Things have been so quiet with rVue since founder Jason Kates left last year that I mostly assumed the company – primarily a consolidated online buying platform for digital out of home media networks – had been wound down.
So it was a bit of a surprise this morning to read about new executive appointments and the release of the annual financials (which aren’t pretty).
rVue Holdings, Inc. announced the appointment of Steve Schildwachter as Executive Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer, who joins Mark Pacchini (President and CEO) and Eric Kristoff (EVP – Chief Technology Officer), both who came on the scene in April.
“Steve brings with him a wealth of knowledge and deep relationships with both clients and agencies throughout the US. His breadth of experience in Digital, Social Media and Shopper Marketing fits well with the Digital Out of Home Space; so we’re thrilled to have him on the leadership team,” said Pacchini.
Schildwachter has a pretty impressive CV, coming off a stint as Executive Vice President at Draftfcb Worldwide, and career handling big brands like the S.C. Johnson portfolio and Yum. He’s also a blogger, writing regularly about the ad agency sector.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to build rVue,” Schildwachter stated, “and to help the digital out-of-home medium grow at a time of profound change — and incredible opportunity — in the advertising industry.”
He added: “Given the ability of digital out-of-home to reach consumers closer to the moment of purchase, we see it as a business solution just as much as an advertising solution.”
rVue says its digital distribution platform connects 770,000 digital screens across 180 networks, and can deliver 250 million daily impressions in one simple platform. However, the promise of this sort of speedy, simplified demand side planning and selling system hasn’t thoroughly caught on, and since then, other systems have bubbled up (like Vistar) that have developed tight ties with the agency business.
The 2012 financials for rVue suggest the company has been struggling to get traction with buyers.
— Total revenue was $602,363 for fiscal 2012; down slightly from $643,483 in the prior year.
— Core Fees: Described as the focus of our business and source of future growth – $197,444, down from $203,276 in 2011.
— Non-Core Fees: $404,919 and $440,207, respectively. These were managed services arrangements with Auto Nation and Mattress Firm/Mattress Giant that are winding down.
— Selling, general and administrative expenses was $2,328,669 in the full year of 2012, compared to $3,339,359 for the full year of 2011, a reduction of $1,010,690 in the year due to cost controls, change in management and a shift to more media focused transactions.
— Net loss for the full year of 2012 was ($3,839,348) compared to a net loss of ($3,616,973) in the 2011.
— As of December 31, 2012 the company had $850,000 in cash.
Pacchini says: “With our expenses under better control, our focus going forward will be on providing our clients with business building ideas and world class service. If we deliver this, it should result in revenue growth.”
None of the familiar rVue people are there anymore – such as Dawn Rahicki or Jennifer Bolt – and the company appears to be running more out of Chicago than Fort Lauderdale.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.