Commentary

Mall Media Move On Measurement

With the end of the recession (maybe) in sight, retail establishments are hoping for a boost in sales -- or at the very least, a bump in visitors. Hoping to cash in on the new foot traffic, two leading digital out-of-home networks with significant mall presences have rolled out new measurement initiatives.

Akoo, which operates a DO music video-on-demand network reaching malls and college campuses, recently announced a new measurement deal with Arbitron for audience estimates. The measurement initiative comes as Akoo continues a major expansion of its interactive social network to a number of new venues, installing digital displays in mall and university food courts which visitors can control with their mobile devices, selecting from music video content provided by Warner, Sony, Universal, and EMI.

On the mall side, Akoo plans to have the DOVOD network installed in a total of 150 different venues, 120 of which are located in the top 25 DMAs; altogether Akoo vice-president of marketing Andy Stankiewicz says this network aggregates about 1.4 billion shopper visits per year, with potential to add another 75 malls in 2010. According to Stankiewicz, the company's overall measurement capabilities "let advertisers know what's being activated at what mall, at what time, with data to allow them to become more relevant to their users, for example through opt-in programs via their mobile devices," for which the company maintains opt-in mobile databases.

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Meanwhile another major mall ad network, Eye Corp., recently completed a shopper profile study with Arbitron, using the research company's custom research assets. The study was conducted at seven malls across the country, out of a total 250 malls reached by Eye Corp.'s digital and static signage. Among other findings, the Arbitron study revealed that shoppers reached by Eye Corp. visit malls an average of 3.5 times per month, each time spending an average 1 hour and 38 minutes. Over half the shoppers view the mall as a place to reward themselves, and 66% noticed Eye Corp.'s displays. Eye Corp. is combining this proprietary data with subscriptions to syndicated category and audience datasets and single source information for advertisers.

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