There is no question that the internet has dramatically changed the playing field in advertising. The big victims have been radio, TV and newspaper – media that have to get you to look at them. Billboards do not need programming – you cannot avoid them. However, there is no question that businesses are going to devote more money to internet marketing, but I’m betting it’s more out of the other media budgets than outdoor. A huge amount of outdoor is point-of-purchase “exit now” and no key words can match that type of positioning.
I do not own any billboards at this moment. When I sold out in 1996, I started buying up mobile home parks, and am now the 36th largest owner of them in the U.S. I still do consulting in the outdoor industry – recently I helped a private equity group in New York determine values of foreclosed billboard operations. But the mobile home park business has me too busy to get back into outdoor as a sign owner. I’m happy just showing people how to do it.