Friday, July 20, 2007

NBC U partners with PRN to sell digital signage ads

According to this post at Media Buyer/Planner, NBC Universal is aggressively expanding into the out-of-home advertising market, announcing a partnership deals to sell ad space both on PRN's Supermarket Checkout TV (found in more than 1,000 stores), as well as plans to do the same on a digital signage network on New Jersey's PATH trains. According to the article, "NBC U said the deal with PRN will yield 45 million impressions a year. More details of the deal, including ad specifics, are expected to be announced later this week."

In the past they've worked with VST Media Network to deliver content to their network of about 500 gas pump-top digital signs, and have also placed screens into about 550 taxi cabs in New York and Chicago, sometimes through a partnership with Clear Channel. Interestingly, while the article of course focuses on the PRN/Checkout TV deal, PRN's biggest customer -- WalMart -- is notably absent from the list of participating retailers. I guess that when it comes to in-store advertising, Wal-Mart really does keep tight reins, and plans to keep managing ad sales exclusively through PRN.

NBC U's continue expansion into the space echoes former NBC U Television Stations Director Jay Ireland's note that the firm is aggressively pursuing new venues aside from TV, and that out-of-home represents a "huge opportunity" for growth. Given their success so far, and the variety of venues that they've been selling into, I wouldn't be surprised if NBC U eventually becomes the first of the big aggregate digital signage media sales agents that we've all been waiting for and/or talking about. An entity like that could surely give digital signage ad sales startup SeeSaw Networks a run for their money, so that's going to deserve some ongoing attention.

With NBC U continuing to grow their presence in the space, I wonder if we'll start to see other media sales agencies start getting into the mix, either as suppliers to them, or by building out their own aggregate/affiliate networks.

Tags: NBC Universal, PRN, Checkout TV, digital signage

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