Vending machine player adds screens, guarantees ad rev share

September 12, 2008 by Dave Haynes

I was blabbering on today at a couple of meetings about how the overcrowded DS industry was going to thin out over the next couple of years, with a handful of major players being clearly defined and then a whole gaggle of other companies trying to carve out a clear niche.

I can see some company getting really strong in QSRs. Another in auto. And so on.

One of those many verticals is probably vending machines, and a company out of California seems to taking a hard run at staking claim to that one.

AVT issued a press release today saying it will guarantee revenue payments monthly to venues that agree to take on their screen equipped machines. The minimums start at $50.

AVT, Inc. (formerly Automated Vending Technologies) announced that it has formed a joint venture with UDM (United Digital Media), located in Palm Springs, Calif., to guarantee monthly payments to vending operators who have purchased and placed AVT digital signage equipped vending systems at qualified locations. “Those deploying an AVT manufactured vending system equipped with AVT’s Digital Advertising Signage Equipment can each be eligible to be part of the AVTi Media Network, which involves payments starting at $50 per machine per month,” stated AVT founder Shannon Illingworth, in a prepared statement. “We are so confident that our PC-based advertising vending systems will increase the awareness and marketing ability of products, services and branding that AVT and our advertising partners are willing to prove it by paying for it.”

Curtis Pickering, CEO of United Digital Media, confirmed the merits of the joint venture with AVT to offer guaranteed payments to qualified vending operators, saying that “the joint venture between AVT and UDM is unique because we have merged specific core digital signage attributes into the deployment of a nationwide network of close-up and personal message centers called vending machines!” He stressed that “as the network grows and reaches critical mass, national advertisers will now be able to reach measured specific demographics on a personal level, something that has been difficult to do with any real success.” He concluded by stating that “this defines a new type of media marketing and should prove to be an exciting and effective vertical within the out of home advertising industry.”

I don’t know a lick about the vending business. So I don’t know whether vending companies normally give a rev share for sales, or quite how it works when the operator buys the box. Being on the hook for $50 does not, at first blush, seem like a big risk – but keep in mind the dwell time in front of these machines is likely very short, so that means a very short ad loop, which therefore likely means not a whole pile of gross ad revenue per site.  So the ad sales people will have to giddy-up.

That said, there are a lot of machines out there and therefore the potential for a ton of screens. I don’t see these things as particularly strong media vehicles, but I can see confectionary brands and other people who have stuff in these things being interested in a screen that gets people pushing B3 more than they might otherwise.

You can see what the screens look like on the company’s website, but hang on to something sturdy when you surf. These guys like their whiz-bang  graphics and animations and vertigo is just a click or two away.


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