Traditional media has changed a great deal over the last 10 years. Barriers to entry have fallen and innovations in communications and technology have driven tectonic plate shifts in industries like radio and broadcast television. Most of the old world media has been up-ended by the Internet. Innovation by companies like Google, who’ve made search engines the work horse of finding the products and services you need, changed the way advertising dollars (or integrated media plans, to use some industry lexicon) are allocated. If you’ve seen how thin Time and Newsweek have become, and it can’t be just because their editorial bias has become so evident, you realize the paper publishing business has been decimated by the exodus of advertising dollars. A decreasing percentage of the population is reading print media each year.
The opportunity today is in Internet and Mobile Advertising and Marketing Services though admittedly, these sectors are another example of incredibly noisy and over-crowded spaces with too much venture capital money. That said, UEI is interested in businesses with focused, if not niche, target customer segments where specialty marketing skills can make the difference between success or failure for businesses in the sector.
Outdoor advertising is such a sector with unavoidability characteristics (hard to avoid the sign in the mall or on the side of the highway) and recurring revenue characteristics with very high margins. In addition, the advent of technology has helped the segment with digital signage making up an increasing portion of the revenue mix in outdoor. UEI likes the outdoor advertising segment and related advertising or marketing businesses that add interesting new dimensions to a customer’s integrated marketing plan.