The deal follows the announcement by Captivate, another major place-based video, that it will also be launching online content in the near future.
The WaMu portal, which is only available to members of the bank's customer value program, will feature exclusive music artist interviews, concert footage and ticket sales. Unlike most place-based networks, which license content from other media companies, Channel M creates its own entertainment content with an in-house production staff of 30. It also has a library of about 100,000 pieces of licensed video content.
Currently, Channel M's network covers over 20,000 locations, including Macy's and Blockbuster stores. Channel M offers marketers access to television advertising, in-store signage and product integration services in about 7,500 of those locations.
As we noted last week, another out-of-home advertising company, Captivate Networks, has also gotten into more elaborate content creation deals lately. Considering that Channel M must employ its bevy of content creation professionals on an ongoing basis, it makes good business and financial sense to try and find ways to exploit their current expertise in retail media through channels that might provide a good source of ongoing revenue should the growth of in-store TV falter (or at least not grow as quickly as expected). While the content used online and on digital signage networks is somewhat dissimilar, the skills used to create them are largely the same, which is likely what Channel M is trying to take advantage of. Additionally, by providing these services to retailers with which they typically don't work, Channel M is also getting their foot in the door should the opportunity to work in-store arise in the future.