Outsized: Fuelcast Merges With Bhootan

OutCastThere is more consolidation in the digital out-of-home category. Gas station advertiser Fuelcast has announced a merger with Bhootan, which operates a network of digital displays in various retail locations, forming a new out-of-home network called Outcast. According to the companies, the merged network will reach 25 million consumers a month.

Fuelcast's network consists of about 5,500 screens at gas stations in eight U.S. markets, as well as Toronto, while Bhootan includes 500 screens at retail locations like Walgreens, Sears, Kmart, Albertsons, and Stop N' Shop.

Bhootan's network also reaches some McDonald's and Carl's Jr. fast-food restaurants. Altogether, the merged entity covers 900 locations in 21 major American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, Miami and Washington, D.C.



Outcast will continue Fuelcast's existing content deal with NBC.

The proliferation of digital out-of-home networks has many industry observers predicting a shakeout through mergers and acquisitions, especially as competition in certain subcategories like in-store advertising heats up. It has also given rise to a category of companies that help media buyers aggregate multiple networks with a single buy.

Examples include SeeSaw Networks, which has deals with about 40 different place-based networks reaching a number of different consumer segments, and Adcentricity, which emphasizes its capabilities as an adjunct to media planning and buying. It helps buyers execute out-of-home video campaigns with detailed information about the size and characteristics of the audience reached by each of its affiliates.

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