• Vendor Profile: Blip Billboards

    James Munnerlyn, Co-Founder and President, Blip billboards

    Company: Blip Billboards

    Headquarters:  1591 W 820 N, Provo, UT  64601

    Phone:  801-692-3217

    Email:  contact@blipbillboards.com

    Blip operates an online marketplace for digital billboard space.  The company’s approach differs from many online marketplaces in that it does not require a contract and allows advertisers to buy ads in single display increments.  Insider talked with James Munnerlyn, Blip’s co-founder and President. 

    James, 2018 was a great year for you.

    2018 was an exciting year for Blip—and perhaps even more exciting for our billboard-operator partners. In 2018, the number of digital billboard operators using our service increased from 28 to 109, giving us inventory in most states. Of course, this kind of rapid adoption can only be fueled by one thing—advertiser revenue. In 2018 we increased the number of advertiser accounts from 8,662 to 42,396, with hundreds more signing up every day. What’s so exciting about these advertisers for our partners is that 94% of them are new to billboards, meaning new revenue, and real growth as opposed to shifting money from one pocket to another.

    How does this generate into dollars for out of home companies?

    We sent millions of new-to-OOH revenue to our billboard-operator partners in 2018. Since the only thing our partners have to do is approve artwork as it comes in, the revenue we bring all drops to the bottom line, having a significant impact on profitability. We’ve case studied a couple of our mature operators in both small and medium markets and found that by the end of the first year of working together, we’re typically adding an additional 10-20% to their digital revenue. For smaller operations, we can represent a higher percentage than that, but for a well-run plant, that’s the range we expect to fall in, regardless of the plant size. What some people might overlook is how dramatically this shifts the economics of the game for our partners. 10-20% more revenue might not sound like that much until you realize that it would otherwise be out of reach, doesn’t cost you anything, and doesn’t interfere with your existing operation. This reality certainly isn’t lost on our partners though, which is why they are anxious to share the word with their colleagues.

    What sort of clients buy ads using Blip?

    The bulk of our advertisers wouldn’t even register on the small side of the spectrum of typical OOH advertisers. They’re working with budgets in the hundreds of dollars instead of thousands or tens of thousands. These are small advertisers who want to balance out their marketing efforts but for whom a traditional buy would represent an overallocation of their marketing budgets in their overall marketing mix. These are advertisers who are using Google and Facebook ads, social media, and SEO for most of their advertising; and now they’re adding DOOH to the mix through Blip. Additionally, advertisers with a wider range of budgets recognize Blip as a simple way to advertise across a nationwide network of signs.

    How does Blip’s software work?

    Blip is a self-serve platform for advertisers. An advertiser picks billboard locations, specifies a daily budget, and indicates when the ads can be displayed. Then the advertiser uploads artwork and launches a campaign. Once the artwork is approved by both the Blip moderation team and the billboard operator, the new ads start showing up on the targeted boards. Instead of prepurchasing guaranteed placement like they would through the operator, they are billed after the fact for the space they get according to their campaign settings. It’s just like the experience they’re used to with digital online advertising.

    We also offer a full-featured scheduler and player to our partners for free, allowing them to schedule their own content for their contract sales while making their inventory available to Blip marketplace advertisers. We’ve integrated with Ayuda and Apparatix, with others coming soon, so those who prefer using these platforms for managing their content can participate fully in our services. Not only do we work with all major billboard manufacturers, but we also provide our partners with a single place to schedule their inventory across all makes and models of their billboards. Our manufacturer partners include Daktronics, Watchfire, Formetco, Media Resources, Lightking, Plainview LED, Spectacular Media, ADTI, Electro-Matic Products, Anthem Displays, and more.

    What does the system cost and who pays?

    Sign owners continue to serve their contract advertisers exactly the same as they have always done (including sales, customer service, billing, etc), and the operator continues to collect 100% of the revenue from those clients. Blip handles sales, customer service, and collecting payments from our marketplace advertisers. We take a percentage of that marketplace spend, but the majority of that revenue gets passed through to the sign owner.

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