How Much Is a Chunk of L.A.’s Visual Landscape Worth? Part II, Digital Billboards

Digital Billboard Lincoln & Washington

What does Bombast Studios have to pay for an ad on a digital billboard to promote its latest blockbuster, “Geysers of Blood, Part XX?”  According to Clear Channel Outdoor’s rate card, shown below, an eight-second spot appearing in rotation on a network of ten digital billboards costs $97,500 for a four week period.

The last time we sat through a minute’s worth of ads on a full-size digital billboard in our own neighborhood, there were seven advertisers on it.  This means Clear Channel was getting $682,500 every four weeks from the ten-billboard network, or $68,250 from the single billboard that looms over a heavily-congested intersection.  If our math is right, that’s a take of $887,250 per year from a single billboard.

Digital Rates

Click On Image To Enlarge

And what was Clear Channel getting before that billboard was converted to digital?

Such information is very hard to come by, but statements from the billboard industry itself give some idea of the huge increase in revenue from digital billboards.  In a Time Magazine article in 2006, Clear Channel Outdoor president Paul Meyer estimated that the yearly revenue from seven digital billboards in Cleveland, Ohio would jump from $380,000 to $2.3 million, or a more than six-fold increase.

In Texas, where everything’s bigger, the president of company that owns a recently-converted digital billboard was quoted thusly in an internet technical publication:

“We anticipate generating at least 12 times the revenue we were generating before with a static billboard at this location,” said Brent Waller, president partner of Connect Outdoor Media LLC. “Upgrading to digital changes the game.”

For a map of locations of all 87 Clear Channel digital billboards in Los Angeles, click here.

Dennis Hathaway

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