What Factors Affect the Costs of Digital Billboard Advertising in London?

Around 30 million people consume advertising within bus networks every week (One Day) and digital billboard advertising in London is no different from any other part of the country in that the factors that impact costs are pretty much universal. Here are some of the key considerations.

Length of Hire

Rent more, pay more – digital billboards are no different from anything you might hire. However, many companies will reward longer-term commitments, so it’s always worth shopping around.

Good discounts can bring digital billboard hire onto the same level cost-wise as traditional static hoardings.

Digital Billboard Size

Traditional and digital billboards are sold in pre-determined sizes with an opening measurement starting at three metres by six metres, which is described as a 48-sheet billboard even if it’s digital.

Usually, the bigger the billboard, the more it will cost.

Digital Billboard Features

Digital advertising doesn’t attract the same construction charges as a traditional billboard; the latter requires a paper, vinyl, or Correx poster, all of which incur different production costs.

However, digital billboards offer certain features that can bump up the price; for instance, the content can be interactive, and it can also be remotely controlled, so it can be altered to reflect real-time updating.

Digital billboards also offer programmatic advertising so brands can select the optimal time to advertise and capture the attention of their target demographic.


It’s easy to get hung up on location when it comes to your digital advertising campaign placement, and it’s true to say that location is undoubtedly one of the biggest influencers on cost.

However, just because a location is very high profile with a vast footfall doesn’t necessarily make it the right or best choice for every brand.

Depending on the target demographic, a local high street bus stop billboard in a London suburb or a billboard outside a leisure centre can be just as if not more effective than having your company’s name up in lights in Piccadilly Circus- and a lot cheaper, too.

The key to choosing the right location is understanding your target market and working with a digital billboard company that can provide established data on footfall and impressions for different areas.

Digital billboard companies that can drill down into the detail often base their pricing on these metrics. This can mean that digital billboards on the same street command different rates and, sometimes, even billboards on different elevations of the same building.

Whilst location is probably one of the most significant determinants of the success or failure of a digital billboard, it’s possible to choose an average or cheap location and still have an effective campaign. It just depends on the brand or product.

Why is London so Good for Digital Billboard Advertising?

London is a densely populated city with people from all walks of life, so there probably isn’t a business or company that won’t benefit from a digital billboard campaign somewhere in the capital city.

Depending on the precise location, businesses can target commuters, students, parents, and tourists with numbers that are difficult to better elsewhere in the UK.

For an established brand, a digital billboard can reinforce brand identity and market presence; for a new startup, just getting your name out there is the priority. London is a leader and a trendsetter, which is why many new companies want their name to be seen there.

Digital billboard advertising in London can be a standalone adjunct or a complementary element of a cohesive and well-thought-out marketing campaign, acting as a crossover between OOH (Out of Home) advertising and digital media.

Adding hashtags, social media handles, or QR codes is easy, making a link between outdoor advertising and an online presence.

Why are Digital Billboards so Good?

Digital billboards have plenty of advantages over traditional static billboards, and these include:-

  • They are entirely computer-operated- this supports the sometimes complex images and designs.
  • Digital billboards offer multi-media options, including text, images, and animation.
  • Easy adaptation – changes are simple and done with the click of a mouse and remotely, allowing real-time updates to reflect other events or even the weather.
  • Programmatic advertising – the advertisement can be programmed to appear in specific time slots.


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digital Billboard costs London

London's Top Billboard Advertising Locations

The top hitters on this list are well-known, and most will be no surprise to visitors, tourists, and workers in the capital.

  • Piccadilly Circus – known as the ‘Times Square ‘of London and the ‘Piccadilly Lights,’ some of the biggest brands advertise here. Previously, there were six digital screens, but these have been updated recently to provide one wraparound feature.
  • Oxford Street – one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, this location is popular with UK shoppers and tourists from further afield. It’s also well-placed to pick up visitors looking for Hyde Park and Marble Arch. The site is diverse, with a broad demographic.
  • Regent Street – Regent Street, viewed as a more high-end retail destination than Oxford Street, is located between Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.
  • London Bridge – London Bridge witnesses the footfall of thousands of commuters daily on foot and buses, but it’s also a landmark attraction for tourists. Because of the background of the River Thames, there is less competition for a digital billboard in this location compared to sites crowded with other buildings and advertisers.

What Other Cost Factors are there for a Digital Billboard in London?

Although London is a premier digital billboard advertising location, many cost factors surrounding billboard hire apply universally across the UK. Here are just a few.

  • Ask a digital billboard provider if they offer discounts for longer-term bookings – loyalty should be rewarded, and if it isn’t, then go elsewhere.
  • Avoid expensive times of year like Christmas and Mother’s Day/Father’s Day unless your brand really needs exposure at these times – rates are always higher.
  • Consider who will produce the advertisement – you don’t have to use in-house services, although hire and production are usually wrapped as one cost under the rental contract.

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  • Digital Billboard Experts
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Final Thoughts

There’s a perception that digital billboards cost a lot of money and that London is one of the most expensive billboard advertising locations. It can be, but there are many cheaper locations within the capital.

Businesses might also be surprised at how the price of a well-planned digital billboard campaign can compare favourably against other types of advertising costs.

Digital billboards appear to a captive market, so avoid the noise associated with online advertising. However, because of their responsiveness to real-time updating and interactivity, they can provide a bridge between the online and the offline world.

So-called out-of-home advertising (OOH) produces the highest levels of customer recall than virtually any other type of media. A contributory factor is the relative peace of the billboard setting compared to the saturation of advertising online and the absence of those pesky ad-blockers!

Digital billboards in London won’t cost as much as you think. There is an almost endless choice of different sites supported by effective data that avoid the enormous costs of some of London’s most famous locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular digital billboard location in London?

The best-known is the bright neon billboards of Piccadilly Circus, a location called the Piccadilly Lights, but London is very diverse, so what works for one brand at a particular site may not work for another. Depending on the target demographic, other (and cheaper) parts of London may work better for specific digital billboards.

What does the px measurement mean in digital billboard advertising?

Digital billboards are still measured in terms of sheets, like a traditional billboard with a paper or vinyl poster. However, the content is measured in pixels or px, so sometimes dimensions are described as px rather than sheet.

Why can’t digital billboards include video?

Digital billboards are not allowed to include video content as this is deemed dangerously distracting for drivers.

Are digital billboards better than traditional billboards?

Digital billboards offer all the appeal of a traditional static billboard partnered with the latest technological innovations. There’s a place for both; it depends on the brand or the product and the budget. DOOH – Digital Out of Home Advertising – offers movement, interaction, and potentially greater creativity than a static billboard design, and with strategic planning, it’s possible to bring costs down so they are more in line with conventional billboards. Some campaigns will use both digital and traditional signage.

How do ads work on digital billboards?

The ad must be created by the billboard company or a specialist design agency working in collaboration with the business. Once the artwork is ready and the advertisement goes live, the ad will rotate with other companies. There can be as many as eight different advertisers on one panel, with each ad displayed for around ten seconds on a carousel that operates 24/7.

How long does it take to get a digital billboard in place?

One of the advantages of digital billboard advertising is that the advertisement can be live within a few hours of receiving the final artwork. Compare this to a classic paper or vinyl billboard, which can take a couple of weeks to appear.

Mike Alexander
I’m Mike, a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in the dynamic realms of marketing and advertising. My journey has been fueled by a passion for staying at the forefront of outdoor advertising trends. I look forward to helping you to realised your advertising ambitions.
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