- Uber's digital out-of-home (OOH) cartop advertising network is expanding to New York City as part of an agreement with the biggest yellow taxicab association in the region. The ride-hailing company by the fall expects to have the largest digital cartop display operation in NYC with access to as many as 3,500 taxis, or more than 25% of the total, per an announcement.
- Advertisers can buy media placements on the cartop network through Adomni, the programmatic digital OOH platform that has a self-service website and ad exchange called Adomni NeonX for ad buys through a demand-side platform (DSP). Uber forecasts that its cartop ad network will deliver more than 1 billion impression in NYC by the end of the year.
- Uber's expansion of the ad network to NYC follows an exclusive multiyear deal with the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade (MTBOT) and Creative Mobile Media (CMM), which awaits approval from the Taxi and Limousine Commission of the cartop displays. Uber's cartop displays will be installed as part of an agreement with Cargo Systems, per the announcement.
Uber's expansion of its digital OOH cartop ad network to New York City is another sign that outdoor advertising is poised to make a comeback as more people return to their pre-pandemic routines. At least 30% of NYC residents have received one shot, according to tracking data compiled by the New York Times. The number keeps climbing as New York State expands general eligibility for vaccines to younger age groups. While there's still a lot of uncertainty about how many people will start commuting again or keep working from home, the climbing vaccination rate increases the likelihood that demand for taxi services will grow and more people will see cartop ads.
The expansion is also significant for Uber, whose network already operates in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix with about 200 to 400 cars equipped with digital screens in each city. Uber doesn't break out its OOH ad revenue in its quarterly reports, though it has worked to diversify away from ride-hailing with the expansion of delivery services. Its ride-hailing bookings plunged 50% from a year earlier to $6.79 billion in Q4, but its delivery service including Uber Eats saw a 130% jump in bookings to more than $10 billion, per a year-end report. The company's total gross bookings slumped 11% to $57.9 billion for the full year. As more people return to commuting, the company is likely to see another shift in its revenue mix and a stronger recovery in ride-hailing.
Outdoor advertising is forecast to rebound this year as many marketers resume spending on billboards, mass transit signage and digital OOH networks. With many people stuck at home during pandemic lockdowns, non-political OOH ad spending in the U.S. plunged 31% to $5.86 billion last year, according to an estimate by WPP-owned media agency GroupM. The company forecast that OOH ad spend will rebound by 23% to $7.2 billion this year, but won't completely recover to 2019 levels for another three years. Total media spending will expand 12% to about $240 billion this year, per the forecast.