16:9 Podcasts: UPshow’s Matt Gibbs On Successfully Bringing Social TV To Life In Restaurants

May 16, 2018 by Dave Haynes

A whole bunch of startups have through the years, tried to crack the restaurant and bar business with a digital out of home advertising model that saw them put in screens and media players, hoping to claw back the costs, and more, through advertising.

And a whole bunch of them – most of them, in fact, have failed. Advertising is hard.

So I was intrigued by a three-year-old Chicago company called UPshow that is doing user-generated content and digital signage in bars, and making a go of it on a subscription basis – with no third-party advertising. At least for now.

The bar owners – from small ones all the way up to chains like TGI Fridays and Hooters – actually pay money month to month for the service. The owner/operators like that UPshow’s content is fresh, and human moderated, and that customers are engaged. They also like that it is selling more drinks and specials, and generating return business.

I spoke with Matt Gibbs, the company’s CMO, and one of its co-founders.

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  1. Greg says:

    Hi Dave, good listen. I see the UpShow screens around at bars occasionally and have wondered about what exactly their business model is.

    More general question: why do you think it is that the advertising-supported DOOH model is so hard in bars and restaurants? Captivate, et al, have managed to pull it off in other venues, so I’m curious what it is about bars specifically that makes it such a hard sell.


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