How the Broadsign Platform simplified EPAMEDIA’s digital network growth

March 14, 2024Juliana Lai

Due to its long-standing history, traditional print mediums like static out-of-home (OOH) still have a strong presence in Austria. In fact, static OOH ad spending has historically been significantly higher than digital out-of-home (DOOH) ad spending in the Austrian market. Advertisers in the region understand the value that static OOH provides them in an era of digital growth. In addition to providing brands with 100% share of voice, static OOH’s eye-catching large formats and strategic placements are a lot harder to ignore than online ads. 

That being said, digital advertising has been gaining more traction in the last few years, with DOOH ad spending reaching similar numbers to static OOH in 2023. Moreover, with an expected annual growth rate of 4.91% in the next four years, Austrian media owners with hybrid networks, offering advertisers a mixture of static and digital OOH, stand to gain a competitive edge. 

One company that is leading the digitization movement is OOH media owner EPAMEDIA. Operating a hybrid network, EPAMEDIA has over 25,000 bookable sites and is one of the leading companies in the Austrian out-of-home sector. While its headquarters are in Vienna, the company lives by its motto of being where its customers are by having offices in every state, enabling them to work closely with regional and national customers. 

Why advertisers choose to work with EPAMEDIA

To meet the continued demand for static OOH advertisement, EPAMEDIA has over 22,736 billboards, 874 Posterlights, 2060 Citylights found on pedestrian roads, and 55 bigboards (also known as bulletins). As part of its initial digitization efforts, the company has 42 digital Citylights and 77 digital Posterlights. 

Advertisers from all industries choose to work with EPAMEDIA for their hybrid network. Moreover, with their screens found even in the most remote regions of Austria, they’re guaranteed a diverse audience set. The company has succeeded with regional advertisers, in particular, due to their flexibility. Unlike other networks that typically require a minimum spend or number of screens, EPAMEDIA allows you to book as little as one screen, accommodating advertisers of all budgets. 

Another reason for EPAMEDIA’s success is its Online Locator, which has significantly sped up the proposal process. Accessible through their website, advertisers can browse and request to book OOH inventory. With the ability to pick your inventory by media type (digital or static) or to search by address, the locator displays the available inventory through a colour-coded system. Once advertisers have selected their desired locations, they can add the number of screens they’d like to book as well as their campaign dates. Once the request is submitted, a salesperson gets back to them to confirm the booking. 

Despite operating in a more traditional OOH environment, EPAMEDIA is anything but ‘static’ in its approach. With the use of different static creative capabilities, like extensions and embellishments, they’re able to engage audiences with dynamic static ads. In fact, one of their most successful campaigns was a 3D billboard ad for Volkswagen. Wanting to promote the Volkswagen Golf, the ad featured a rabbit wearing sunglasses, which reflected the car. What caught people’s attention and made them engage with the ad was the fact that the rabbit’s head and ears were popping out of the billboard. To this day, the ‘Volkswagen bunny’ is still talked about. 

Another notable site of EPAMEDIA is a multi-media bus shelter that is partially solar-powered and offers USB charging ports for devices. With the possibility of branding the entire bus shelter and the inclusion of an interactive touchpad and camera, it’s impossible for passersby not to engage with it. The University of Leoben leveraged this bus shelter for its Made for the Future campaign, where it encouraged people to use the touchpad and camera to take pictures, which they could later retrieve by scanning a QR code. 

How the Broadsign Platform facilitated the digitization of their network

At the start of its digitization efforts, EPAMEDIA used a basic content management system (CMS) to run DOOH campaigns. While it was initially sufficient, the limitations of the CMS became more apparent as their digital network grew. Capable of only storing the most current campaigns, EPAMEDIA’s team had to manually upload the creatives, set the duration of the campaign, and delete the campaign from the system when completed. Unable to provide any campaign planning and management capabilities, they used a spreadsheet to track all past and upcoming campaigns. 

Furthermore, the shift from being exclusively a static network to a hybrid one brought on a new way of thinking. While static campaigns often have fixed durations, digital campaigns tend to require more flexibility. Wanting to provide advertisers with the ability to book different days and times regardless of campaign duration, each digital screen had its own schedule, making it impossible for EPAMEDIA to manage with its existing technology stack. 

Following an extensive evaluation process, EPAMEDIA chose the Broadsign Platform for its comprehensive and automated campaign planning, management and reporting capabilities. Additionally, the ability to integrate Broadsign into its existing technology stack through APIs, including its booking system AS400 and its revenue and report system QlikView, provided its Client Services team with a more seamless way to book, plan and report campaigns – significantly increasing operational efficiency. 

“We chose Broadsign as they’re always making new features and keeping up with the industry”, said Stefanie Zeiler, Digital Media & Graphic Design at EPAMEDIA. “They also had the features we needed, like content separation, category exclusions, visual availability check, reporting and targeting.”

Adopting the Broadsign Platform has also opened up new ways of selling for EPAMEDIA. As impression-based campaigns became a big topic among national advertisers, the Austrian media owner began its expansion into programmatic digital out-of-home (pDOOH) last year by integrating with the Broadsign supply-side platform (SSP). One particular feature that the company appreciated was the ability to integrate their audience data from Outdoor Server Austria (OSA) into the Broadsign SSP, providing advertisers with audience data for every hour and day of the year. 

What’s next for EPAMEDIA

As for what’s next for EPAMEDIA, the company intends to continue its digital network expansion, including placing more of its high-definition digital screens in every Austrian state. They also intend to further their digital and programmatic expertise, securing their position as the leading out-of-home company in Austria by offering static, digital and programmatic digital OOH to advertisers.

Juliana Lai
Juliana Lai

Product Marketing Content Specialist

Juliana has been a part of Broadsign’s marketing team since 2022, where she specializes in product-focused content tailored for OOH media owners. In her free time, you can find her on her potter’s wheel making ceramics or climbing a rock.