San Francisco-based RMG Networks , a leader in digital place-based media, formally confirmed today a little secret we’ve known about for awhile: it has signed an operating agreement to launch a new mall media digital-based network based upon assets from the former Akoo International  Mall Network.
RMG will leverage its leadership position in digital place-based media sales and build a separate business unit focused on captive mall media. (You’ll notice that an attempt to reach the Akoo web site now brings you directly to RMG Mall Media.)
“RMG has signed a management agreement with the owners of the Akoo network, and as part of that agreement, we are making changes to the media assets and re-branding it as RMG Mall Media Network,” says Chuck Strottman, vice-president of marketing for RMG.
“RMG focused the airline media space because we were able to occupy a dominant market position while offering a valuable combination of audience, context and engagement,” Strottman says. “We exited the other spaces because they did not meet those criteria. We believe that the RMG Mall Media Network offers that same winning combination as the airline media/business traveler focus.”
Adding the Mall Media builds on RMG’s belief that digital place-based networks with full sight, sound and motion create better opportunities to engage a captive audience. Enthusiastic about the addition of the mall space, RMG believes that the RMG Mall Media Network is truly the most engaging media asset available to advertisers in shopping malls.
The RMG Mall Media Network is one of the largest US DOOH media networks with 46 million Nielsen- measured viewers each month. The for5mer Akoo products are all double screens, interactive with mobile, and all located in food courts.
So we also asked Strottman why, if Akoo couln’t couldn’t make it financially with this large network. as we believe is the case, what makes RMG think it can?
“We believe that we can apply RMG’s proven media model to the former Akoo network to create valuable media products that will appeal to advertisers,” he says. “We will be focusing on advertisers looking to reach the valuable Alpha Mom and Influential Youth segments that frequent the mall venues.”
Unlike other retail media networks, RMG Mall Media will intercept and engage shoppers while they are seated with its dynamic programming featuring full sight, sound and motion on panoramic displays and overhead sound. It is a shopper-friendly blend of content and advertising.
RMG Mall Media reaches two of the most valuable media audience segments: Alpha Moms, who are responsible for 80% of household purchases; and Influential Youth, whose opinions influence 90% of what their peers listen to, wear, and purchase.
Garry McGuire, CEO of RMG Networks, says, “Our experience building, running, and monetizing DOOH media networks will be leveraged as we work to consolidate the very fragmented mall media segment.”
What has happened to Akoo? The company bought its own production studio and moved into new headquarters  in Chicago a couple of years ago, and even put its name on a local theatre . Did it bite off more than it could chew, over extend itself and grow too quickly? We can only speculate as Akoo’s phone has been disconnected.
When asked about the production studio, other assets, and Akoo’s CEO and co-founder Niko Drakoulis, Strottman gave a terse “No comment.”
RMG Networks is a leader in the digital place-based video industry. The company operates the largest digital media network in the air travel space with more than 120,000 in-flight media screens, 2,200 aircraft and an audience of more than 35 million passengers per month. RMG works with leading global brands and their advertising agencies across industries such as consumer electronics, automotive, financial services and technology, looking to engage with the elusive affluent traveler audience segments. RMG also operates an Enterprise Solutions Business Unit that builds and operates networks and offers a range of innovative signage software solutions for SMBs and enterprise customers.The company is based in San Francisco, CA and operates offices in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Beijing, China.