To Bolster its business editorial, the Gannett-owned out-of-home company has partnered with BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, Crain's New York Business, and Crain's Chicago Business.Our take:
As part of its strategy to expand its local programming, Captivate hired a dedicated editorial staff of six to deliver customized local news and content to 23 cities. The editorial staff also manage six blogs, a shift in the business model for Captivate, which is now extending its brand to the Internet in order to reach an audience that are exposed to its screens every day.
Typically, out-of-home networks have relied on national content. "Captivate has taken a radically different approach with live and original programming, valuable local information and the creation of blogs that brings our content to the viewer's desktop," said Mike DiFranza, president and general manager for Captivate Network.
Instead of using RSS feeds, which by their format are difficult to adapt to its elevator screens, Captivate will rely on the live editorial team to select and boil-down information into readable, digestible tidbits to feature on the network.
This is a fascinating look into the driving forces behind Captivate, arguably one of the more successful large-scale digital signage networks in the country. While most ad-funded networks are firmly in the 'glance medium' category and thus rely on attention-grabbing advertising content to catch the shopper's eye for just a second or two, Captivate has the opposite (but equally challenging) task of staying relevant to viewers who might have nothing else to look at for up to a minute or more. Consequently, their focus on good editorial and the delivery of timely, relevant information to viewers not only makes them more attractive to advertisers (whose spots would run alongside the "real" information), but also more endeared to viewers (who would probably be likely to try and avoid a full minute of nothing but annoying, full-screen ads).