Male on hurricanes, tech, mobile and increasing yields.

Outfront CEO Jeremy Male addressed the Goldman Sachs Communacopia on Wednesday.  Here are the highlights from the Seeking Alpha transcript.  You can listen to Male’s talk on Events page of the Outfront Website.

On the impact of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma:

So, as we look around, we were very fortunate in Texas and Houston. We only lost one board — we hurricane proofed a number of boards in the early 2000s, which has obviously helped significantly. In Florida… we were around 35 boards down, we still haven’t got all the way down to Keys so there will be more boards down there. But it’s going to be I would guess somewhere between 35 and 100, something like that… So, the total capital cost associated with that… is not going to be much more $1-1.5 million…one of the reasons that we have so few boards down out of the thousands of boards we have in the region, is that we take down the copy, so that it doesn’t form a windbreak. So, we take down all the copy before on the exposed board and then we put it back up once the hurricane has passed through…So, we lose some display time there between the up and the down… but I would guess, it’s maybe a couple of million dollars of revenue, something like that we may be exposed to.

On tech’s appetite for out of home:

Tech is our strongest category. Who’s our largest advertiser? Apple… Where did Snapchat go when they wanted to have a great statement ad for their IPO? It was our sign in Times Square. So, everything that out-of-home and has done — out-of-home has done so well for years and years and years, okay, which is connecting billboards with mass audiences, hasn’t changed.

On fusing mobile with out of home:

…we have a white label product whereby we’re selling mobile ads typically triggered by a geofence around our board or around our store. We’ve done whatever it is, in 1,500 mobile campaigns now. So, we’re now significant seller of mobile. And in mobile we have huge amount of data to say — if you see the ad here, and you see it on the billboard, you’re twice as or you’re X more likely to click through the ad on your cellphone if you have it reinforced or you’ve been targeted by a billboard.

Insider’s take:  Good to hear that the hurricane damage is limited.    Male stressed the need to increase yields.  He suggested out of home pricing should become more like airline ticket pricing where prices go up based on scarcity and the popularity of boards.  Look for Outfront to push rates in your markets.


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