Subway’s Digital Screen Network, Run By Real Digital Media, at 1,000 Sites And Expanding

March 6, 2012 by Dave Haynes

Quietly, very quietly, Real Digital Media has been
growing something called the SUBWAY TV & RADIO Digital Signage Network in the QSR’s independently-owned franchises in the United States.

Now the company is making a little hay about it – saying the network is approaching 1,000 sites and set to expand beyond the U.S.

Sarasota, Florida-based Real Digital Media has been working with the Independent Purchasing Cooperative (or IPC), which is the body run by franchisees that gives them purchasing power and undoubtedly maintains some order in how stores are presented, marketed and run.

The network – half of them in the Los Angeles metro area – is facing hungry customers in the queue and tells them about food and drink options, promotions and new menu items. The system runs on an enterprise variant of RDM’s NEOCAST platform, and uses a Nexcom fanless media player and a Samsung 40-incher LCD.

Programming content is supplied and managed at a national level, but unique to SUBWAY® TV & RADIO, franchisees can influence what is played by logging on and scheduling changes through a franchisee portal. The network allows for local control of playlists across several time slots, such as breakfast, lunch or dinner.

“We are confident that the addition of digital signage will enable us to better communicate with our diverse customers and drive future growth,” says Bob Grewal, Subway’s franchisee and development guy in L.A.

The program was designed to drive increases store in profitability, says Dennis Clabby, IPC’s Vice President of Purchasing, and “the strong positive response of the franchisees and the rapid growth of this program is very encouraging.”

RDM got the deal for a few reasons, the PR suggests:

“Working with Real Digital Media, we quickly established that their software is easy to use, delivers performance as advertised and scales to very large numbers of locations without stress on the system,” Brian Wheeler, IPC’s Director of Services. “Equally important, we learned that the Real Digital Media team is incredibly responsive to our needs and is willing to go the extra mile to help us launch and manage a network of this scale. We continue to be impressed by their capabilities and attitude.”

Nice deal. Growing to all 36,000 sites – if it happened – would make this a monstrous network. I like that the QSR is thinking through the dynamics and context of those stores and putting screens that face people as they wait.

There is no digital menu board component to this, but I suspect that should franchisees start to see the ROI of transitioning from analog to digital, RDM is extraordinarily well-positioned to take on that piece.

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