Billboards are ubiquitous in our cities. It is impossible to even look in a direction where there are no billboards and yet billboards are not seen as a venue for investment. Traditionally, real estate and gold are the most favoured investment options and it is these options that people go to when they have some money to invest. But billboards and OOH advertising media are fast emerging as a lucrative investment option. If an individual spends money to buy even a couple of billboard sites for 10 lakhs each and markets them effectively he can make around 2 lakhs per month. The most important thing that one needs to remember is that the billboards have to be in a prime location in a city or along the highway.
According to outdoor advertising industry experts, OOH media is becoming a very popular mode of investment. The edge that this has over the most preferred form of investment, real estate, is that the investment is not that high. In addition to that the money can be recovered in a short span of time. A person who has a few lakhs can acquire an OOH media. A majority of the owners of the OOH media are small time investors and companies that can afford to buy such media. They then use their business networks to get campaigns and operate their media effectively. A relatively small inheritance or an endowment can be used to buy a very good investment.
The price of the media will increase with respect to the proximity to prime locations. The sites can be owned by governments or by private investors. In the case of governments, bids are invited for the OOH media and the highest bid will win the rights for a pre-specified duration. Private owners need to get permission from the municipality or the corporation as the case may be for permission to erect a hoarding or a billboard. An individual who wants to invest in such media can take the route of bidding for the government media or get the media from private investors who have erected hoardings in their premises after getting the authorisation from the government. Outdoor advertising agencies can be contacted by the media owner to get campaigns.
The most preferred OOH media are often the ones that are owned by the government. The reason for this is that the rates that are quoted by the government are at today’s market rates whereas the private OOH media can be bought at the rates that are quoted by the private operators can be much higher than the government rate. Rentals for some media could be as low as 5000 rupees but may earn advertising revenue of 50,000 rupees. A person who starts with one billboard will eventually understand the intricacies of the business very quickly. The campaign turnover will be very high and it will give him an idea about the business very quickly. This will definitely help him acquire more media and increase the profit margin.
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