Reach Media Group announced a new deal with Taxi Magic, which handles booking and payment for thousands of taxis around the country. The alliance allows RMG to introduce digital video entertainment and advertising to displays in the backseats of cabs.
As part of the deal, Taxi Magic will be installing HD screens, speaker system, touchscreen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability and 3G connectivity in participating taxi fleets. It begins with a first wave of 5,000 vehicles in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Denver.
Like other taxi-based video advertising platforms, the RMG-Taxi Magic partnership targets a captive audience with relatively long dwell times: averaging 12-18 minutes nationwide.
No surprise -- New York City is the most developed market. After a pilot program testing the GPS-linked screens in 500 cabs, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission mandated the screens for all cabs in September 2007.
VeriFone partnered with WABC to produce Taxi TV, featuring content from WABC's Eyewitness News, AccuWeather and Reuters Business News, as well as restaurant, nightlife, retail and hotel listings and ratings from the Zagat Survey.
In June 2008, VeriFone announced the addition of additional content from People.com and PMbuzz.com. And in January of this year, VeriFone bought Clear Channel Outdoor's Taxi Media operation, combining VeriFone's initial network of 6,500 cabs with CCO's 5,000 for a total 11,500 -- or over 90% of New York's roughly 12,000 cabs.
Other taxi advertisers include Eller Taxi Media and TaxiVision, both based in Las Vegas, Medallion Taxi Media, based in New York City, and The Ultimate Taxi, in Aspen.