OUTFRONT Media has won the advertising and communications concession agreements for the subways, commuter rail cars and buses, as well as billboards, owned by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, otherwise known as the MTA.
The long-term public-private partnership with the MTA is positioned as a way for the MTA to provide real-time and intelligent communications to its customers and generate advertising revenue.
“We are pleased to announce that the MTA is renewing its long-term partnership with OUTFRONT Media, and we are excited by the visionary new media network we will build together across the New York City transit system,” says Jeremy Male, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OUTFRONT Media. “The experience for riders will be transformed through enhanced digital communications, aesthetics, and creativity. We are confident that its appeal to advertisers can grow this important resource for the MTA, its customers, and our stakeholders.”
The deal will see OUTFRONT Media deploy more than 50,000 screens across the vast MTA transit system, which would have to make it one of the largest digital OOH networks in the US and perhaps globally.
OUTFRONT’s Liveboard digital displays will be installed on a rolling basis, over a number of years, commencing in 2018. OUTFRONT Media will also continue the management of over 500 billboard locations for the MTA.
“This contract represents an entirely new approach for the MTA, offering dramatically improved customer communications, and an upside potential for more advertising revenues,” says Joseph Lhota, Chairman of the MTA. “OUTFRONT Media’s commitment to installing digital screens in stations and on rolling stock will provide us with new ways of generating advertising revenue, while at the same time giving us a new platform to quickly and effectively get relevant information to our customers.”
The MTA system includes 472 subway stations, 6,407 subway cars, 247 commuter rail stations, 2,429 commuter rail cars and 1,255 buses.
The video shows all the different types of locations where screens would, in theory, be placed in rail cars and elsewhere. If they really do 50,000, and we think in conservative terms of $2,000 in infrastructure and installation labor (think I am way under) per screen, this is a $100 million investment. You have to sell one hell of a lot of career college and learn to speak English ads to pay for all that.
I am fairly certain the media company uses its own ON Smart Media platform for ad and message delivery, so I doubt there is a play for any CMS or ad targeting software company, but there’s obviously a significant opportunity for specialty display and rugged media player companies. Designing solutions that will stand up to the constant vibrations on rolling trains and buses, and the abuse of the general public, is a tall task.
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.