Channel M, Ripple and others lock horns in digital signage market

Published on: 2015-02-05

The Industry Standard follows the challenges that Channel M, Ripple and others face in the digital out-of-home advertising world:

Retailers are starting to invest in interactive displays which can show dynamic ads inside stores to better target customers who are stuck waiting in store lines. From the gas station to the coffee store, these displays are popping up everywhere. Pretty soon, look for an ad display in your bathroom. (joke, for now).

One benefiiciary is Channel M, which announced today that Intel Capital has invested in it. Los Angeles-based Channel M is one of a number of companies in this space. Another is Ripple, whose president, Ali Diab, I met last week. (our past coverage) Channel M runs national brand ads on displays inside 20,000 retail locations such as Macy’s or Blockbuster. Ripple, by contrast, has about 1,500 displays in place at coffee shops and bookstores where local advertisers entice customers to get a bagel next door.

Ripple, meanwhile, was founded in 2005 and it has 40 people in El Seguno, Calif. It has raised $15 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Trinity Ventures. It is focused on putting up 40-inch displays in community-gathering places, including Borders bookstores and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores.

Part of the key is finding people waiting in line because they’re a captive audience. Ripple also needs a high-speed Internet connect, such as DSL or Wi-Fi, to feed its video content to the screens. The company hones in on local ads, like people who want to send birthday messages to their friends through services dubbed ShoutOut.

Our take:

We're not sure why they decided to suggest that Ripple and Channel M are "locking horns," since they aren't really competitors (Ripple and Danoo would have been a better choice, in that case). However, our industry continues to draw attention from the wider marketplace, which is probably due to the fact that the outdoor advertising market has been growing at a significant rate the past 5 years or so. Those experienced with the digital out of home industry won't find much new in the article, but if you aren't familiar with the likes of Ripple, Danoo or Channel M, it's worth a read.

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