It All Happened In August (And Early September)
Actually the most recent news is from September. On Sept. 3 the Health Club Media Network announced it is expanding to include the Crunch chain of health clubs, bringing both static and digital displays to 19 clubs in four top markets -- New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. In addition to providing entertainment, editorial, and ad content to Crunch, HCMN will create a special Crunch-branded TV channel.
On Aug. 31 it was revealed that Transit TV is returning to the Los Angeles transit system, where it will operate approximately 4,500 ad-supported DO video screens in about 2,200 buses. Squeezed by the economic downturn, earlier this year Transit TV was forced to shut down its video networks in transit systems in L.A. as well as Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee and Orlando. It was subsequently acquired by Tezo Systems, a technology solutions company in the mass transit arena, which decided to resurrect the LA network with new content partners.
Aug. 30 brought news that Gas Station TV had signed a deal making NBC Universal the exclusive entertainment content provider for the network, which operates digital displays in pumps at gas stations around the country. NBCU will also serve as the local sales agent for GSTV, leveraging its local station sales forces. The NBCU content and advertising will appear in four- and-a-half-minute cycles, combining local and national NBCU news, prime time, late night and cable content. As before, content packages will also include sports news from ESPN and local weather reports from AccuWeather. Previously, GSTV used news and entertainment content from CBS.
This was all part of a late-August switch-up in content providers and gas station networks. A few days before, on August 26, Outcast -- which operates a competing gas station vide network - said it signed content-sharing agreements with CBS, CNET, and HGTV. The content deals come a few months after Outcast announced a joint venture with PumpTopTV, another digital gas station network. Together Outcast and PumpTopTV claim to reach over 20 million consumers per month via 12,600 digital screens at gas stations in 15 of the top DMAs. Outcast is itself a relatively new company, created by the merger of Fuelcast, a gas-station network that operates displays in gas pumps, and Bhootan, a digital network serving gas station convenience stores.
Turning from gas to blood, on Aug. 25 Alloy Media + Marketing said it is collaborating with The CW and the American Red Cross to host a five-week, nationwide blood drive in 230 high schools and college campuses that is being cross-promoted with The CW's "Vampire Diaries," which debuts September 10th. The blood drive was promoted via Alloy's national media network in high schools, including Channel One News, which reaches millions of high school students every school day. Out-of-home video is also incorporated into the blood donation stations, where donors can watch exclusive footage of the "Vampire Diaries" as they donate and refuel with snacks.
Also on Aug. 25, Aegis Group announced a major expansion of its Posterscope operations in the U.S. Posterscope, which is the out-of-home media services division of London-based Aegis, is opening new offices in Las Vegas and Miami.
Aug. 20 saw movies becoming reality with the news that Schematic, the interactive advertising and media design unit of WPP Group, is launching Schematic Touch, a new division focusing on digital out-of-home media. Schematic -- which produced the creative design concept for the interface in "Minority Report" -- will emphasize the sensory opportunities that only place-based media can facilitate.
On Aug. 19, Danoo merged with IdeaCast to form a new digital out-of-home video network called Reach Media Group. At launch, the combined entity's assets are being organized in three main segments, which allow advertisers to deliver targeted messages to consumers in specific behavioral contexts: a business traveler network, a health and fitness network, and an urban mobile network.