There is an attention recession globally. Maintaining people’s attention is really difficult and the huge benefit of digital outdoor media infrastructure is the cut through.
Wildstone launched in 2010 as a consultancy that acted for public and private-sector landlords to maximise revenue from outdoor advertising sites within their existing portfolios.
In 2015, we started putting our ancillary cashflow into the acquisition of leasehold and freehold assets for advertising billboards. Fast-forward to 2021 and we are now Europe’s most prominent aggregator of outdoor media infrastructure.
Previously, there were independent property owners that would own a small portion of assets. We bought a number of those companies and aggregated them into one place. This has resulted in us owning around 3,000 assets that we rent to our tenants, who are big media owners such as Global, Clear Channel and Alight Media.
We provide a beneficial service to individual landlords who may only receive a modest rent for their billboard space.
Over the next three to five years, we should see the normalisation of digital billboards, which are a much higher-quality and more environmentally friendly proposition than traditional paper billboards
Many billboard landlords are unaware of the potential value their assets may hold. These landlords could secure a significant rent or get a capital lump sum in exchange for control of that space over a period of time. We help unlock value for property owners through our market knowledge, experience and capital investment.
Value in assets
What I would say to property owners who probably haven’t been getting very much money from their billboard assets for some time is to give us a call.
You may have more value in your asset than you currently believe.
Additionally, from a planning perspective, it is becoming harder to gain consent to install new billboards and therefore the value of these assets is increasing.
We employ the largest planning team in the outdoor advertising sector, who work with local authorities as much as possible and are a key point of difference and added value for our business in getting planning consents for our assets.
There is also an environmental benefit to digital billboards. The amount of paper thrown away annually from paper billboards has historically been significant. Wildstone and the out-of-home industry as a whole is increasingly environmentally conscious. Transferring assets from a paper to digital format is having a big impact.
Already, this year, Wildstone has saved around 25,500 miles in cars travelling around the country changing paper billboards, we’ve saved around 135 trees and 9.3 tonnes of CO2. Digital billboards are powered by electricity and don’t have the carbon footprint found elsewhere.
Looking to the future, we still have a fairly long way to go in the digital transformation of outdoor media infrastructure as a whole. Up until the past couple of years, digital billboards were rare. However, now they’ve become very mainstream.
Over the next three to five years, we should see the normalisation of digital billboards, which are a much higher-quality and more environmentally friendly proposition than traditional paper billboards, which will see a reduction in numbers.
Wildstone is constantly looking out to different parts of the world to understand what innovation may deliver. There are a few things on the horizon, particularly on the technical side.
We are living in a global attention recession and that won’t change. However, outdoor digital billboards cut through all that and I think this sector will only grow from strength to strength, giving property owners the opportunity to generate more value from their assets.
Wildstone was founded in 2010 by Damian Cox. We are the most prominent aggregator of outdoor media advertising assets in Europe, with over 3,000 sites in our portfolio.
Wildstone buys and rents sites for outdoor advertising, helping hundreds of property owners realise the true value of their existing assets or surplus land.
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Time to be bold
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Landlords can profit from the rise of digital billboards