Canadian Elevator Screen Network Expanding Into 10X-Sized US Market

July 11, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The Canadian media firm Vertical City is expanding its core product – screens in elevators – into the much larger US market. The Edmonton company says its Vertical Impression screen network hopes to reach into more than 130 ad markets in the two countries.

“Our goal is to become the largest elevator screen network in North America within the next three years. We do this by committing to relentless innovation, advancing our software, and creating value for all our partners,” says Fouad El-Masri, CEO and Co-Founder at Vertical City

As Canada’s largest residential elevator screen network, Vertical City delivers solutions for property managers, residents, and advertisers. Building upon this success, the company is embarking on an ambitious growth strategy in the U.S., which puts it on track to double its overall network in a single year.

“We are excited to bring our elevator advertising solutions to hundreds of markets across the U.S. that have previously been unreachable. Advertisers will have access to an impactful network that expands the DOOH landscape, with a wide range of venues and audiences. We are taking what brands love about DOOH advertising to the next level,” adds Nicolette Leonardis, President and Co-Founder at Vertical Impression.

In addition to the unique Vertical Impression residential network, the expansion into the US introduces new building types, including commercial, hotel, entertainment, hospital, government, and university properties. This expanded portfolio opens up creative new avenues for advertisers to connect with elevator riders throughout their daily journeys.

The US is roughly 10X the size of the Canadian market, so if you want to grow, you kinda have to go south of the border.

The company uses programmatic partners Vistar, Hivestack, Place Exchange, and Broadsign as part of its sales/revenue generation strategy. Let’s assume the company also has direct sales, as programmatic tends to complement and backfill DOOH networks, and not be the sole ad sales component.

US-based Captivate is the oldest and largest company putting screens in elevators. While it is known mainly for screens in commercial office properties, the company also has a residential offer.

The Canadian OOH media company Pattison also has a residential screen network.

Vertical City puts the screens in at no charge to the property, recovering its investment via ad revenues. The build it and they will come thing in elevators has been around for a quarter-century, but the costs of infrastructure are a fraction of what they were when Captivate and Canada’s Elevator News Network (ENN) started up (the two merged in 2001).

My dark past includes being VP Ops for ENN, and at that time, the cost of getting a screen live in an elevator was about $13,000 – per elevator. All the technical costs have gone to the floor (sorry, I had to), but the labor costs would still be significant. You tend to need an elevator mechanic to do things like tap into elevator car power, and they were insanely expensive in 1999, when I first went at it.

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