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Digital Signs Make Billboards More Valuable

The AM-PM billboard is now a reality, as Clear Channel, Viacom, and Lamar are selling digital signs in Cleveland, New York, and other cities. Made from LED, the signs let several companies share one space and target messages based on “day-parts.”

In the morning a department store could advertise a sale, and in the afternoon a bar might promote happy-hour specials. Michael Hudes, executive VP for corporate development at Clear Channel Outdoor, explained, “We’re moving from selling space to selling time.”

Breaking up the billboard’s day should bring in big bucks. Clear Channel, for example, will charge advertisers $40,000 to share time on seven billboards for four weeks, compared with $10,000 for one standard billboard. Spending like that could revitalize the $5.8 billion outdoor market, which is now less than 3% of all ad spending.