Monday, December 17, 2007

Focus Media (FMCN) to join the Nasdaq-100

In what's certainly an industry-first, Focus Media, the gigantic Chinese digital signage network (among other things now), has announced that they will be added to the Nasdaq-100 index. The Nasdaq-100 is basically the list of 100 of the largest domestic and international non-financial securities listed on Nasdaq (based on the company's market capitalization). Focus is not only the first digital signage company to make the list, they're actually the first Chinese company to do so (but probably not the last, considering how things are going over there).

Today the company operates nearly 140,000 digital screens and 170,000 static posters, mostly in elevators and building lobbies. They also have a network of 200 LED billboards, and they recently purchased a mobile/web advertising company.

What does this mean for the industry in general? Well, probably not a whole lot, if last October's Strategy Institute conference on investing in out-of-home media was any indication. From what I could make out at that conference, apparently the Wall Street guys have absolutely no interest in the growth potential of the market outside of what the big players -- currently Clear Channel, JC Decaux and Lamar -- are doing. Presumably they'll be forced to add Focus to their list of companies to watch, though considering they operate 100% inside of China, obviously they won't have much of an impact on the US market in the near future.

If you're an investment analyst new to the digital signage industry, we have a simple, straightforward introduction to digital signage written up that you might want to check out.

Tags: , ,

No comments: