Audience Measurement for OOH with Media On The Go

Central Force International Sdn Bhd – an established Malaysian research firm, since 1996 – has been collaborating with Media On The Go from Singapore, to deliver audience impressions data for out of home (OOH) media in Malaysia.

The absence of reliable audience data is driving OOH media owners to seek solutions. Currently, the Outdoor Advertising Association of Malaysia (OAAM) is in the process of requesting information and proposals from media measurement specialists globally and locally. Media On The Go (MOTG) is quick to clarify that MOTG will support any industry-wide solution adopted however the timeframe to deliver this is probably at least 1-2 years away.

By a partnership arrangement, Central Force was able to combine its substantial field force resources and research knowledge with MOTG experience in OOH measurement, to deliver robust and credible impressions for individual billboard locations.

The partners followed global guidelines for OOH measurement from ESOMAR* and adopt proven methodology to convert actual timed traffic counting into audience impressions exposure data with individual panel accuracy.

media on the go ooh
Visibility zone example, specific to individual billboard panel

Ron Graham (pictured on top), Regional Director at MOTG, explained that actual counting is currently viable however device-based data has gaps and problems when it comes to planning and buying, to be able to assess the relative worth and overall audience delivery for OOH media investments.

Device data is very useful, especially as a campaign tracking tool, however Telco’ data is expensive, whilst SDK data from Apps use is skewed, and unless the device data has scale, it will at best only provide a sample.

In addition, device-based data capabilities vary, for example indoors when people hang around, it is easy to discover device signals and capture data, but for roadside situations, with audiences passing by, it is more difficult to collect and record relevant data.

Most device-sourced data work on a radius of catchment, which does not take into account, line of sight, direction of traffic or other variable visibility factors. MOTG conducted detailed site surveys and studied satellite imagery (courtesy of Google), to determine specific traffic flows which were visible to individual billboard panels.

central force media on the go

Central Force was then briefed and they also previewed the survey locations before deploying a well-prepared and rehearsed field-force to conduct the counts under strict controls. Several quality control checks were implemented to ensure the data was accurate and credible within normal statistical parameters.

Sanctuary Billboards is the first OOH media owner in Malaysia to sign up for the audience impressions system, conducted for more than 40 different billboard panels within Kuala Lumpur. Other media owners are expressing interest and MOTG is expecting to expand the work to more than 100 panels in January 2022.

Paul Sapwell, CEO of Sanctuary said; “We were concerned to do something, to show clients the real value of our sites and we are excited with the data in hand, to be able to confidently quote actual impressions with the transparency of globally proven methodology”

“For example, our 3-sided spectacular at MMR2, Taman Connaught has 15,276,694 total impressions per month, however we also know each individual panel score, if an advertiser chooses only one panel. In addition, Sanctuary is launching Digital OOH before the end of 2021, and the Central Force data allows us to precisely state weekly or even daily impressions.”

media on the go ooh exact counts for traffic exposed to the billboard panel
Exact counts for traffic exposed to the billboard panel

Ron added that this system does not suit all OOH formats or all media owners. The fieldwork is affordable for smaller operators and the costs worthwhile for large format billboards, Digital OOH screens and other high value sites. The research is unlikely to make sense to operators with 500 or 5,000 sites or for some of the small formats.

In the absence of any other reliable solution, MOTG hopes most operators will adopt this audience impressions system for their roadside 60’ x 40’ billboards and any roadside LED screens, where the media sellers should give buyers the confidence to invest in those displays.

* ESOMAR is the publisher of the Global Guidelines on Out-Of-Home Measurement – a collaboration with key industry associations – to provide consistent and realistic measurement of audiences for OOH media and promote best practice. Source:


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