RMG And Taxi Magic Partner For Taxi Ads

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Thousands of Taxi Magic’s taxi fare booking and payment devices will gain new advertising opportunities thanks to a new partnership agreement between San Francisco-based Reach Media Group, a leading, digital place-based media and entertainment company, and Taxi Magic, the leading electronic taxi booking service in the United States.

RMG will provide a localized video entertainment solution that will provide advertisers with targeted reach within the largest cities in the U.S.. Taxi Magic will be deploying a robust onboard technology that includes HD screens, speaker system, touch screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability and 3G connectivity. (Taxi Magic currently operates a popular taxi booking iPhone application.)

“We view the new partnership with Taxi Magic as an amazing opportunity for advertisers to reach high value passengers at a moment of maximum influence,” says Luke Zaientz, vice- president, RMG. “We are brand partners and providing content. This new offering will be a perfect complement to RMG’s existing audience networks, providing another ideal combination of an immersive audience touch-point, long dwell times and proximity in the taxi experience.”

Taxi Magic’s Passenger Information Monitor enables passengers to pay for their taxi ride in mere seconds, thanks to an interactive touch screen TV. The interface will also entertain and inform the passengers throughout their ride, a benefit to large taxi fleets that wish to differentiate themselves by offering a rich entertainment experience to their passengers. The first 5,000 Taxi Magic PIMs are currently being installed with major taxi fleets in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, and around Washington, DC, metropolitan statistical areas.

“We expect that they’ll be in 16-to-20 markets within the next 12 months,” says Zaientz.

We asked him what is the difference between what this partnership will provide and the screens in taxis in other cities like New York or Shanghai.

“First of all, you’ll be able to call the taxi from your iPhone,” says Zaientz. “It will super easy. In New York, it’s easy to get a cab, but in many cities it’s more difficult to hail one. And you’ll be able to pay by your iPhone. The technology behind these screens will be more robust. They’ll be 7” screens, placed higher up, rather than down by your knees. And the screens won’t have a large number of different things on them at once. There will be nice content such as local, uplifting entertainment. People will feel very comfortable with these screens.”

Zaientz says that the screens, which will carry approximately 25%-to-33% advertising, are currently being tested with one concept in a few taxis, but that there could be several versions of the way the content will be presented before the final choice.

“We’ll get feedback from passengers,” he says. “We’re focused on the consumer experience. We’re still thinking about what will work best.”

“This is big news for passengers, taxi fleets and the media industry,”
says Jay McClary, vice-president marketing, Taxi Magic. He says that the partnership with RMG has the goal of delivering an exciting entertainment experience and customer convenience on an amazing technology platform.”

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