Can you provide an overview of JCDecaux, and how it has evolved since its inception?
JCDecaux is the worldwide leader for outdoor advertising and the preferred partner of municipal authorities. We contribute to the development of cities worldwide by providing state-of-the-art street furniture and services to the public. JCDecaux partners with over 4,000 cities globally, including Paris, where the company is headquartered. Our product offerings have evolved through time to ensure relevancy to an ever-more connected and mobile audience. Today, we accompany cities with smart street furniture that offer contextualized content based on real-time information for greater engagement, charging stations, or Wi-Fi hotspots to remain connected at all times, or sustainable mobility systems with self-service bicycle schemes. In addition, JCDecaux also contributes to a city's beautification with a strong commitment to aesthetics. We partner with more than 50 international designers and architects, such as Stark, Villemotte, and Zaha Hadid, to create iconic structures. More than an advertising operator, we consider ourselves a long-term partner of cities, contributing to create vibrant urban experiences.
How does JCDecaux approach the Abu Dhabi market, and what is your relationship with the Emirate?
Many nations in this region are developing a long-term diversification strategy, leveraging on transportation, connectivity, and innovation, making the region and Abu Dhabi more specifically, a territory of opportunities for JCDecaux. We have been committed to Abu Dhabi since 2013, when we were awarded the exclusive advertising concession at Abu Dhabi International Airport. In May 2019, our successful partnership with the airport authority was further acknowledged as the company was awarded a similar 10-year concession at the Midfield Terminal, a truly iconic infrastructure where we will be deploying a state-of-the-art digital offering. We are also having interesting discussions with municipal authorities and believe that the government's strategy to promote PPPs is a strong signal that highlights the role and contribution of the private sector to the long-term development of the country. In October 2018, we signed an MoU with the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities of Abu Dhabi and hold regular discussions with the newly created Abu Dhabi Investment Office to share best practices to encourage investment in the outdoor media platform and the street furniture platform locally.
How does JCDecaux differentiate itself?
Through regular contact with authorities worldwide, we have built best practices and defined a strong vision of how we can contribute to renewed urban experiences. This is through our ambitious out-of-home and digital out-of-home advertising programs that are based on long-term collaborative partnerships and aim to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment. These are essential in leading the transformation of our business into the digital era.
What market trends will have the biggest impact on your industry?
In our industry today, digital disruption is having a major impact. There is a major opportunity in this transformation for outdoor media to combine the reach of one of the only remaining mass media channels available in the public space with precise targeting capabilities. By allowing digitalization to engage specific audience profiles we would bring significant growth perspectives. Over the next few years, being able to contextualize content on real-time basis will be a major differentiating point, and this has already proven to be positive in terms of driving the growth of our media. It will be essential to invest massively in the right tools, both hardware and software, and define an ambitious data strategy to qualify audiences and make communication more agile and targeted.