How many billboards are converted to digital billboards each year globally, by country or region.

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How many billboards are converted to digital billboards each year globally, by country or region.

Hello! Thanks for your question about how many billboards are converted to digital billboards each year. The short version is that after searching extensively through industry reports, company websites, news sources, and other trusted media sites, I’ve determined that the information you requested is not publicly available because research tends to focus on market growth and total revenue. As well, companies do not often provide how many billboards they have and where, especially niche information such as traditional billboard to digital billboard conversion. However, I was able to learn several pieces of information I believe will help you-- including market growth of the digital billboard industry, places globally where the digital billboard market is growing the most, etc. Below you will find a deep dive of my research and methodology.


I began by searching for industry reports and market reports that specifically indicated how many digital billboards there were globally, and if there was information regarding the change from traditional billboards to digital. I found that this information did not exist, save for one 2013 estimation by Scenic America, and only specific to US billboards, regardless of digitization or no. I then shifted my focus on more general market information, including, but not limited to, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR), total market growth, laws and regulations, and what global regions OOH (Out of Home) and particularly DOOH (Digital Out of Home) advertising made the most money. I chose to focus on the terms OOH and DOOH, because I found that legitimate market studies, reports, and industry studies did not focus on just billboards, but all advertising under the OOH (and DOOH) domain, of which billboards are a large portion, but also include airport advertising, advertising at gas station pumps, etc. Please read on for information that I believe will be helpful towards your goals.


The statistic compilation website Statista estimated in 2015 that from 2017 to 2019, the global OOH (Out of Home) Advertising industry will grow from 36.47 billion USD in 2017 to approximately 40.33 billion USD by 2019. However, according to research by PQ Media, the current " out-of-home (OOH) advertising revenues, including all traditional, digital and ambient media platforms, grew an estimated 6.2% to $49.23 billion in 2016, the fastest growth rate in nine years... Key growth drivers included the rise in real-time information via digital signage during the Summer Olympics, which led to higher consumer engagement with OOH media, as well as the strength of traditional OOH, particularly in transit locations, as brands sought to reach on-the-go consumers with media void of ad-skipping technology." As well, globally, consumer exposure to OOH grew 1.5%, or 66 minutes a day.

In particular, digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% from 2016 to 2020, according to a study conducted by Technavio. As well, it is estimated that DOOH is will command a 24.1% share of overall OOH in 2016, as opposed to only 16.8% in 2010. According to MAGNA, "...the global advertising market is currently growing faster than what should be expected in the current economic environment."


The United States is the largest market for OOH and DOOH. In 2015, overall revenues were $9 billion USD. It is projected that by 2020, the total USA OOH market will have a revenue of 207,207.7 million USD. The last publicly available estimation of the number of total billboards (both digital and traditional) is from a study by Scenic America published in 2013. They base their information on a Congressional Research Service estimate, published in 1991 and the last available US government published information of that kind, that there were between 560,000 and 780,000 billboards on federal aid roads in December 2013. They base this information on the Congressional Research Service's estimate that billboard numbers were growing between 5,000 and 15,000 annually. Scenic America goes on to conclude that there are therefore an estimated 2 million billboards in the USA as of 2013.

In the United States, Maine, Alaska, Vermont and Hawaii prohibit all billboards. Several cities also prohibit new billboards, including Los Angeles, Kansas City, St. Paul and Houston, as well as thousands of smaller communities. In 2016, the major advertising company Lamar Central Outdoor challenged Los Angeles' 2002 ordinance against new billboards. The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled against Lamar and reaffirmed LA's ordinance.


PWC Global estimates that by 2021, over twelve markets will receive 50% of their revenue from Digital OOH. Currently, MAGNA estimates that 40% of all revenue comes from "digital based ads." As well, according to ISSUU, the top three current markets in Europe for OOH are France, the United Kingdom, and Germany, followed by Switzerland and Italy. Greece has the smallest current OOH market of all Western European countries. In 2015, the United Kingdom posted double-digit gains in market revenue, according to PQ Media. Still, in Western Europe, "the number of actual digitized panels...are 6% of the overall OOH estate in most countries."

Behind the United States, the largest markets for OOH were China and Japan, both exceeding $7 billion. In 2015, Brazil was the fastest-growing traditional OOH, posting double-digit revenue gains, along with Argentina. In 2015, it was Australia that led the market in specifically DOOH ad revenue growth, growing more than 15%.


In understanding what types of information are and are not publicly available on this topic, I’ve suggested a few other routes you may be interested in researching:

- What laws in European countries suppress or allow the growth of Out-of-Home advertising, particularly Digital Out of Home advertising.

- Who are the biggest players in Digital Out of Home advertising globally, and why?

- Please provide examples (case studies) of successful digital billboard campaigns conducted in the last two years.


To wrap it up, after searching extensively through trusted media sites, industry reports and websites, and third party market analysis, a direct answer to your question is not publicly available because billboards are not the focus of individual publicly available research and studies, and are grouped under what is known as OOH (Out of Home) and sometimes DOOH (Digital Out of Home) marketing reports. As well, research for this category tends to focus on projected revenue growth in the industry and different markets, and does not focus on tallying the actual physical presence of billboards in numbers. However, I learned that currently 40% of all revenue comes from digital based ads, among other useful information detailed above. If you’d like to continue research on any of the other topics I’ve outlined above, just let us know!
Thanks for using Wonder!