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Route updates currency to include digital spot measurement

11 Mar 2020  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Route updates currency to include digital spot measurement

Out-of-home audience research body Route is evolving its measurement system to include "spot level" ratings for ads played out on digital screens, after admitting to having "under-measured" them in the past.

"This is a big sea change for the industry," Route general manager Euan Mackay said today during a launch event. "This is the start of the next chapter for out-of-home."

Route is also splitting audience measurement for outdoor ads into 15-minute intervals, alongside audience reporting at a single frame level for posters and the introduction of new seasonal factors to the data.

Meanwhile, the research body is increasing the size and quality of its sample groups, while Multi-Sensor-Tracking devices will provide greater detail on consumer travel habits outside, inside, above ground or underground.

All of the new data is to become available from April 30.

The new spot ratings will account for people who see more than one ad in a single exposure to a screen, and overall "better reflect" how many digital ads consumers really see in an average day, Mackay added.

"Our currency is going to be more reflective of real life and real out-of-home audiences than it ever has been before," he said.

"This hasn't been done anywhere else, no one is even close to what we're attempting and what we're delivering... This will really be a significant change for the industry. It's one that's going to require new thinking, new systems and ultimately, it's the introduction of a new currency."

Elsewhere, James Whitmore, outgoing MD of Route, added that the research body had recognised the "rapidly changing nature of the [OOH] market" as it becomes increasingly digital.

"The new currency will improve the capability to deliver audience-based planning and trading. This in turn will drive effectiveness and efficiency," he said.

The newly evolved currency is backed by both the IPA and ISBA. Mackay confirmed that Route is in active conversations about including the new data in the next IPA Touchpoints release.

Commenting on the launch, Belinda Beeftink, research director at the IPA said: "In an era of data overload and sometimes scant regard for the veracity of much of the data that is used, Route’s approach in utilising state of the art passive measurement is to be applauded.

"It’s reassuring to know that each step of the process has been exposed to scrutiny and subject to questioning. Everything possible has been done to engender trust. This is exactly what we would expect of any JIC."

According to Route, these developments have been enabled by the out-of-home industry doubling its investment in its measurement system.

Route is underwritten by the industry, including specialist media agencies, Kinetic Worldwide, Mediacom Outdoor, Posterscope, Rapport Worldwide and Talon Outdoor.

The media owner guarantors are Clear Channel Outdoor, JCDecaux and Global.

Earlier this month, Route MD James Whitmore announced he would be stepping down after 15 years due to health reasons, with the search for a replacement now ongoing.



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 mediatel.co.uk for more information.

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