Brent Thomson is a self-defined serial entrepreneur. He cut his teeth on the early days of the internet, learning to build and automate inefficient processes that people were doing, but that computers could do better.
Along the way, he got introduced to the biggest computer screens he'd ever work on - digital billboards. The story to building Blip Billboards is a logical one when you hear it told from start to finish, but the oddities along the way have scared off many a lesser contender.
Find out how Blip Billboards are making digital billboards accessible to small businesses, and just about anyone who wants one, and how that's adding real bottom-line dollars for media owners around the country.
It's like a billboard love story, really.
#blipbillboards #dooh #oohadvertising
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Welcome everybody to the out-of-home insider show, a podcast like no other hosted by the one and only Tim Rowe.
You ready to have some knowledge dropped on. You went to be entertained because nothing is more valuable than food for your brain. So sit back, relax. We're about to dive in as the best industry podcast is the bathroom.
Oh, and we're recording. Um, and you know, usually like a good place to start is kind of the origin story. Uh, how did you get into out of home? Well, it's a long story. We've gotten that. All right. Well, to, uh, to help you understand how it got into out of home, it probably helps to understand like where I come from.
Yeah. I, uh, so I started out studying electrical engineer. Um, I switched to computer science. My, my first senior year, there were a few more senior years after that. Um, but you know, it was, it was 1999 and I, I could code and people wanted code. And so they, I started working on projects. Uh, this was probably my sophomore year in college.
Okay. And, uh, before I knew it, I just sort of fallen backwards into entrepreneurship by I could code people, ask for it. So I started charging money and suddenly I had this little agency that was. And a couple years later, I graduated and, uh, started doing that agency. Full-time, uh, learned a lot of really good things, uh, running our agency.
A couple of the things that stand out are that, uh, you can make good money, you know, being a software developer and working for yourself. The, uh, the flip side of that though, is that you never get off the treadmill running an agency. You you're always having to find that next job. Exactly. It's it's an hourly rate job.
And I could see the projects that I was working on for people. And those people were taking those applications that I built and started making money in their suite from them. And they paid me a handsome, hourly rate, but that was it. As soon as I stopped typing, I stopped getting paid. You didn't get any more money.
Right. And so I quickly realized that I wanted to like build my own product. Right. I could code. And the piece that was missing was owning the thing that I coded. And so I started looking for projects that I could work on an own. And, uh, the first one that came along was actually with one of our software partners, one of our customers, um, they were a river rafting outfitter, and when they first came to us, they were, um, they were still doing stuff on paper.
Like you remember those, those big paper, uh, KA desk calendars. Oh yeah. It's it's, it's like three feet wide. And has the, the weeks across it in the days down, the secretary comes around once a year, NASA, do you want one of these? And everyone says yes. And then like a weekly, like, why is this thing on my desk?
It's dinner. So they were still like booking trips out and scheduling them on these big paper calendar. Wow. And this was horrible. This would have been late nineties, early two thousands. Okay. So recent enough that there were better ways to do it. There, there certainly were. Yeah. And, uh, and so they came to us and by the way, they were also doing the same thing with the boats.
So they had these big printouts that somebody had like drawn the outline of a boat and they would write the names where the bus. Awesome. Yeah. And so they came to us and we, we started out by just making that like a brochure website for them. And then we integrated it into a backend booking system that we had built.
So now they could look online and on the phone and in person at the grand canyon or Moab or wherever they happen to be. And, uh, and so we had built this system. It's lo and behold turns out they were like the second biggest river acting outfitter in the country and they were state-of-the-art on paper.
Wow. And, and so, you know, we, we realized together that there was an opportunity here to go package this thing up and sell it to all the other Outfitters in the country. And so we started doing that a couple years later, they bought us out by then. Most of our developers were on that project. And so effectively bought inside of both companies.
Running that company I had, you know, grown to maybe 15 developers bring the agency. Okay. And we still just have two crappy phone lines from the local. So 15, 15, 15 employees serving all these customers with two phones, nobody could ever get ahold of us. It was, it was really frustrating for folks that are listening.
This was the world before cell phones. Yeah. Yeah. So back in the day there was, there was an actual pair of copper wires that went from the phone. To your office, imagine two tin cans and a string. Yeah. Yeah. And so for every phone line that you wanted to have at your office, there was an actual set of wires that I had to come.
And, uh, this was also, you know, early two thousands and voiceover IP was starting to take off. So I went and I went and priced a system. So I get a real like PBX office system with enough handsets for everybody and be able to like put people on hold and transfer calls and really basic stuff. Right. And I was pricing it out.
And for 15 handsets and the back closet system is going to be like 30 grand a month or a year total. You have to like buy the system just for the hardware. Oh yeah. This was just the hardware. And then you still had to go to the phone company and get phone lines to plug into the thing. And, uh, and so.
Anyway, I wasn't gonna pay 30 grand for no, I was, I was super cheap. And so I went and downloaded some open source telepany software package called asterisk. We installed it on a retired workstation and spent like two grand on the actual phones. And then we were done, like we had built this voice over IP system.
And then when, uh, when we sold that company, I still had this system that I built, kept a couple of the guys that had worked for me. And we started selling phone system. And one thing led to another, we kind of invented the hosted telephony space, the hosted PBX space we'll call it. And, uh, it would've been like 2006 and, uh, around that for a few years, kind of retired from that private equity came in, mostly took me out and, uh, I left to go play video games.
Got married started having kids traveled a little bit, all of that. And then, so anyway, that's all context about me that helps you understand like the next story. So I told you that story so I can tell you this. Yeah. I'm already seeing a lot of parallels with the out-of-home space, so I can't wait to hear the hero's journey to.
Yeah. So one of the other things that I learned running that software agency in the very beginning was I, I got really, really good at mapping business processes onto software. That was all we did all day long. We would generally take something that some business was doing, and we would shift that capacity for doing that thing from a human onto a.
Right. So they could, they could cut costs, eliminate errors, all of that stuff. Right. So I got really good at that process of taking a human process and turning it into a computerized process. And, uh, so, so fast forward after, you know, the, the teleco exit and all of that, um, I was down in Southern Utah mountain biking.
Like a lot of people do in Southern Utah. And, uh, a friend of mine was on his way back from a conference in Vegas. And so he stopped off of this middle town St. George it's right across the border from Arizona. And, uh, we were grabbing a drink there and he was still wearing his lanyard from the, from the conference.
So we were teasing him about like still being on the clock and all that. And, uh, he, uh, he said, I don't know, but I, I noticed on the lanyard that it said yes, co and I didn't know what yes co was, but I knew that he wasn't yes, cozy. He was sort of like me sort of a. A repeat offender, a serial entrepreneur.
And I knew he had his own agency. He was doing digital marketing at the time. And so I asked him, what's this, this yes. Cause that's not you. And so, no, that's that's my client. I was at this conference on behalf of my client. Um, yes, co is the young electric sign company. That's what yes. Co stands for. And if you, uh, if you've been to Vegas, you've seen like all the neon on the strip, like that's yes, go.
So yes, go. I don't know if they still are, but at the time they were the biggest custom sign and lighting manufacturer in the world. And so if you think of the iconic Las Vegas signs, like the welcome to Vegas or the waving cowboy, like yes, go built all those. Wow. So, and so my friends explaining this to me and he said, by the way, they, they also, uh, like as you were driving down here from Northern Utah, you probably drove past a few hundred of their billboards.
They also run a billboard plan. Um, and of course we'd seen them all the way down there. And, um, me being the computer guy, I had started noticing that the, the digital screens that it started replacing the static ones, the printed vinyl ones. And, uh, I, I made a really logical assumption that turned out to be exactly true.
And that assumption was that these are just computers. On a stick next to the freeway. That's all it is. It's a computer with a 50 foot screen. Well, I assumed it was a 50 foot screen. It turns out the 48, but I was pretty dang close. Yeah. And, uh, and so he's, he's like, yeah, that's exactly what it is. In fact, those things are on windows primarily.
And at this point I'm just sort of like me, the computer guys, like security problems, you know, as soon as he says windows, um, that's a different story, but, uh, Uh, so based on that assumption though, I made a second assumption, which was, oh, well, you know, the human race has figured out how to sell computerized advertising space.
It's sort of an auction. It looks like Google or Facebook. You have a bunch of advertisers that show up. They want access to the audience and they configure their campaigns with whatever parameters, you know, Money they're willing to spend and what time of day and what days of the week or what their customer profile is, all that stuff.
And then the algorithms determine what content plays, where, and at this point, my, my, my buddies just like, Jacqueline's like none of them sort of figuratively pats me on the head says, no, no, no, that's cute. But if you want to, if you want to show up on one of those digital screens, you're gonna have to commit to six months.
You're going to fax a contract over there, going, we're going to run a credit check and it's probably going to run you. 20 to 40 grand before you can show up on one of these digital screen, this is where that typical, stereotypical entrepreneur moment where like your mind is blown, all that stuff was sort of happening.
All right. Then I just, it made no sense to me. And it seems so obvious that you have this fundamentally identical medium to online advertising in terms of, not in terms of how it works, but in terms of the mechanics, right, right. It's a computer and you're selling. Fractions of time on the computer screen.
Like we have been doing this for 20 years. Like somebody could have watched Google for 18 of those years and started doing this two years, like this should have been done by now. And so I I'm just sitting there, like, it seems so obvious to me that I assumed there was some reason, some regulatory reason or some, like, there was some reason that it couldn't be done.
And so I let it go and. And when circa, when was that? So that was probably like February of 2015. Okay. Okay. So it was close. It was close to being time. Just, it was, it was, yeah, it was, it was getting really close. So I didn't do anything at the time, except that I kept noticing, I kept seeing these screens everywhere and I called a couple of a billboard companies and they, they wouldn't sell me, you know, a week on a sign, let alone a day or an hour or a minute on a sign, which was, you know, the computer shouldn't care.
And, uh, and nobody would do it. I couldn't find anybody like doing this sort of marketplace style and a billboard, a sales approach, and a it's maybe six months later. So probably by September. So I still hadn't found anything. I call it my buddy, by the way, is my co-founder. Now I call him up and I said, Hey, I can't see why this shouldn't be done already.
And nobody's doing it. Um, you know, the folks that yes, co like let's set up a meeting, let's tell them what we think should happen and the bell tell us why it can't be done. And, uh, and so. He sets up and he calls up pat, who's the president of the ESCO outdoor. And, uh, we show up at Pat's office. And pat is exactly who you think pat should be like he's I don't know, mid sixties, like super nice guy.
Well, put together has been slinging billboards for like 40 years. Like I think he actually is, might be apocryphal, but I think he started out painting billboards as a kid because his dad was so cool. And so, you know, he was a salesman and then he was a sales manager and then he was a sales director and then the VP, and now he's the president of the company.
Like that is like the class. Career trajectory and out-of-home, and. So, so we're sitting there, these relatively young guys explaining to pat who's the old dog. Like he understands how the billboard industry works. He sits on all of the industry, trade group boards and things like he is the man in the industry and we're sitting here telling him how we think billboards are the soul.
Yeah, no, no, no, no, that's fine. That's a good idea and all, but we've got a way. Cool. Yeah. Yeah. And so we're sitting there explaining how Facebook works and how Google works. Like from the advertising side, he knows how Facebook, the platform, social media platform works, but we're explaining how the, the advertising side works and all of that.
And, uh, luckily, you know, James, my co-founder, he had been doing all of the like SEO and PPC, the digital marketing for yes cone. So he had built some rapport and had a reputation there as a, as an authority. And, uh, and so pat, you know, to his credit, like three minutes in. You just pounds, his fist on the table, since that's the future, let's go do it.
We're just sitting there, like you're supposed to tell us why this can't be done. Yeah. Yeah. What's this supposed to be three minutes. This should take much longer. Sit back down. And so, you know, at that point we had our first customer and we went home and started writing code. Wow. And a couple of the really important things that pat taught us in that first conversation were that, um, there, there, there was this thing called.
They can see rates on these billboards or occupancy the universe. Right. And we just assumed that, you know, again, coming from the computerized background, like all of the space on that sign should be sold just to, you know, lower prices. If there's more space at higher prices, if there's less space and he's like, no, no, no, because of the way that we sell.
It's it's fixed price and we're never sold out like that. That's one of the two lies that every out of home vendor will tell you is that they're sold out, but nobody has ever sold out. Um, they're always vacancies. And so if you can go get me a dollar for those vacancies, that's a dollar more than I had before.
And we're like, great. We'll go do it. Awesome. So that was like, like I said, fall of 2015. Um, so we went and started writing code and on June 6th of 16, We launched on all of the ESCOs digital inventory. So there are four states where you tied a whole Nevada and Oregon. And, uh, we launched on all of their digital inventory.
We only did the ESCO for the first year. We had to figure out how to sell, actually sell the space. We had to figure out how to propagate the content to the remote displays and get proof of performance back, like proof that the image had shown back from the sign and then build a customers and figure all that stuff out.
So for the first year we kept it really small, just focused on the ESCO. Um, but doing that, uh, we, at the end of that first year, we, we did a study with Tesco and we found that we had added 1100. To their digital top-line revenue, credible with zero cost basis for them zero. Right? Like that's a, that's a, that's a top 1% salesperson that comes with a book of business.
Yeah. Well, and, and so I don't have any visibility into what their, their books look like, like what their net margins are, but the industry averages in, out of home for, you know, for net margins are low teens. Right. And so in the first year from a cold start zero, we probably came very close to doubling their profitability.
From from zero it's significant. And where did, did where the business come from then? Is it any different than it is now? And if not, how did, how did you figure the sweet spot for who a blip client? Yeah. So the, the other thing that we sort of, there was some math that we had to do, which was, you know, the, the sales approach for digital and vinyl signs was identical.
So they was the same contract, same personnel, everything. And we had an idea that that would. You know, the, the minimum contract size above a certain threshold, just because you have a sales person involved and you have creative people involved in order to pay all those people, you have to be making enough.
And, and so we had assumed it, but we actually underestimated how few businesses had ever actually been on billboards. So we, we did some more original research and fact. Only 2% of businesses had ever been on a billboard 2%. Oh percent. Right. And pre COVID. We had 30 million small businesses and only 30 million small businesses, 2%.
And of course it was the 2% with the largest budgets. Right. Most established, sophisticated advertisers have the largest budgets and they were the ones who were present on the medium. So, you know, historically it was Ford corporate or the local Ford franchise owner. Right. But it wasn't. It wasn't Lenny's used cars and it certainly wasn't Joe, the plumber.
Yeah. Right. And so the vast, vast majority of businesses had never been able to justify the expense of being on a billboard because of the upfront cost because of the sales methodology. And so we just sort of stumbled into the, the sweet spot for us, which was the 98% who had never been on a billboard because they couldn't justify the way that it was being packaged, spending that kind of money.
So we went. And, and, and like, what was some of that early feedback? Right. It's interesting. Right. So having sold in a local market, I'll be at, not for a career or anything like that, but I knew what my minimum was to make it worth my day to talk to you. Um, and I was never going to talk to Joe's pizza. What was that?
Right. I'll try. You were, you were, you were a salesman for billboards, right? You were an account executive, right? You, you understand intimately that it takes you the same amount of time to sell a $200 contract is a $200,000 contract. And, you know, you can make enough in commission off the $200,000 contracts to put groceries on the table.
You can't physically string together enough, $200 deals to actually make a living. And so you have no choice, but to, to ignore that segment of, okay. And for our part, I mean, we took that capacity and moved it onto the. So people could come and self-serve, and we had no difference in cost. Like we, we have no effectively, no cost basis beyond just the marketing to find the people.
Sure. But for actually executing the deals, there was zero cost. It was just computers doing their thing. And so it didn't make any difference to us, you know, profitability-wise whether it was a hundred, $1 contracts or one, $100. And, and something that Chad and I, and for folks that don't know, Chad, Chad Smith is a, is a rock star and the blip team, uh, we were talking about something that I think might be a misconception and it's that right?
Like you help grow accounts to like some advertisers might start out only spending a hundred bucks a month, but they can grow into real sizable accounts for a lot of companies. Right. That's exactly right. And if you, if you are the type of company. Advertising in a fairly isolated region and you have the type of budget where you can afford a traditional billboard contract.
Honestly, you're probably better served getting a traditional contract. It's going to be cheaper right now. Part of the value that we bring is that we fractionalize, that, that space on the sign, you can buy any unit. You want any unit of space that you want. For as long as you want. And you know, you, it does wind up costing you more.
It's it's, it's like if you buy toilet paper at seven 11, you know, the price per roll is higher than if you buy it at Costco, but the total bill is lower. Right? If that makes sense. Yeah. You don't buy four rolls instead of 40 rolls. And what is it that small business owners love about? Yeah, the flexibility is one of the things they always point to, you know, they can, they can try it on when they want, they can turn it off when they want.
One of the issues that we have though, is, is with helping those, those advertisers understand that, turning it off and on a bunch isn't going to help their, their campaign. It's not going to help their business, what they should do instead. Instead of spending one week and turning it off the next week.
It's just been half as much across both weeks. Right? Slow and steady. Like I'm preaching to the choir here. I'm sure. You probably explained this to hundreds of clients over the years. Like. Frequency and reach. You want to, you know, target, target the audience that you're going after, and then just pound it, be there day in and day out, forever being there.
And, uh, you know, our, our advertisers, they don't have to commit to even one eighth of the space on a traditional digital billboard. They can wind up with one thousands of the space and just run it over months and still start to see similar. Just yeah. Any at a scale that makes sense for them. And that's huge, right?
The education piece of just like, Hey, you can, you can buy a really inexpensive relative to your budget and on the terms that you need as a small business owner, the flexibility, the ability to turn it on and off. How about, how about like, right. Cause this is an industry hot button issue, but like around measurement, I got to imagine small businesses with small budgets.
They're like, all right, how do I measure this? And blip does a really good job of visualizing here's how many plays you got? Here's how many impressions. Yeah. Yeah, we'll just maybe just talk about the measurement thing for a second, I guess. I think you do an excellent job of visualizing it, but can we do oh, we do.
Okay. You're very, you're very kind, but we do. Okay. That's excellent. Excellent. Relative, like, I've been a fan of right. For, for like a year, because I was able to lock it and just do the point. Measurement is one of the things that the industry does very badly. Um, they're, they're pushing hard now to, to try to improve the quality of measurement.
The meaning behind the measurement. Yeah. Um, but it's something that hasn't historically been the responsibility of the industry. It's, it's typically been performed measurement and attribution has been performed by the CMOs office of the advertising company, not the out-of-home company. And most of the companies that could afford billboards had a COO with a staff and sophistication and machines, and they could do all of that.
They could plan and measure an optimize. And now as we've introduced a whole new generation of billboard advertisers, these advertisers don't have a CFO or a CMOs office. They don't have those sophisticated tools. In fact, they've been, if they've been advertising at all, it's only been online and online advertising has been very effective at conditioning, those advertisers to expect what I'll call shallow attribution.
It's like, did that person click your site or not? Right. You gave, you get Google a dollar. And how many leads did you get for it? Right? It's it's it's funny. It's not even same day. It's not even same day ROI calculations. It's like same hour are like, it's like, literally you put your dollar into the vending machine and you know, within a couple of minutes, exactly, you got to click out of it.
Right? And so that is one area where we, we and the industry at large had a lot of work still to do is in helping educate these advertisers. That billboards don't work like online advertising online advertising is clickable, inherently or tappable if you're on a mobile device, I suppose, but. Like who can, who can click on a billboard?
You can't, who can even dial the phone number on a billboard when you're driving past at 80 miles an hour, you can't, that's not how billboards work billboards are a broadcast media. It's not a, a direct response to. Yeah. The one narrow exception is exit map. Like that's the only direct response billboard that ever works.
It's just like, McDonald's this exit. So I'll tell you if I a story. So, uh, because I like in my heart, I've got a lot Dan Kennedy for any of the direct response folks. I got a lot Dan Kennedy laying around this place. Um, but I wanted to see, could I generate leads from billboards? So I bought a URL, Winfrey, cigars.com and the creative.
I got to say, I thought I was. Pretty good. It was like a gorilla smoke, a cigar with some smoke. It looked cool. And, and I ran it on blip at the time at the time. And this is since been corrected, but at the time he could run for a dollar a day and all the way back in 2020. And, uh, I ran, I don't know. I think I've, I threw like 20 bucks that just to see, like, will someone go to this website and take an action and sure enough at around $4 and 17 cents spent, uh, generated a lead.
And like that, like, that's interesting. Right? So I totally agree. It's a broadcast medium, but blip made it, made it accessible and easy to like as a marketer, let me just go test something. And people are to our credit and to our credit we've, we've made the mechanics familiar enough that you could figure it out.
Like if you've done an online advertising, the mechanics are similar, there's still some theory and some logic that, that you need to pick up, like how to use billboards. But at least you don't have to figure out how to get your stuff onto a billboard or racks. If you've, if you've done ad words or Facebook, it feels very familiar.
Very, very. And, uh, so here's, here's the, here's the million dollar question. How'd you come up with? Uh, the, the blip idea. Um, so we had a part-time employee at the time and, uh, and he said, look like billboard flip lip. Good enough. Let's go. So the rest of the rest of the story is kind of funny. Yeah. The rest of the story is kind of funny.
So we had this idea, we had the software mostly built and we had a lunch date picked and we still haven't come up with the name of their company. And, uh, and we had to like incorporate and get business licenses and all of this stuff. And so we had to come up with. And so we, we just like, I just, I just came up with a name and it was the silliest thing I could come up with.
We, uh, we decided to call it acne intergalactic. That's awesome. So it's generic yet? Hyperbolic. It's very ironic. Yeah. And so, uh, so the, the name of the company is technically acne intergalactic. That's that's awesome. And we, we started out just deviating. You're doing business as lip, and then we actually did create a separate LLC with operations, which the marketplace resides with.
That's very cool blip technically, but on the first day it was acne intergalactic. It's so strong. At some point we got to do like a swag release. So limited edition Acme, galactic, galactic swag release. Yeah. It's much punchier than blip. Isn't there. I dig it blip for short. What's the number one misconception about you guys?
Like I could place my guests, but, um, I'm more curious to hear from you. What's what do people get wrong about? We have two different customers keep in mind too. So we have advertisers and we have sign owners, know both our customers. So I would say that the common misconceptions are different for those two categories on the, on the sign.
On our side, on the vendor side, the most common misconception is probably that we are somehow competitive with their traditional sales efforts. Like I said, our advertising. They have never been on billboards. We're not taking deals away from the salespeople. We're, we're bringing new people and new money to the media.
Um, we, we did some more research and found that 94% of our, of our advertisers had never been on a. Wow. Okay. Like, that's a good, because right. So having been in those sales meetings where it's like, Hey, there's this new thing called a Dominee and there's this new thing called Vistar and there's there's anything threatening.
Doesn't it like anybody else selling my inventory that feels like a threat. And I'm sitting there like, this is awesome market efficiency. Yes, let's go. But every 25 year media rip rap with a, you know, a million dollar book of business. No, no, I don't want them selling my inventory. Yeah. Like there's a lot of there's friction, there's friction.
So that's probably the biggest misconception and it's a, it's a complete miss to it. It's competitively unfound money. This is all found is it's completely novel income. Um, what we've actually found is that our media owner partners, when they, when they roll out blip, they do make significantly more money than they did before.
And generally what they do is use it to build more in. Or to convert from statics to digitals. And so what we find is that when we show up, we're not taking jobs away from salespeople, they have to go hire more salespeople. Wow. So biggest misconception on the, on the, on the inventory side is that they were somehow taking money away from the salespeople and the opposite is true.
Yeah. Um, On the advertiser side, I would say the biggest misconception is what I described already. That they expect it to act just like online advertising. Like I'm gonna put my dollar into blip and tomorrow somebody better call the phone number. I put on the billboard and mention the billboard that they saw.
Right. Right. And so they, the advertisers expect there to be a very simplistic one dimensional attribution. For billboards and they don't work that way. Billboards are about statistics and probabilities and averages across large populations over long periods of time. Like there is no one-to-one mapping.
Like you get conveniently from Google or Facebook where they can show you, you put your dollar in this person solving. They clicked on it. They got to your cart and they exited, they transacted. And that does not exist for a billboard nor should it. That shouldn't be what we go for. We should be doing it at scale over long periods of time and measuring the impact on the broader population.
Not on the individual. We shouldn't be targeting. 'cause every, every ad that we show isn't seen by one person, like an online ad it's broadcast, it's seen by hundreds or thousands of people, every ad that we show and you can know broadly like demographically, what the profile of in aggregate the. They're seeing that ad without actually querying their devices or getting creepy about their privacy or like, you don't have to know who they are or who the person is or what they like, you can know broadly and statistically accurately across the population.
This swath of people that you know is driving past, you know, that sign on the freeway at 8:00 AM on their way to work. What are you most excited about in 21? Um, I'm excited to see where the new, the new normal settles in, you know, COVID was, was gut-wrenching for the entire industry. Like the out-of-home industry went from like full throttle to full stop in like a week.
And like, like hitting full throttle on, on a runway. Like we had, we had plenty of room to just leave this thing wide open and keep it running. And then suddenly like that runway was a cliff after all. Yeah. And, and so, you know, it was, it was a really up and down year for the entire industry and we were no differently.
I think we followed a similar trajectory where at the end of March, beginning of April, you know, our revenue tanked, like it was, it was really hard to watch and then it leveled off at the, at the new lower levels. And then it's been coming back very well. Like it's been, it's been growing strongly since about may.
And so I'm excited to see as, as advertisers and the public broadly gets accustomed to whatever the new normal is, whether it's, you know, with a vaccine and COVID is a thing of the past or that we just take measures and have to deal with non-black. I don't know where that's going to go, but I think this year will be the year that we go one way or the other.
We either kill the thing or we just accept that it's here and. And we'll figure out how we coexist and things like that'll be the new normal we'll either get back to the older or into the new, so that's, that's what I'm excited for is just. To know something again, rather than to sit here wondering what it is at the w w in what ways the world going to melt down next week.
I think that that's a, that's a great place to edit on is pondering on what, uh, what this will all look like in, in a few months, as it starts to get warmer. And, uh, and life starts to return to, uh, to, to everything outside. And people are getting ready to just get out of their homes. Right. We've been. Pent up for a year at that point.
Uh, I think it's gonna be a really, really unique opportunity for out of home and looking forward to it as well. Yeah. Where do people go to find more out about blip what's blip working on? Where should folks follow you? Are you active on social? I personally, I'm not. Oh, good. I can back it back to my, to my credit.
I was one of the first people on Facebook and one of the first people off, um, you, you, you, you were on Facebook for longer than people have been alive. Well, and I've been off of Facebook longer than the average Facebook user has been on. How about that? So there you go. All right. So to learn about blip, we're going to flip boards, flip billboards.