Bill Wilson Leaves @OutdoorMC

July 2nd, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Ahead of a rumoured, possible re-brand and new brooms sweeping clean and all that, we hear that former Operations Director Bill Wilson quietly left the Outdoor Media Centre a week or so ago.

Denmark Chooses @Inrix to Monitor Congestion

July 2nd, 2015

Maddie Cotterill

Denmark has become the first country in the world to rely on GPS probe data to monitor traffic and congestion on a national scale. By choosing INRIX, the leading global provider of transportation intelligence and connected car services, to provide real-time traffic information throughout the country, the Danish Road Directorate will be able to monitor traffic flow and gridlock across its entire national road network more effectively than ever before.

INRIX logoThe Danish Road Directorate, which has more than 10 years’ experience of using GPS data to monitor traffic, recognises that gathering real-time information from private and commercial vehicles is the most effective way to gain a comprehensive picture of traffic and congestion across Denmark.

Director of Traffic Management at Danish Road Directorate, Charlotte Vithen, said: “By using INRIX’s expertise in real-time data and through deploying this technology across our entire road network, we will be able to detect extraordinary traffic queues quicker, issue earlier warnings of congestion and improve the way we manage road incidents to achieve a smoother flow of traffic across Denmark.”

In addition to more traditional traffic monitoring methods, using real-time information from connected vehicles and devices is a cost effective solution that will provide the Danish Road Directorate with an immediate view of what is happening throughout its entire national road network, improving traffic flow across more than 4,000 kilometres (almost 2,500 miles) of road. As a result, drivers will be provided with more accurate, real-time information about the most congested routes.

Bryan Mistele, CEO, INRIX, said: “INRIX is excited by this partnership and committed to helping the Danish Road Directorate manage its national road network effectively, improve interurban mobility and provide high quality, timely information to individual travellers, cities and businesses across the country. We also see this as an opportunity to showcase best practice and how technology innovation can improve urban mobility in other countries and cities across Europe and the rest of the world.”

INRIX will work with global consulting firm COWI and German traffic company TraffGo to assist the Danish Road Directorate to deliver this highly-customised transportation data service.

How Digital Menu Boards Can Help Your Business

July 2nd, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

We’ve actually, recently been researching infographics as we seek to work out the best way to represent The Top 25 Digital Signage Software Vendors in that form, sometime later this year…


… and as if by magic we received this infographic on the benefits of digital menu boards from Allsee Technologies Limited which we quite liked (and that gave us some ideas of our own).

infographic ˌɪnfə(ʊ)ˈɡrafɪk/
plural noun: infographics
a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram.
“a good infographic is worth a thousand words”

Avaya’s Interactive Soccer Game On Clear Channel Outdoor Bay Area Bus Shelters

July 2nd, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital bus shelters in the San Francisco Bay area have been running a new interactive campaign called the Avaya Stadium Shootout Game.

OAKland Avaya Transit Shelter

Running through June until July 5, it’s an interactive soccer game featuring Avaya’s customer, the San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer team, and it engages transit users while raising awareness of Avaya as a business communications leader. The interactive game runs on large digital screens inside bus shelters and lets users shoot goals and score points in a digitally-rendered Avaya Stadium (home field to the San Jose Quakes). After playing the game, users can sign up for a chance to win VIP tickets to a San Jose Quakes MLS game at Avaya Stadium. As of last week, the interactive game has generated over 37,000 sessions by more than 21,000 unique users with the average time spent engaging in the game as 80 seconds.

“Our digital interactive transit shelters are life-size smart tablets that deliver brands the unique ability to engage with on-the-go consumers in creative and memorable ways,” says Jason King, vice-president corporate communications, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. “When partners like Avaya include digital out-of-home media as an integral part of their marketing strategy, they leverage our physical presence to capture the consumer’s attention while tapping into our digital capabilities to create truly impactful experiences that amplify their messages.”

This interactive OOH game is the newest element in Avaya’s overall brand effort, ‘Imagine’, launched earlier this year and created by Gyro Cincinnati.

RMG Networks’ Airline Media Network Sold 2 @GEE_Media

July 2nd, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

RMG Networks, Dallas, Texas, has finally completed the sale of its Airline Media Network business to Global Eagle Entertainment, Los Angeles (Nasdaq:ENT).

RMG announced that it was putting its airline network up for sale last March. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In addition, through a separate acquisition, GEE has expanded both its digital media development expertise and its strong presence for apps and games to the inflight entertainment market with the acquisition of Mumbai, India based World Outdoor Interactive.

“The strategic divestiture of our Airline Media Network business will allow us to allocate additional focus to accelerate growth in our core Enterprise business,” says Robert Michelson, CEO and president, RMG Networks. “We see significant long-term growth opportunities in the Enterprise business, and believe this divestiture, along with the other strategic and operational initiatives we have executed, will allow us to more quickly achieve our ultimate goal of sustainable profitability.”

Read the rest of this entry »

London Buses Get @Proxama Beacons w/ @ExterionMediaUK

July 1st, 2015

Maddie Cotterill

Exterion Media, Europe’s largest privately held Out-of-Home advertising business, has announced that it has equipped 500 London buses with beacon technology.

Beacons play a vital role in the company’s Urban Activation strategy to connect consumers with brands via innovative technology. Exterion is already working with leading brands to deliver welcomed information and entertainment to 300,000+¹ London bus-riders every day.

The solution, developed in collaboration with Proxama PLC (AIM: PROX), the international mobile proximity marketing company, uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon technology to send targeted in-app messages to London commuters’ mobile devices. This creates an opportunity to deliver highly contextualised messages at moments when they’re most receptive, which when combined with Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, can prompt immediate action.

Jason Cotterrell, Managing Director UK, Exterion Media told us “We are continually seeking new and innovative ways to connect brands with consumers and this solution will engage audiences on the move in a way that builds meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. We believe the future of OOH engagement is the ability to deliver a truly personal experience; and, with so many of us keeping our smartphones handy during the bus trips we take every day, it makes sense to combine the two. Our ultimate aim is to deploy this technology across our portfolio nationwide, with a long-term vision of providing full connectivity across buses in the UK.”

John Worley, CEO of Proxama Marketing Division added “The trial in Norwich and our partnership with Exterion Media showed us that consumers are open to receiving content via their mobile devices while they travel, so we expect to experience a similar level of success once we roll out across London. By ensuring that content pushed to users is relevant, personal and received at the right time, beacons are set to enhance Londoners’ commuting experiences.”

This announcement comes after a successful six month beacon trial on 110 buses in Norwich, which saw 30% of users clicking through from receipt of notification and 2,000 app downloads. Exterion’s online urban community recently found London to have the highest penetration of smartphones (94 per cent) in the UK. Coupled with this, the average journey on a bus in London is estimated to be between 17-19 minutes³ (with some journeys taking considerably longer). This provides passengers the time and opportunity to respond, interact, view or redeem offers delivered direct to their mobile phones. This mobile popularity and the lengthy journeys makes beacons on London buses an attractive channel to deliver extended consumer engagement to audiences on the move.

Auburn University Selects @Daktronics For College Football

July 1st, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

It seems that this year, all the US college stadiums are vying to have the largest digital scoreboard.

Artists's rendering of Auburn U's new DOOH board.

Artists’s rendering of Auburn U’s new DOOH board.

Now comes word that the largest LED video display in college football is coming to Jordan-Hare Stadium at Auburn University in 2015.

Daktronics, Brookings, South Dakota, was selected by Auburn U. to design, manufacture and install a roughly 10,800-square-foot display in Auburn, Alabama. The new display will be paired with Daktronics’ industry-leading control system and a custom Daktronics audio system to elevate the game-day atmosphere for the university’s Tigers.

“There is no place in the country like Jordan-Hare Stadium to watch a football game, and this dynamic board will revolutionize the game-day experience and make it even better,” says Jay Jacobs, Auburn director of athletics. “Our fans are going to be in awe the first time they see it, and they are going to really enjoy all the creative and dynamic things we will be able to do with it.”

The massive new display will measure approximately 57’ high by 190’ wide and be comprised of more than 8.7 million LEDs – an increase from the existing 30’ high by 74’ wide display. The new display will have all the features of today’s cutting-edge technology including variable content zoning to allow for one large image to be shown on the entire display or for multiple different zones of the display to show any combination of live video, instant replays, scoring and statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsors messaging.

Read the rest of this entry »

IZ-ON Media Acquired by @STRATACACHE

July 1st, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

STRATACACHE today announced the acquisition of IZ-ON Media (née PRN) from Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; OTCQX: TCLRY).

Chris Riegel, STRATACACHE CEO and Founder told us “The acquisition of IZ-ON Media complements our growing shopper marketing practice. The IZ-ON Media acquisition is key in our quest to double topline revenue in the next three years.”

In August 2005, PRN was acquired by Thomson for USD 285 million.

In November 2007 Thomson announced that it had separated the Network Operations Services business unit within Technicolor Services into the Out-of-Home business and a unit called ‘Broadcast Network Services’ – basically the Out-of-Home unit consisted of the American PRN retail networks operation, Screenvision US and Screenvision Europe BUT despite that, it took only a few years for a cash-starved Thomson to start looking to offload its acquisition (in October 2008 to be precise).

In April 2009, Thomson hired Goldman Sachs and made many valiant attempts to sell the business for USD 80 million – a fraction of course, of what it was bought for – even then, we believe that a realistic price for the business was more like USD 30 million.

With no takers, and a very unrealistic price, Technicolor announced in February 2011, that it was keeping PRN.

“He’s a proven leader with deep expertise who will continue building upon PRN’s success.” said Lanny Raimondo, president of Technicolor’s Entertainment Services Business Group, in November 2011, when he announced that Ahmad Ouri would be the new PRN president and CEO.

Ahmad did little during his tenure, apart from an ill-advised rebrand of the company from PRN to IZON Media (October 2012) and was unceremoniously booted out earlier this year.

Even pre-Ahmad, when the PRN brand stood for something and they did have a number of retail contracts (other than Walmart), the company failed to find any buyers at USD 20 million.

The financial details of this deal have not been revealed but we’d be surprised if Chris Riegel, a very astute businessman and deal-maker extraordinaire paid anything like USD 10 million for the business. Whilst we wouldn’t go as far to say that Technicolor paid him to take the business off of their hands – don’t be surprised if the real deal amount is more like a few million.

In a skype call with us yesterday Chris Riegel told us that 98% of the staff would be staying on and that, that will include current CEO of IZ-ON Media, Kevin Carbone. Chris is a hard task master so don’t expect anyone who doesn’t like to work hard or offer any value to stay or be kept around.

So that’s it then, one of our industry’s great white hopes. Yours for an over valued, bloated, unrealistic USD 285 million one day, yours ten years later for a ‘fiver’.

Primesight To Acquire @EyeAirports

July 1st, 2015

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

AdGroup has announced that Primesight is the preferred bidder for its UK airport advertising specialist Eye Airports. Subject to successful completion, the transaction would add some of the UK’s busiest airports, including London Gatwick and Manchester, to Primesight’s portfolio of Out of Home advertising sites.

Naren Patel, chief executive of Primesight, told us “We are extremely excited about this opportunity. Eye Airports is a unique chance for us to gain a significant presence in the UK airport advertising sector. Airport advertising is great at reaching an upmarket audience in an environment that is perfect for developing digital products and ideally placed for mobile and Out of Home interactivity.”

Eye Airports’ national network reaches over 100 million passengers a year. Last year it announced #RedefiningAirports, a GBP 8m investment in advertising media and technology, which represents the largest spend on UK airport advertising this decade. This included the latest high-spec formats and new opportunities for advertisers to ‘dominate’ the airport environment.

Primesight is one of the leading Out of Home advertising businesses in the UK, with a national portfolio of advertising panels including roadside billboards and 6-sheets. The company also markets panels in cinema foyers and the Glasgow Subway. Primesight is investing heavily in digital and is in the process of rolling out Network’, a national digital 48-sheet product.

Andrew Walker, managing director of AdGroup, said “I’m proud of the impact that Eye Airports has made on the UK airport advertising industry, however to achieve its full potential, I believe it needs to be part of a larger and broader-based Out of Home group that can build on what our superb team has already achieved. Primesight’s culture and aspirations, along with its understanding of the Eye Airports offering, make it the ideal partner. They share Eye Airports’ passion to take airport advertising to the next level.”

AdGroup, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, comprises a number of different companies mainly in media, technology and printing industries.

TAB Reveals Vision For The Future Of OOH Ratings

July 1st, 2015

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We see that Kym Frank, new president of the Traffic Audit Bureau, after one month on the job, is keeping TAB members aware of her current focus.

Kym FrankFrank’s note to the members says, “The Out-of-Home industry is experiencing a period of impressive growth and significant innovation. It is a great honor for me to take over the reins and navigate TAB through these exciting times. As I celebrate my first full month at TAB this week, I would like to share some of the ideas and initiatives I am working on.

Last year, the TAB Board appointed a Leaders Taskforce to develop a vision for the future of the organization. A big part of my job to help bring that vision to life. There are five key initiatives I am currently focusing on to accomplish this task:

  • The ‘New’ TAB – TAB is undergoing a transformation. In implementing this new vision, we will be adjusting our image and branding, embracing a collaborative, open and fun office culture, and even moving to new office space. Our move is scheduled for November. I hope the new office will become a place the industry considers a home base in NYC.
  • Stakeholder Assessment – It is important that all of the voices in our industry are heard, so I am conducting a full stake¬holder assessment. Via one-on-one meetings and a survey, I will set priorities and establish benchmarks – both for the organization and for OOH measurement.
  • Operation M.O.R.E (Measurement Optimization and Ratings Enhancement) – We are exploring new methodologies to offer more comprehensive format measurement, including features such as enhanced behavioral demographics, ROI metrics, and daypart measurement.
  • Training and Outreach – TAB is establishing a social presence and increasing its member outreach. (Please follow us on Twitter @taboohratings) We are hard at work scheduling train¬ing sessions with agencies and establishing ongoing agency communication. TAB will also be developing thought leadership in conjunction with OAAA to showcase the strength of OOH advertising.
  • Data Integration – Finally, TAB is seeking the best opportunities to integrate our data into planning and buying systems, third party data providers, and beyond.

Through enhanced measurement, heightened awareness and education, TAB is ready to play its role in increasing OOH’s share of ad spend.

It sounds like Frank has already developed a pretty good handle on her role and the current needs of the organization. We’ll be watching how these initiatives develop.