Thursday, January 04, 2007

Clear Channel brings electronic billboards to Minneapolis/St. Paul

According to MediaPost, newly-privatized Clear Channel has expanded their outdoor electronic billboard project into Minneapolis, which marks the 6th market that they now provide the devices in (previously we noted that they were expanding the network into Tampa, Florida, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin). In total, the Minneapolis/St. Paul screens join those in Cleveland, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Milwaukee, Tampa, and London, England, meeting Clear Channel's previously-stated goal of launching 4-6 digital billboard networks by the end of 2006.

At this point, it will be interesting to watch whether they will continue to expand their network continuously, or if we'll see a dropoff in new installations while they test out their business models for ad sales. On the one hand, Clear Channel probably already has a good idea of whether the screens will be profitable (and how quickly they'll get there), so it might be best to continue with the expansion. On the other, though, they already own much of the best billboard real estate (currently populated by static billboards, of course), so they might not feel much pressure to continue with costly installations while they're still tinkering with the model.

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

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