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David Pidgeon 

Global to rebrand DAX as it adds outdoor to audio offering

Global to rebrand DAX as it adds outdoor to audio offering

Global's digital ad sales platform DAX is to extend beyond just audio and be made available to digital outdoor advertisers from next month.

The news was announced on Tuesday as Global finally made its strategy clear since going on a OOH buying spree in 2018.

DAX, which was first developed to support Global's radio business with a claimed reach of 133 million listeners worldwide, will now give advertisers the ability to buy digital outdoor campaigns through demand side platforms (DSPs).

Consequently, DAX will rebrand from the Digital Audio Exchange to the Digital Ad Exchange, making it clear that advertisers can buy both digital audio and digital outdoor together.

DSP launch partners include The Trade Desk, Vistar Media, Mediamath and Hivestack, with more to be announced in the coming months.

The move comes after Global, the UK's largest commercial radio business, surprised the sector in the autumn of 2018 by purchasing Primesight, Exterion and Outdoor Plus - handing the business 235,000 OOH screens.

Adding a significant OOH portfolio to DAX will mean advertisers can integrate their programmatic audio and outdoor buying in areas such as geo location targeting.

In addition, in the same way that DAX represents almost 250 publisher brands within the audio sector - including ITV, Sky and Telegraph Media Group - Global also announced that a group of third-party outdoor media owners will be putting inventory into DAX.

Admedia, Elonex and All City Media Solutions, have already signed up as digital outdoor inventory partners on DAX.

“When we entered the outdoor advertising market, we saw a sector which was full of exciting potential and also one that was in need of further investment and innovation," said Mike Gordon, chief commercial officer at Global.

"By uniting our business, Global is able to help brands harness the power of outdoor alongside other digital channels such as digital audio, helping them to create more moments that matter."

Ollie Deane, director of commercial digital at Global added that the new version of DAX will introduce "new and unique targeting and measurement" products as the platform grows.

Global made it clear that the new DAX is the first version of something that will evolve substantially, and said there would be "significant" investment made as it begins testing the system with brands and agencies.

Missing any mention during its launch night was mobile, which the OOH sector has found natural synergies with recently.

However, brands lined up by Global to comment on the news said they were looking forward to what was being offered.

Gareth Jones, CMO UK at eBay said the development of DAX into digital outdoor is an "exciting innovation" and that he was "looking forward to seeing how it will drive forward another medium with huge potential."

Meanwhile, Pete Markey, CMO of TSB, added: “DAX is pioneering technology. The platform is ahead of the game in that no other product in the market gives us access to such a large variety of audio content.

"The potential to fuse audio with outdoor in a programmatic, highly targeted, way is really compelling. I think we’ll now see media come together more as the formats are planned and bought around the customer experience.”

Today's news comes as the proliferation of digital out-of-home screens has helped drive weekly digital impacts to 1.1bn across the UK, according to OOH measurement body Route.

At its last count in September 2019, Route recorded 45% more digital screens than the same period in 2018 - 11,734 vs 8,088.

The rise means 69% of adults will now see a digital screen each week, meaning it now has wider cover than commercial radio (65%).

Global already reaches more than 25 million listeners every week via radio brands such as Capital, Heart, Classic FM, Smooth, LBC, Radio X, Capital XTRA and Gold.

DAX will be a rival to VIOOH, JCDecaux's programmatic OOH platform, which is currently using Hivestack’s DSP.

Mediatel operate two essential services for the OOH industry. SPACE is a collaboration between IPAO and Outsmart and is the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of inventory in the UK. The RouteAPI is a SaaS solution that enables easy integration of Route audience data into client's systems. See for more information.

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