Outfront Media’s Digital Platform May Provide Reach and Engagement That Marketers Have Only Dreamed About
LAS VEGAS, NV — Videri, an early-stage media technology company, has emerged from out of nowhere and is set to shake up the advertising world. The company will unveil a new technology platform tomorrow at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that, according to the company, will fundamentally change the digital out-of-home (DOOH) media space.
According to Videri, it has been operating in stealth mode for more than 3 years while developing its platform. The company started with a clean slate by examining the out-of-home market and figuring out what was missing. The conclusion: digital out-of-home technology is too expensive and highly compromised, and because current display technology is expensive, digital signage displays are being deployed sparingly. Videri plans to change that by expanding the digital out-of-home media ecosystem using very low cost, highly capable display technology. Now here’s the twist—Videri’s platform is not aimed solely at replacing high-priced digital signage; it also aims to replace traditional paper and vinyl signs at a comparable cost.
“If we can deliver a display platform that costs the same to install and support as a piece of vinyl advertising, if we could make that price equal, then digital will explode,” said Marc Trachtenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Videri. “It’s our intent to deliver a platform that can approach those kind of economics.”
Outfront Media Partnership
Videri has entered into an exclusive partnership with Outfront Media, one of the largest out-of-home media companies in the United States, to launch a new platform that’s built to engage audiences at mass scale, including the capability to deliver highly targeted campaigns.
Outfront Media, formerly known as CBS Outdoor, reaches millions of people each day with both traditional and digital media. Outfront’s digital assets include large-format digital billboards, digital transit shelters, interior commuter rail car and rail platform screens, and street-level digital urban networks in major cities.
The partnership will begin rolling out a completely new patent-pending, addressable digital display system starting in the first half of 2015. The new display platform enables Outfront to push content using cloud distribution, and it allows Outfront’s clients to seamlessly connect to a wide range of media services, such as agency workflow systems and programmatic options. Outfront’s partners will also have access to a real-time dashboard that includes campaign performance information and audience analytics.
“Our partnership with Videri will introduce an entirely new digital opportunity to the out-of-home industry, and is a pivotal step in our roadmap as leaders in innovation,” said Jeremy Male, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Outfront Media. “We are excited to work with Videri to create new ways to connect advertisers with the best audiences, and we believe this technology will prove to be truly transformational.”
A New Paradigm
Forget everything you know about digital signage technology. Videri’s platform shatters the old model by eliminating components that drive up the cost of deployment and maintenance. It’s a paradigm shift in how digital out-of-home networks will be deployed, and how content will be distributed and consumed.
Videri’s technology is housed inside an ultra-thin, lightweight, all-in-one form factor that is less than one-quarter of an inch thick. The displays are solid-state, and there is no media player or power supply. Since there is no power supply, there are no heat dissipation issues. The screens will perform in extreme temperature environments, can be completely enclosed in weatherproof, vandal-proof housing for outdoor applications, and can be fabricated to meet any size that is complementary to the existing out-of-home market. Videri’s technology enables digital signage displays to be deployed in places where displays have yet to penetrate, including in commuter and rail transit cars by replacing paper signs with full-motion digital displays.
What sets Videri’s displays apart is the platform’s self-awareness. Every screen knows its geo-location, orientation, and size, and it has awareness of other Videri-powered displays nearby. This permits a number of intriguing creative opportunities for advertisers, including the ability to simulcast ad campaigns on a local, regional, national, or even global scale with near-perfect synchronization. When Outfront Media’s platform achieves scale, it has the potential to reach more consumers than television.
“Reaching audiences at scale does not mean thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even millions. It’s much bigger,” said Trachtenberg.
The displays also recognize different media formats, such as video or still images, and automatically compensate the brightness and contrast for optimal viewing using meta-tags embedded in the content. Videri’s displays also allows content to be app-driven. Appified content lets brands engage with consumers and drives screen content via social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook. The displays can even present content inside discrete zones and play multiple video feeds, images, and app-driven content at the same time.
The platform will also add new capabilities to Outfront’s existing digital out-of-home displays, including large format billboards, transit displays, and other digital place-based screens.
Engaging Audiences at Mass Scale
Mobile is about location, but it’s also about time and mindset, according to the CMO Council’s latest whitepaper, Getting In Sync with Mobile. Mobile has become the cornerstone of customer experience, and it’s never been more important to be relevant in real-time with today’s mobile consumers. Consumers expect a fully connected, personalized, and relevant mobile experience.
Outfront Media believes that digital out-of-home is complementary to mobile, and if they are successful in their execution, it will provide opportunities for Outfront and for advertisers. Outfront Media is planning on using Videri’s technology to transform traditional advertising media from a one-way push environment into a two-way active environment that engages consumers across multiple platforms. “To us, it’s a unified experience that makes us more relevant,” added Trachtenberg.
New Metric on the Horizon?
A new study by Nielsen on behalf of AOL recommends adding a new “Attention” metric to the current metrics of reach and frequency. The study examined the impact of mobile devices on television viewing and ad recall. According to AOL/Nielsen, when consumers are distracted, advertising pays the price. Distracted video viewing dramatically impacts advertising effectiveness, from ad recall to persuasion.
The Outdoor Media Centre, a UK-based trade body for outdoor media owners, released the results of a study last April on consumers’ mindset when outside of the home and found that on-the-go consumers have a much higher level of alertness compared with those viewing media at home. Heightened alertness can lead to higher absorption and recall of advertising messages. The study also found that as a result, people were more likely to take action after seeing outdoor advertising compared to other media. Twenty-three percent of consumers searched for more information on their mobile device after seeing an outdoor ad compared to 16% for other media.
If Outfront Media and Videri deliver on the promise of this new platform, it could be a real game changer for marketers and completely change the landscape for DOOH media. Outfront’s partnership with Videri might very well be the next big thing in digital out-of-home advertising—and its competitors will be forced to play catch-up.
Free Online Tools for Media Buyers and Planners
The DOOH Ad Network Locator is a free online resource designed to help media buyers, planner and brand strategists identify place-based digital out-of-home advertising networks by location, venue type, demographics and reach. There are more than 160 advertising-based networks organized by country that include Australia, Canada, United States and the UK. The United States is organized by venue type as it has the broadest range of venue categories, with the greatest number of ad-based networks operating within each category.
Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising, also known as Digital Place Based (DPB) media, utilizes strategically placed, networked digital signage displays to reach on-the-go consumers while they are outside of their home with highly targeted messages. Digital out-of-home screens can be found in locations that include transportation hubs such as airports, railway and bus terminals; executive networks in office-building lobbies and elevators. Other venues include shopping malls, gas stations, fast-casual restaurants, fitness centers, hotels and more.