Spring 2019 Times Square Advertising Report

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

The spring 2019 edition of Sensory Interactive’s Times Square Advertising Report shows strong demand for space on Times Square’s large-format digital displays. The report, which is prepared five times per year, is based on a visual observation of advertising and sponsorship activity across 71 digital displays in the Times Square market.

Its key metric looks at the ratio of paid advertising to unpaid ‘house’ ads and public service announcements. A higher percentage of display inventory devoted to paid ads indicates stronger market demand from advertisers and sponsors.

Based on this measure, the demand for display space in the district matched its highest level in recent years, with the space devoted to paid ads hitting the 87% seen in the 2017 holiday survey period. This is a reversal of the seasonal trend that has typically seen demand dip between the holiday and spring surveys. We believe the most likely explanation is that strong demand from media and technology companies is offsetting the traditional fall-off in retail-related advertising that occurs following the holiday shopping season.

In addition to measuring the percentage of paid advertising on Times Square’s displays, the Times Square Advertising Report also analyzes the district’s top advertising categories, most active media sales companies, and top five advertised brands.

In the top advertising categories, spring 2018 saw drops in the number of advertisers in the categories of retail, tourism, and food and beverage, but continued interest from advertisers in media and entertainment. Strength in this category was driven by spots for programs from streaming service Netflix, as well as a handful of concert tours and several big-budget films.

In their ranking of Times Square’s most active media sales companies, Clear Channel remains the most active participant by total number of displays, with ten, while Branded Cities has the largest inventory based on square footage. New Tradition Media is reported to be expanding their role at One Times Square, so in this report Sensory Interactive consolidated their three displays into one and adjusted their total square footage upward.

In the list of the most-advertised brands (based on the number of displays each brand’s ads ran on during the survey period), Promotions for Netflix and the Andrade vs. Akavov boxing match at Madison Square Garden tied for first place with ads on four displays each, followed closely by the National Law Enforcement Museum, streaming service Hulu, and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival with three displays each.

The report is an outgrowth of Sensory Interactive’s work on some of Times Square’s largest digital media installations, where the company provides services that include revenue strategy consulting, media sales brokerage, design, implementation, and operations management.

You can download a full copy of the report here.

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