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Latest QMS Media News
Mar 12, 2023
Share Private equity-owned media company QMS says it is reaping the benefits of television fatigue and a booming outdoor advertising market with its City of Sydney screens contract, despite pedestrian complaints and an ongoing City of Sydney review. The Sydney contract is said to be generating $4 million to $5 million a month for the firm, which was inundated with demand for WorldPride. QMS chief executive John O’Neill predicts the out-of-home industry could grow to $1.3 billion in the next few years, having emerged from COVID-19 and lockdown lows of $655 million to top $1 billion in 2022. Pedestrians walk past a billboard outside the Colombian Hotel on Crown Street, Darlinghurst, in Sydney. “This city is just so alive,” he said. “There is so much goodwill, and from an advertising perspective, so much excitement around what WorldPride has brought to Sydney. “We only see upside, to be honest. The last thing people want to do is be sitting inside watching the TV.” Advertisement The network includes 500 digital and 140 non-digital screens sold in 30 packs tailored to segments such as luxury retail, consumer goods and moviegoers. It covers 26 kilometres and reaches 2.6 million people a week, two-thirds of whom come from outside the City of Sydney area. The contract is worth $450 million to the council over its 10-year period. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing. Lockdowns and rain delayed construction by months. Despite being approved by the council’s design panel, one Sydney city councillor described the project as having “major flaws ... which have been noted in the media, on social media and by constituent correspondence”. QMS Media boss John O’Neill. The City of Sydney says its external review will report back in early May. “There’s always going to be occasions where things need to be moved a metre or two metres,” Mr O’Neill said. “We’re just going to continue to work closely with the city, as we do. We don’t see any major issues.” Advertisement In late 2019, months before the global pandemic, QMS was bought by private equity firm Quadrant . Since then, it has grown its market share from 9 per cent to 15 per cent. Rumours of a sale have swirled ever since. “[Quadrant] generally hang around in businesses for, you know, two or three years and then move on to other opportunities,” Mr O’Neill said. “It’s almost like we’ve been a skinny teenager, and now we’re at the stage where we’re sort of growing up into fine young people. You know, they’re 100 per cent behind us. They want to see where the City of Sydney can go.” Milestone Quadrant managing partner Jonathon Pearce said the firm was “very happy” with its investment in QMS. “Certainly COVID was not anticipated, but the quality of the management team and business is second to none and we have recovered very strongly,” he said. “The roll-out of the City of Sydney contract has been an important milestone and the business continues to go from strength to strength.” Advertisement Most of the City of Sydney screens are digital, which is a growing frontier for outdoor companies. Clients can tailor their ads to the weather or target specific messages for the morning or afternoon. When QMS shows the sites to prospective clients, Mr O’Neill says he ends the tour with the client’s photo on a screen. But digital billboards aren’t for everyone. Famously, Apple refuses to put its ads on them, instead preferring 100 per cent time-share of a “static” billboard. Mr O’Neill thinks that may eventually change. “[Apple] does buy bits and pieces. They buy plenty of digital ads, I would imagine, through communicating through phones, and they’re in a very, very competitive environment,” he said. “As we continue to educate, hopefully they come around. And I think if not, their competitors probably will. And if that’s the case that may entice them to have a look as well.” A spokeswoman for the City of Sydney said community feedback prompted a review of some street furniture spots to evaluate any impact on pedestrians or public spaces. “Once the review is complete, we will work with QMS to respond to any recommendations,” she said. “While our contract with QMS provides significant value to the city – both in terms of well-maintained street furniture and income – we must ensure the balance is right.” Sam Buckingham-Jones is the media and marketing reporter at The Australian Financial Review. Connect with Sam on Twitter . Save
QMS Media Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was QMS Media founded?
QMS Media was founded in 2010.
Where is QMS Media's headquarters?
QMS Media's headquarters is located at 214 Park Street, South Melbourne.
What is QMS Media's latest funding round?
QMS Media's latest funding round is Take Private.
Who are the investors of QMS Media?
Investors of QMS Media include Quadrant Private Equity.
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