Thursday, November 16, 2006

Clear Channel invests in outdoor digital signage

According to this article at Media Post (free subscription required):

CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR IS EXPANDING its digital signage network with a number of new installations in the cities of Tampa, Florida, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the company announced today. In Tampa, three new digital billboards are going live ahead of a planned total of nine for that city's network. In Milwaukee, Clear Channel is bowing six new digital signs.

Measuring 14 by 48 feet, the new signs are standard LED billboards capable of displaying multiple messages, and all are located near heavily trafficked roadways. Segmenting commuter traffic into "day parts" could allow Clear Channel to charge a premium for periods that see heavy commuter traffic--a strategy that Randall Mays, the president and CEO of parent company Clear Channel Communications, has described in public statements.
We typically prefer to call these large outdoor displays digital billboards or electronic billboards, reserving digital signage for smaller indoor applications, but perhaps that's just because of our particular focus on the market.  The article also notes that aside from promoting the viability of the business model Clear Channel is also looking carefully at the technology powering it (unlike traditional media, who, as Paul Meyer, the CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor's global operations says, tend to view tech more as foe than friend).

[ UPDATE 11/16/2006 ] ClearChannel was just purchased by a couple of private equity firms, probably because they want to try some things (perhaps digital signage included) that could have enormous long-term gains, but stock price-killing short-term costs.

Past articles about Clear Channel include:
Clear Channel Outdoor tries out digital billboards in Albuquerque
ClearChannel to try out mall digital signage
Manhattan digital signage network shows sponsored artwork

Tags: Clear Channel, digital signage, electronic billboards, digital billboards, outdoor advertising

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