Two of the sweet spots for digital out-of-home advertising are convenience and distraction -- using technology to make a tedious or unpleasant situation shorter in duration, or at least less tedious and unpleasant. One good example comes from Chicago, where the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhood has received a new network of 13 digital signs, installed and operated by RedPost in coffee shops, book stores, and similar establishments, which display the arrival times of Chicago Transit Authority buses approaching nearby stops. Four more signs will be installed in coming months.
Last week brought another example of a print brand expanding into digital out-of-home video: Outside magazine, published by Mariah Media Inc., is partnering with the Resort Sports Network to create a new DO network reaching guests at resort destinations around the country. The Outside Television Network is effectively taking over RSN, which will be completely rebranded
Since this is the time of year when columnists tend to wax about the future, let me share some of my most recent thinking about where the digital out-of-home media business is headed -- both near-term, as well as long. To do that, let me start off by quoting someone from the future: "Space, the final frontier." Okay, so it's actually a fictitious character from the future, and you probably don't have to be a Trekkie to know that line comes from "Star Trek" Captain James T. Kirk's log, but there's a reason why I'm invoking it now.