T-Mobile Buys Rideshare Car Screen Network Octopus To Expand AdTech Business, Footprint

January 11, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The mobile telecoms company T-Mobile has acquired Octopus Interactive, a digital OOH network of interactive screens inside Uber and Lyft vehicles, adding to the portfolio of T-Mobile’s “fast-growing advertising technology business.”

Octopus’s rideshare network enables brands, says T-Mobile in PR about the deal, “to execute comprehensive geotargeted campaigns across a range of highly engaged consumers. And beyond the rideshare network, this acquisition will connect T-Mobile’s Marketing Solutions group with big brands, like current Octopus clients Audible, Fox Entertainment, Philo and many more.”

Moving forward, devices used by drivers in the rideshare network will be powered by T-Mobile’s network, says T-Mobile.“With this move, we’re expanding our toolkit for marketers, meeting the needs of advertisers and empowering brands to better connect with consumers, beyond linear and traditional digital channels,” says Mike Peralta, VP and GM of Marketing Solutions, a division of T-Mobile. “As the Un-carrier, we’re committed to disrupting the ad tech space. We’re making good on that commitment through innovative solutions, like Octopus.”

Both the buyer and seller say the DOOH market and ad spend on it are growing quickly. “In just the last quarter, the Octopus network of drivers grew by thirty five percent. Now brands can reach over 5 million unique riders per month on the Octopus platform. But it’s not only great for marketers. It enhances the riders’ experience too – delivering interactive games, prizes, premium video and infotainment curated specifically for Uber and Lyft audiences.”

Neither the inclusion of screens in cabs/rideshares or the participation of telecoms in advertising business is new. Rival Verizon had a media wing, but it was sold to Yahoo (with the DOOH business led by well-known signage industry vet Stephanie Gutnik).

I’m not sure how this works with ride share car owners, who also have the option in some US cities of putting on car-topper screens from different media companies. Can you have both???

Leave a comment