The OMC as a joint industry committee (JIC) was introduced to the market in 2014 out of the dire need to provide the industry with an out-of-home (OOH) measurement survey like RAMS and TAMS (radio and television audience measurement surveys).  The structure of the JIC is based on the findings from the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) Future Proofing exercise conducted by Kuper Research in 2012, following the successful ROUTE JIC structure (UK). It draws on international best practice where it is linked via data fusion to an establishment survey (ES), along with a variety of other dedicated media surveys. 

The OMC JIC will be run and controlled by the major participating OOH companies, supported by technical expertise from Kuper Research. Kuper Research will head the Steering Council that monitors the technical aspects of the research, and will be involved in the marketing and analysis. This will ensure the independence, robustness, and transparency of the research which has been initially underwritten by Continental Outdoor Media and Primedia Outdoor. The OMC will participate in the development of the Establishment Survey.

The OMC’s vision is to produce consolidated, inclusive, and representative research covering the key OOH areas including billboards, transit, airport, Gautrain, malls, and digital OOH. Static roadside formats are being addressed first in the research, however further methodologies are already being investigated to cover the diversity of OOH environments. 

The innovative methodology includes the combination of traffic flows, satellite images, and travel patterns to create a comprehensive traffic model, which when combined with the location of all media owner billboard panels, creates an accurate representation of OOH audiences. These elements are modelled to create OOH ratings. Elements such as direction of traffic flow and visibility are taken into account as part of the model.

The new OOH currency will deliver reach, frequency, GRP’s, duplication factors, impacts, CPM, and so on, and will be comparable to other media metrics for the first time ever in South Africa. 

The benefits of the new OOH currency are endless for media buyers who will now have a consolidated, single view to access and plan from all media owner OOH inventory. State-of-the art, geo-spatial, sophisticated Quantum software will be available to buyers through Telmar, and will allow for ease of planning and purchase, and generate standardised and measurable plans. At last OOH is truly in the hands of the buyers.

Key players

Kuper Research – Leaders of the Advisory and Technical panels.

User advisory panels – made up of key OOH buyers.

Cuende – a Spanish market research company, the ‘rocket scientists of OOH research’, providing ground-breaking and ‘big-data’ methodologies and models that have been introduced in a number of countries in Europe and South America.

Ask Afrika – fieldwork providers for the travel questionnaire which provides the foundation for the demographic and traffic model.

Software: Telmar in partnership with Cuende’s Quantum software.

The OMC JIC’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) is about to be lodged. This should be formalised within the next six weeks, where after the supplier contracts will be included into the OMC. In order to expedite the process Continental Outdoor Media and Primedia Outdoor have contracted with all relevant suppliers, (Ask Afrika, Cuende, and Kuper Research), and provided the relevant funding. Once the OMC is registered, it will be in a position to formalise other media owner participation in the JIC for the Static Roadside project. At this stage there are 10 media owners who have committed to participate in the JIC. This roughly represents up to 90% of the Static Roadside media owner pie. The first results will be published in July/August 2015.

The new OOH research is not only moving with the times, but is ahead of the times, providing cutting edge research that will accurately reveal the true value of OOH advertising.