Press Releases

Digital Breakthrough Highlights Major Expansion in Out of Home Measurement

NEW YORK, NY, June 17, 2014 – The oldest medium in the world continues to innovate in the digital age, expanding its cutting edge system of audience measurement to report on people who are noticing digital out of home ads as they pass them at various speeds throughout the day. The change, as part of a larger update of TAB’s Out of Home Ratings system, with the help of vehicular speed data supplied by INRIX®, Inc., a leading provider of traffic information and driver services, makes out of home advertising a time-based medium for the very first time. Separately, TAB will also be reporting ratings for various transit formats, including bus and rail, station interiors and “mobile” billboards.

With this expansion, digital spot ratings are now being reported for each ad on a digital structure as opposed to a rating for the structure itself. Because these ads are constantly being rotated, TAB needed to determine the number of people noticing each ad, and knowing the speed at which cars are traveling down the road is important. This is made possible by the analysis of vehicular speed data on U.S. roadways provided by INRIX and eye-tracking studies conducted by Perception Research Services (PRS).


• Spot ratings for digital roadside formats now available for the first time.
• Out of home ratings for transit formats now available for the first time.
• Traditional format OOH ratings enhanced with expanded audience demographics.
• Number of units reported by TAB has increased to more than 2 million ads.
• Demographic characteristics of audiences gathered from millions of trips generated by 15 million respondents to government travel and Census surveys.

As a Big Data company, INRIX analyzes billions of real-time data points crowd-sourced from nearly 100 million vehicles to provide up-to-the-minute traffic information used in car navigation systems, mobile navigation apps and traveler information services from leading automakers, app providers and transportation agencies worldwide. TAB’s integration of INRIX data into its measurement system represents a new way to leverage traffic information for the purposes of providing better insight to advertisers. “Billboards are the original tweet,” said Kevin Foreman, GM of GeoAnalytics, INRIX. “By integrating our traffic speeds information by hour into TAB’s analytics platform, we’re helping advertisers not only better measure the impact of their investments in out of home, but providing them with insight that better informs when and where they make those investments.”
“With consumers spending more time out-of-home than ever, it’s increasingly challenging for marketers to reach audiences who are literally moving targets,” said Mary Sheehan, Senior Director of Media Strategy and Planning at ESPN and Chairman of the TAB Board of Directors. “Out of home can play an important role in building brands and driving sales, but it’s important to advance the audience measurement of the medium to speak to today’s modern, data-driven marketers. The new ratings move us progressively forward.”
Transit ratings for bus exteriors required TAB to collect traffic information as buses move along their routes. Ratings for these “mobile” ads utilize the same data and procedures used for measuring roadside OOH formats, while ratings for ads in stations and bus and rail interiors also uses public domain counts of passengers and commuters. Incorporating public transportation circulation methods, developed by Peoplecount under the oversight of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), TAB has ensured that all of the procedures involved in measuring transit media have been designed so that ratings for transit, digital and roadside formats are scalable and comparable.
“We have improved the precision of our measurement system and expanded its coverage by including more major out of home formats,” said Joe Philport, TAB President & CEO. “As a result, the number of units reported by TAB will grow exponentially. Our goal is, and has always been, to provide both buyers and sellers of OOH media with better and more exhaustive data and this update marks a huge step in accomplishing both.”
Expanded demographics are another key offering of the TAB Out of Home Ratings update. These include nearly 250 audience segments defined by age, sex, income, ethnicity and other characteristics.
Recognizing industry demand for greater accountability and more accurate measurement, TAB initially released its TAB Out of Home Ratings in 2010, making it the first system to measure audiences who actually see advertising.

About the TAB
Established in 1933, TAB (Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement, Inc.) is an advertising trade organization whose mission is to lead the development and delivery of out of home media measurement systems in America. Run by a tripartite board of advertisers, agencies and media companies, TAB initially released its TAB Out of Home Ratings in January 2010, the first system to measure audiences who actually see advertising. For more information, visit

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