We all recognize out of home advertising as the giant billboards that we see as we drive down the road or the street furniture and bus shelters we walk by as we make our way about the city streets. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), outdoor advertising revenue grew 1.5% from $1.62 billion in the third quarter of 2013, to $1.64 billion in the third quarter of 2014. This is due in-part to the dynamic growth of options available for outdoor media. In more recent years, clients have begun to adapt from the traditional static images to more vibrant and digital displays.

Just last week Denstu Aeggis Networks out-of-home agency Posterscope unveiled what it claims to be the “first real time trading platform for digital billboards.” The trading is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015 and will utilize a real time buying platform to gain access to inventory and target audience. The agency described this as a “private marketplace” that will be trading premium and quality inventory, and will combine audience-based targeting with location based intelligence. Posterscope is said to begin teaming up with Vistar Media’s real-time buying platform to access the available inventory and to target different audiences.

One of the biggest positives that have come from the programmatic buying landscape is data driven targeting. Digital out-of-home uses location based data for targeting hyper local and real time campaigns. The data comes from multiple sources so it can build up and create a much more detailed audience breakdown than one source would be able to provide.

So, how does this all work?  Companies like Vistar Media work with data sets from wireless carriers that help to define where consumers go throughout their day. They then combine the media consumers are viewing on their personal devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) with out-of-home media spots in locations such as malls, train stations, gyms and elevators. It basically takes the idea of programmatic buying that has become somewhat of a standard in the advertising world, combines it with the online experience in terms of buying and selling, but applies it to the digital out-of-home inventory.  Voila!

“Being able to trade premium inventory in real-time at scale allows brands to maximize relevance, engagement and targeting which is essential for the growth of OOH,” according to Posterscope Chief Strategy Office James Davies, adding: “ this highly collaborative and innovative initiative delivers a major step change in the medium, creating value for both advertisers and stakeholders in the OOH industry.”

Companies like Lamar and Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) have already given trading commitments to start using such technology on their boards in 2015.