OneScreen.ai Launches the ‘Yellow Pages of the OOH Industry’
Rapid expansion in out-of-home advertising is making it harder for buyers and sellers to manage inventory and sales cycles. Now, with the launch of its new public directory, OneScreen.ai is hoping to provide industry-wide transparency to enable streamlined media buying and selling.
Despite launching just days ago, OneScreen.ai’s public directory includes more than 3,200 OOH providers and more than 860,000 media listings in 340 different formats.
For OOH providers accustomed to manually managing inventory, the launch of OneScreen.ai’s public directory has the potential to mark a real moment of change. OneScreen.ai Co-Founder and CEO Sam Mallikarjunan says this is the culmination of hundreds of hours of research and hundreds of conversations with OOH industry partners and friends.
Through those conversations, Mallikarjunan discovered that no one had yet captured the entire industry – OOH companies, vendors, and media inventory – in a way that is accurate, comprehensive, and accessible, and saw that there was an opportunity for his company to take the lead.
“We set out to build the ‘Yellow Pages’ of the OOH industry. While that probably isn’t the most flashy or exciting news to some, it is the essential infrastructure needed to make the buying, selling, and management of OOH inventory more frictionless and accessible,” Mallikarjunan says.
Although other directories exist in the OOH space, Mallikarjunan says none are democratized and completely open and public. Most existing directories have barriers like third-party intermediating that keeps sellers from interacting with buyers.
That doesn’t fit with Mallikarjunan’s vision for what the OOH industry could someday become.
OOH providers who claim their listings in OneScreen.ai’s new directory will get access to tools designed to streamline the manual processes associated with sales enablement, inventory management, and invoicing, while also making inventory more accessible, more discoverable, and easier to sell. Searchable listings make it so providers are more easily discoverable by potential buyers. Media owners can upload, edit, and sell inventory directly from their listings, and they have access to tools like campaign building and embeddable maps to make their inventories easier for marketers to buy.
The directory is set up to become the basis for building what OneScreen.ai describes as the first public ecosystem in OOH that allows providers to interact openly with buyers and marketers. In addition to fueling discovery and revenue from currently non-participating consumers, Mallikarjunan says the directory will include value-added products and services.
“There are amazing companies in this space with digital signage products, content management solutions, analytics offerings, sales enablement, drone video media, and much more. But there’s never been an easy way for OOH providers to discover solutions to help them grow just like there’s never been an easy way for marketers to discover OOH providers to help them grow,” Mallikarjunan says. “The core of platform strategy is that an integrated ecosystem creates economic value that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”
Mallikarjunan believes companies shouldn’t be forced to build their own technology, or even their own integrations with other technology offerings. He would rather see a system where companies are able to discover products and services and integrate them into their workflows with a click of a button.
“You don’t buy something on Amazon and then call a paper company to make a box for you and then call UPS and ask them to swing by the Amazon warehouse and bring your purchase to you,” Mallikarjunan says. “By enabling buyers to discover and purchase everything they need — from multiple media formats to printing services and more — each OOH provider will be able to sell more because they’re able to be purchased as a complete solution.”
The launch of a public directory is just the latest move in OneScreen.ai’s broader push to serve as a connector within the OOH industry.
“We want to provide the tools that enable OOH providers to run their businesses more efficiently, and we want to create a platform that makes finding and buying real-world advertising easy and possible for marketers and brands. We want to bring both sides together in one transparent, free space, and then get out of the way,” Mallikarjunan says. “I’ve been known to toss around the adage, ‘you can’t sell cars in a country without roads.’ Well, we’re building the roads, and we’re giving them to everyone for free.”