Commentary

DigiCast Buys RMG Caf Network

RMG has found a buyer for its digital out-of-home network in cafés, with Friday’s announcement that it has been acquired by DigiCast Networks, a division of Brite Media Group.

The acquisition increases DigiCast’s existing Café Network to a total of 650 café locations. The DigiCast Café Network includes independent coffee houses as well as coffee house chains in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston. Brite Media Group is already providing “Ad Sleeves” coffee cup holders in many locations served by the RMG network, allowing brands to reinforce video ad messages and vice versa.

RMG announced its plans to sell off its café network -- called the NYTimes.com network for its main content provider -- back in April of this year. The NYTimes.com network launched in March 2010 with around 800 coffeeshops and cafes in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. Currently it is said to include around 600 locations with 600 screens, suggesting some venues may have dropped out.

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Also in April of this year, RMG also said it would sell its Fitness network, consisting of 6,000 digital screens in some 500 venues, including health club chains like Powerhouse Gyms, LA Fitness, and Lifetime Fitness.

The sale of these two networks will allow the company to focus on its other DOOH networks, which reach businesspeople as they travel, including displays in airplanes, airport lounges, taxis, Amtrak trains, and elsewhere. RMG’s airline assets are substantial, including 110,000 in-flight-entertainment screens in Delta, United, Jet Blue, Virgin America, Frontier, and Alaska Airlines. It also has screens in 4,000 taxis around the country, including Washington, D.C., Sacramento, and Denver.

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