In a desperate attempt to reduce the spread of corona virus, the Union government took the historic decision of locking down the entire country on March 25. The lock down period will be observed until April 14, stretching for a period of almost 21 days. This has already started affecting the OOH advertising industry including transit media. Transit media advertising includes advertising on buses, trains, auto-rickshaws, trucks, cabs, and mobile vans to name a few.
Furthermore, the role of the transit media in recent years has been pivotal in the growth of the OOH industry. As people are only coming out of the house to get their basic supplies, life has come to a complete standstill in the country. This has directly contributed to the weakening of the transit media industry.
Additionally, the Union Government has restricted the mode of consumption is to solely basics now. As a result, people are less likely to pay heed to OOH advertisements. All of these have resulted in the drying up of revenues for mainly the OOH industry. All the airports, trains, mobile cabs, and train services are shut down as a safeguard to contain the virus. As a result, the major OOH advertisements at sites like airports, railway stations, bus terminuses, etc. are rendered completely unnoticed. Furthermore, the brands are also hesitant to invest in OOH campaigns at a time of national lockdown.
How are the media operators being affected?
However, the situation does not change for media operators. Media operators hold the advertising rights of the major companies. They are the ones who pay the license fee for advertising the brands of these major companies to the concerned authorities. Therefore, they are the ones who are taking the hardest blow for revenue losses.
With the prevailing uncertainty of the current state of affairs, the media operators are caught up badly in the whirlpool. The companies are shying away from investing in OOH and transit media advertising with each passing day. Moreover, these companies have also withheld major events for the advertising of their brands which is also draining the OOH industry dry. With the losses amounting to crores, the future seems to be dwindling for the transit media operators. However, the operators are hopeful that the OOH business will be back on its tracks with the normalcy in the public transit system. Though recovering the OOH industry is directly dependent on the pandemic’s spread and hence, could be a ginormous task.