shake it up a little this year. Instead of my normal prognostications and, in recent years, pearl clutching.. I’m going to take a minute and give my “Buy, Sell, and Hold” positions on three major OOH trends for 2024.


A fascinating convergence is underway that promises to reshape the advertising landscape: the merging of CTV and OOH.

As we look to 2024 and beyond, there's a growing bullish sentiment among industry insiders and experts about the potential of this convergence, spurred by the foundational work of key players such as Atmosphere, Loop Media, Inc., PatientPoint®, GroceryTV, Rockbot and others.

These networks embody the core characteristics of both CTV and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising. They offer streaming content, audio, and TV screen-based delivery, and they do so in venue-types and broadcast to audiences that advertisers can use to contextually target.

The reason we are bullish on CTV+OOH is that we think the time is now for advertisers and key stakeholders in the ecosystem to embrace the unique duality that defines these platforms. A TV screen in a bar, restaurant, or doctor's office, for instance, isn't just a passive display; it's an active engagement point that combines the immersive experience of CTV with the real-world impact of DOOH.

At Screenverse, we are joining the fight to establish CTV+OOH to its rightful place in the media mix. We will start by making FuelMedia TV, TrueSyncMedia Inc., and Mesmerize inventory available in leading CTV+OOH-enabled SSPs, and we’ll be shouting from the rooftops that CTV+OOH  is for real and is here to stay!

I’m SELLING Retail Media as a panacea for DOOH.

Exactly one year after I said that “Retail Media is a Quiet Juggernaut”, I said that Retail Media Network (RMNs) were already 4-times larger than US OOH. That number is now more than 5!

I said that “it’s not just digital - retailers have been investing in advertising technology to leverage their physical space to boost their ad sales as well.”

Well, that may have been wishful thinking on my part. According to a recent Insider Intelligence article from Hy-Vee, In-store retail media constituted a paltry 0.8% of all Retail Media Spend in 2023.

It turns out the real money for RMNs is CPG brands buying the rights to be the default diaper brand on the ecommerce site of the retailer’s app. And my suspicion is that brands, agencies, and - critically - RMN media sellers will spend all of their time milking the ecom and in-app shopping opportunity for all its worth before turning even glancing attention to the digital signage offerings in-store.

Now, we all know that in-store shopping is still king and there is a huge opportunity in that, and $370m in top-line spend in-store aint nothing.. But I am not ready to shout my buy recommendation from the rooftops until I see more commitment to building, selling, and proving the efficacy of in-store retail media networks.

Retail Media’s impact on DOOH => SELL

I’m HOLDING the AI trend in OOH

Generative AI is a marvel. I use it every day. Our tech and marketing teams can’t imagine life without it. And the use-cases for Chat GPT, Bard, and others will continue to grow exponentially.

Fe Fi Faux… OOH?

I couldn’t care less about so-called faux-OOH.. AI generated OOH and experiential concepts that never actually run in the physical world, but are nevertheless earning eyeball share on Linkedin and X. Some worry that advertisers get the benefit of social amplification without having to actually invest in the activation, while others see these tools as an opportunity for creatives to sink their teeth in the medium without having to shell out six-figures on the front end.

Where AI could make a big impact, is if these tools can be deployed against problems long plaguing the OOH industry:

  • Creative production being too costly and time consuming for all the different formats and sizes of inventory.
  • Issues around addressability and measurement - number crunching and isolating the signals through the noise.
  • No true price discovery across large swaths of inventory in the marketplace.

If companies can train and deploy AI applications that deliver quantum leaps against these 3 areas, then I will move AI from a ‘Hold’ rating to a ‘Strong Buy’!

Conclusion: Navigating the Future of Advertising with Screenverse

Reflecting on the predictions made in my 2022 Year In Review, where I anticipated challenges for ad-supported media due to economic pressures, it's clear that 2023 unfolded largely as expected.

Despite the turbulence of economic trends in 2023, Screenverse embarked on a mission to not only weather the storm but to thrive. Our commitment to revenue growth for our partners, investment in our people, technology, and partnerships, and pioneering the path for "OOH 2.0" has been unwavering.

We recognized the inherent strengths of OOH—its ubiquity, viewability, and fraud-free environment, seamlessly integrated into consumers' lives—and leveraged these to facilitate easy access for omni-channel advertisers to the digital physical world.

As we move into 2024, Screenverse remains committed to innovation, growth, and the success of our partners and clients. The journey ahead is filled with opportunities and challenges, but with our team's resilience, creativity, and dedication, we are poised to continue our path of success.

The future of advertising is here, and Screenverse is leading the way in navigating this ever-evolving landscape.


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