Through its acquisition of Barfly Interactive Networks, a rapidly growing in-bar advertising and media company, TouchTunes Corporation, the largest out-of-home interactive entertainment network, will augment its expansive system of digital jukeboxes with prominent screens in bars across the United States. Barfly will bring new content from some of the most influential brands in the world, adding to TouchTunes' robust digital music, advertising and games offering.Our take:
The Barfly in-bar media platform, which has successfully operated in approximately 150 bars in select metropolitan markets for the past year, was built as a fully legal way to create a brand conversation at the point of sale with bar patrons between the ages of 21-34, a demographic that has become increasingly media sensitive and tech savvy. Its content is a balanced mix of interactive entertainment and marketing messages from its partners.
There's no doubt that TouchTunes has one of the more successful alternative out-of-home advertising platforms around, but with 35,000 installed locations we wonder why they bothered buying somebody like Barfly, with a relatively puny 150 locations themselves. If TouchTunes really wanted to try out digital signage, there would surely be more cost effective ways to do so. Perhaps they were more inrested in Barfly's sales team, which, as we all know, can make or break an ad-funded digital signage network deployment. Or, Barfly might have been in some kind of financial trouble, in which case TouchTunes might have picked them up for less than the cash value of their assets (let alone the "real estate" acquisition cost).
One way or another, expect TouchTunes to expand the footprint of their new digital signage network into some, if not eventually all of their jukebox locations.