Sightings – onextmedia

September 12, 2008 by Dave Haynes

I met a business contact for a coffee at a little place in my general area, and noticed a screen parked in the corner, operated by a company called Onextmedia.

I thought it was a local company, but on closer examination back here in my armed mountaintop compound I now see this is a Vancouver company and it is using the interesting model of franchise affiliates to build a national network. What I was looking at was the Burlington iteration of a hyper-local network of screens that is popping up across the country.

The company has master and affiliate franchiise arrangements, and to buy in to my area, it cost the operator $80,000 (or at least that’s the rack rate). The franchise is a 10 year deal and the operator pays a 40 per cent royalty off gross sales to the head office. I’m not clear whose nickel it is for the gear, but the operations are all centralized.

The local operation appeared to have a bunch of ads for local restuarants, which seemed encouraging. But it looks like all those ads are for other installed locations and this is a cross-pollination thing, which is nonetheless a good thing for a hyper-local ad model (but better if money is changing hands for ads).

The company has franchises shaking in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, greater Toronto and Halifax and claims a viewer base of 440,000 weekly. 

Giving 40 per cent of gross ad sales back to the mother ship seems a little painful, given there’s also probably ad sales commissions to dole out, but I obviously haven’t seen how all the numbers work. 

What I can say is the presentation is crisp and solid (see crappy BlackBerry cam photo), but (climbing back on my well-worn soap box) there is waaaaay too much happening on the screen and most of the viewers would either get vertigo watching this, or need binoculars to read some of the resultingly teeny text. My advice … not that many listen … is go pretty much full-screen so the ads have pop and the content is big enough to read and appreciate.



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