EatAds: Revolutionizing the OOH Media Business

EatAds SSDriving around the roads of Indian cities, you must have seen OOH media spots available for sale – most of them listing a number to call. If you ever had the unfortunate task of buying OOH Media space for your company, you’d know how painful the process usually gets! Ever wondered why the industry is still stuck in the 90s?

EatAds is the newest kid on the OOH (Outdoor & Out-of-Home) media block – and they are here to revolutionize how companies buy OOH media. EatAds.com is an online marketplace for buying and selling OOH advertising space.

They create an efficient process for companies to discover, plan, research, buy and sell Outdoor, OOH and other media types. Each listing by a media owner is supported by factual details about that advertising space, including price, images, location and supporting audience information. They have already secured over 8000 listing in India alone, including those from Bright Outdoor, Graphisads, Roshan and Midas.

YourStory spoke to Nigel Hembrow , the passionate founder of EatAds, to find out more about how they are planning to dominate the OOH market!

Nigel_ Profile PhotoYS: What was the inspiration for EatAds?

NH: Some of our friends, who are very experienced in digital media buying, tried to buy OOH media in South East Asia and were shocked by the slow and frustrating experience. It took more than two weeks, whereas their digital buys were taking minutes!

We then started to dig deeper and spent a lot of time with industry leaders to understand why. We met so many frustrated people who had accepted the status quo but wished it to be different. We identified a number of different ways to monetize solutions, validated them and knew then that this was a big problem worth solving and building a technology business around.

YS: How is EatAds different from traditional OOH media businesses in the markets you are working in?

NH: Traditionally, the industry (like many others) has buyers and sellers, with a mix of agencies. The problem was there was no platform for them to organize their industry around. We are that platform, and we allow buyers and sellers to get all the efficiency benefits that a platform brings.

Along with our partners, we’re helping the OOH industry to compete very strongly with TV, radio, print and other broadcast media and be compatible with mobile and other digital media.

Dhruv_ Profile PhotoYS: You seem to be working in a lot of markets — in Asia and outside. How big is your team and how do you manage it? 

NH: My co-founder, Dhruv Sahgal  and I have a small core team of seven people with bases in Singapore (Block 71), Delhi (91Springboard) and Mumbai (in Andheri East) which gives us great flexibility and reach. We are heavy users of Asana, GitHub, Viber and HipChat and are testing Slack now. We have already made a couple of key hires in 2014, particularly in India.

YS: How long have you been around and what has the success been like so far?

NH: We chose India as our validation market for the marketplace concept, where there are approximately 500 serious vendors. We were able to secure 20% listing in four months with very minimal efforts. We also learnt that workflow solutions were a huge opportunity.

This strong validation, plus interest from partners in a number of very significant markets were enough for us to invest and build. We’re very excited for 2014.

YS: Your website says that EatAds is free for both buyers and sellers. So, how do you make money? 

NH: We are a subscription-based model that adds a great deal of value for vendors. It is not too dissimilar to Alibaba’s B2B offerings.

YS: What is the big audacious goal for EatAds? 

NH: To be the largest, most intelligent trading platform & database of OOH media inventory in the world.

Website: EatAds

Satya Kothimangalam

Satya Kothimangalam

Satya is a start-up, innovation and social enterprise enthusiast based out of Singapore. She writes about startups in South East Asia for YourStory. She is a vegetarian foodie (they exist!), avid traveller, tennis lover and Federer's biggest fan. Email her at satya.kothimangalam@gmail.com.