• Blip Adds $1,100 in Average Monthly Revenue to Digital Billboards

    Insider interviewing Blip Billboards co-founder Brent Thomson

    Blip Billboards operates an automated online marketplace selling digital billboard space.  Insider talked with Brent Thomson, co-founder of Blip Billboards at last week’s 2019 OAAA conference.

    What’s new at the company?

    We hired a seasoned executive from the out of home space: Kurt Tingley.  We’re super excited to see what he can do internationally and with high level strategic relationships.  He was EVP and CFO of Clear Channel.

    He’s not the only one you’ve hired

    No.  We’re up up to 40 people now at Blip.  We’ve got a half dozen developers, we’ve got a half dozen marketers, we’ve got a bunch of people that are doing support for advertisers.  A couple people do operator on boarding.

    What’s the company’s reach?

    Right now we have 800 boards under contract.  700 of those are live.  We’re at 140 operators.  We’re in 42 of the 46 states which allow digital billboards.

    What kind of ancillary revenue can Blip generate for operators?

    We segment billboards into mature and not mature at the twelve month mark.  One a billboard has been in our system for 12 months it is mature.  Our mature boards are generating about $1,100 each every month.

    $1,100 through the Blip system? 

    Correct.  That’s our accretive revenue on top of whatever the operators are generating themselves through their direct sales.

    Who are the advertisers?

    The average spend per advertiser per month is a couple hundred dollars.  So that will give you some idea of who we’re talking about.  It’s not Chick-a-fil-a.  It’s not Coca-Cola.  It’s Joe’s plumbing down the street.  We surveyed our advertisers a year ago and found that 94% of them had never been on a billboard and wouldn’t be on a billboard if it wasn’t for Blip…this really is new revenue.  These are dollars that would never have been spent on out of home.

    How does Blip market to clients?

    Out of Home companies will have a sales team and a sales director and they go out and they’ll call on local businesses.  We don’t do any of that.  We drive inbound demand.  We can’t afford to employ direct sales people.  It’s not cost effective for us.  So it has to be largely automated.

    A local out of home sales force can reach the mid-market but they don’t do so well at the top or bottom.

    An independent operator has a limited geographic footprint.  They have a difficult time attracting out of region buys.  And their sales staff isn’t efficient at getting the small hyperlocal advertisers.  They get the medium to large local businesses.  The car dealer.  The ford franchisee. We excel at the bottom end.  We can blanket a region with all sorts of different marketing to drive the ultra tiny local demand.  We’re also starting to get some of the attention from the out of market buyers.

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