Tuesday, November 27, 2007

IBN to install digital signage network in Subway QSRs?

Or so Joe Mandese at MediaPost says in this little blurb. The article is light on details, noting that, "the agreement is believed to be system-wide, and would bring IBN's advertising and video content into nearly 30,000 subway restaurant franchises operating in some 85 countries worldwide, making it one of the biggest video advertising networks in the world."

I had actually heard that several companies were pitching Subway in the past 18 months, some large some small. Additionally, I had also heard that Subway was only interested in those networks where somebody else would foot the bill for the build-out. While it's all rumor and speculation at this point, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that IBN was raising a massive amount of capital in the very near future (if this all turns out to be true, of course).

30,000 is a lot of locations. If they went with a bare-bones approach and used 32" LCD panels (so you could get away with a one-man install team at each site), you'd still probably be looking at a minimum of $1,500 to install, which works out to an up-front cost of $45 million. Figure in the operational costs, content production, etc., and you've got some pretty serious money on the line.

John Morgan, are you out there? Any comments?

[UPDATE] First, Dave Haynes scooped me, here's his take on the tiny blurb of MediaPost quasi-information. Next, John Morgan from IBN came through and has commented on what is (or isn't) going on. Check it out :)

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Anonymous said...

what about their other project: Kroger? large-scale rollout that was to happen a few years ago.

Bill Gerba said...

Good question. I've only heard more rumor and speculation about that, unfortunately. But I've been to a couple of Krogers in the past few months that didn't have digital signs, so the rollout isn't finished yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm not at liberty to discuss the Subway reports. Sorry. ;-)

As to the question about Kroger, unfortunately our initial rollout schedule was pushed back when we were asked to come up with a more elegant solution to in-aisle video. Our original in-aisle screens were too bulky and mounted too high.


So our engineering team spent several months perfecting the IBN Shelf Screen, a dual-sided, shelf-mounted beauty:


We resumed installations beginning this October and now have 50 stores installed in Houston. Los Angeles and Dallas start this week and we’re on track to have 1,200+ stores done by the end of 2008.

Bill Gerba said...

Hi John, thanks for the follow-up. Knew you'd come through for us :)

Good to hear that Kroger has resumed. I think the 2-sided shelf-mount looks great, but have you run into any maintenance/breakage problems with that format? I'd be concerned with people smacking them around (intentionally or otherwise).

As for Subway, nobody reads this blog. Just post what you know here. The Internet promises to keep your secret safe. Right, Internet?

Anonymous said...

The screens are mounted on a spring-mounted hinge so you can bend them flat against the shelf and they'll spring back into place. They've also got a rubberized housing. They are pretty indestructable and have been through all of the ADA testing.

Regarding Subway, yes it's true...I like Subway sandwiches. We have one a block away from our office. A lot of people from our company eat there.

Anonymous said...

You can already advertise in over 2,000 Subways today - http://www.privatelabelradio.com/clients/subway/

Anonymous said...

And if you only want to advertise in NYC Subway restaurants , do it here:

Anonymous said...

It is one thing to execute a contract for 30,000 restaurants...it is another to implement...look how long Kroger has taken to install since the announcement...It is alot harder than it looks..let's not get overly impressed with PR announcements...good luck