New York City has a well-deserved reputation for having the biggest, bestest, fanciest, and most expensive version of everything, and this includes billboards. So it comes as no surprise that the owner of One Times Square is raking in over $20 million a year from renting digital billboard space.
The Wall Street Journal dug up some public financial statements from the owners of One Times Square, who filed the documents as part of a refinancing deal, and discovered that the digital billboard rented by Dunkin’ Donuts (displaying products, user-generated content from social media, and so on) costs the pastry titan $3.6 million a year. And that’s just one of seven premium digital billboards on One Times Square that provide the backdrop for the famous, much-televised New Year’s Eve ball drop.
ADK America pays $2.2 million a year for the top spot on the DOOH-tem pole (get it?); Toshiba/ADK $3.5 million for next spot down; TDK/ADK $2.3 million for the somewhat smaller spot beneath that; then comes Dunkin’ Donuts at $3.6 million; below that is Anheuser-Busch, $3.4 million; News America and Sony, $4 million; and at the very bottom, closest to ground level, Dow Jones, $1.1 million.
That comes to $20.1 million a year from billboard rentals for one Times Square property alone. And as the WSJ notes, there are over 230 signs of varying shapes and sizes around Times Square, many of which are digital (lending it that unique, seizure-inducing charm). I can only speculate what the total billboard revenue for Times Square is -- but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the hundreds of millions.
Of course, the billboards on One Times Square have additional reach through broadcast TV coverage of the ball drop. In addition to the 39.2 million people who visited Times Square in person last year, another 23 million watched the New Year’s Eve festivities on TV.