Impart putting I-Point on hold?

October 17, 2006 by Dave Haynes

The Impart Media Group in Seattle appears to be bailing out of any expansion plans for its iPoint Network, a very slick, well-executed kiosk-style unit that was being parked primarily in airports, aimed at travelers.

In a press release, the company is saying …

The business that is defined as the capital intensive revenue model, where the equipment supplier provides all of the capital expenditures (and assumed risks) for the placement of equipment in venues, such as retail stores, malls, public spaces, and airports and subsequently sells advertising — has been frozen due to the tremendous upfront cash requirement and uncertain return offered by this revenue model. …

The capital expenditure or CapEX revenue model will be revisited, once the company achieves profitability and raises additional capital to strengthen its balance sheet so that it can secure venues that are demographically desirable and insure optimal, out-of- home audience reach resulting in high margin advertising dollars.

(Company President Joe) Martinez elaborated, “we believe in the advertising revenue model and feel that the future of the specific digital delivery of relevant content and advertising to a targeted demographic is probably the most target rich environment for the future of advertisement.”

I have never seen these screens but saw a demo at a trade show, and liked what I saw. I was a little more skeptical about the business model because of the dynamics of the airport and a screen that is seriously loaded up with information, arguably at the expensive of the paying advertiser who had to fight for attention. It was also pretty clear the units must cost a fortune, and I beleive they were being placed at all departure gates.

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