The managed services firm Velocity has gone into one of the vertical markets it serves by acquiring the small, grocery-focused Digital OOH ad network Impax Media.
A Montreal company that bubbled up about five years ago, Impax does in-store advertising to shoppers at the checkout aisles at 49 grocery stores in the New York City area.
“This purchase,” says Velocity in announcing the deal, “expands Velocity’s media solutions portfolio within the retail sector to provide its customers with a comprehensive suite of managed services to run a digital signage network and advertising solutions.”
“COVID-19 has made it very tough for businesses to return to normalcy. However, the grocery sector has never been more of an essential business as shown by the resiliency of the foot traffic during the pandemic. We look forward to continuing to expand our portfolio into the grocery and retail markets, and enable new opportunities and solutions for our customers,” says Greg Kiley, Founder and CEO of Velocity.
“Impax Media programming includes grocer messaging, in-store sales, entertainment and advertising. Velocity is partnering with Screenvision Media, a national leader in cinema and premium video advertising, to serve as a strategic seller of Impax’s ad inventory. Impax is the latest addition to ‘Front + Center Everywhere,’ Screenvision’s expanding OOH network, that is designed to reach the highly engaged consumer beyond the cinema experience.”
“Grocery stores and shoppers have become increasingly more attractive to endemic, as well as national, regional and local advertisers. We are looking forward to working with our Impax retailers and strategically exploring expansion within the grocery sector to enhance the shopper experience and the grocer’s revenues,” says Joe Ross, EVP of Sales and Marketing of Velocity.
A privately-held company with approximately 500 employees, located outside Toledo, OH, Velocity has 13 redundant data centers and access to 5,500 certified technicians around the U.S.
From the company boilerplate description: “With an in-house team of seasoned software development and engineering experts and numerous hardware and software design and utility patents, Velocity offers highly customized, customer-focused and best-in-class solutions, by integrating the latest technologies available into all its product offerings. Through its media solutions division, Velocity manages digital solutions within the cinema and retail, and Digital Out of Home (DOOH) networks, and is a member of the DPAA.”
I know almost zero about either of these companies, and at less than 50 stores in one metro area, this is not a big network or big deal. I am guessing, but thinking there is more to the story here. the website goes to a GoDaddy page, the Twitter handle hasn’t seen activity in two years, and so on.
The pitch of the company was it the tried and rarely-true formula of putting screens in for free, selling ads, and splitting the revenues with the host venue. It has rarely worked out for the entrepreneurs.
Capital costs for the build it and they will come DOOH media model have dropped a lot over 20 years, but this network’s schtick was/is, in part, screens on custom pivot thingies that swing down and act as lane gates for closed checkouts. Custom = $$$$$.
There’s also not much of a story to tell about companies that are all about installing and managing technology knowing anything useful about media sales and the very different lexicon of advertising and brand marketing people. It’s kinda like a plumbing supply business managing an art gallery.
Media sales have been subbed out toNYC-based Screenvision Media, which DOES know media sales, but would likely be in a world of pain right now because their key vertical market is cinema, and not a lot of people are doing movie nights through the pandemic.
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.