You’re standing in the neighborhood coffee shop waiting for your morning latte boost. Would you rather be reading the paper, glaring at the barista while signaling him to foam faster, or watching a TV set with localized content from Yahoo, ESPN or CBS?
Ripple TV is betting on the latter. Ripple is the latest entrant in the digital out-of-home market, aiming for that chunk of time when the consumer isn’t in the car, isn’t on the computer and isn’t watching TV — that free time that slips through the cracks when the average consumer waits in line at Coffee Bean or an oil change at Jiffy Lube.
Ripple operates a media network of about 450 retail locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Honolulu, in which high-def screens display news and entertainment. “The idea of Ripple was to reach consumers with information relevant to their lifestyle that was non-intrusive,” says Ali Diab, co-founder of the company. Ripple plans to expand to Seattle, New York and Chicago.
The content includes local news and traffic, wrapped with TV network shorts and mixed with offerings from YouTube and Wikipedia. Ripple has sold ads to Orbitz, Wells Fargo, Land Rover and Wachovia and is inking deals with local advertisers such as realtors, dentists and plastic surgeons.