Zoom Media & Marketing has installed over 500 digital signs in nightlife venues in the country's top 10 DMAs since the rollout began last October. To date, the rollout has brought digital signage to hundreds of bars, clubs and restaurants, and Zoom plans to have digital signs installed in 1,000 venues by spring 2009.Our take:
The digital LCD panels, measuring between 37 and 50 inches wide, can be used to deliver advertising and promotional messages alongside relevant, engaging content from the venues themselves, such as menus, specials, events and announcements.
Connected by broadband Internet to Zoom's central server, they can display high-definition video, as well as static text and animation.
The out-of-home video medium is exploding, and nightlife spots are currently some of the most attractive venues for place-based video networks, delivering a young audience that is relatively "relaxed" and potentially more receptive to ad messages. Zoom, however, did not release any financial figures.
According to the most recent study of bar advertising by Arbitron, 43% of 21- to-34-year-old males said they had visited a bar in the past week. Bargoers are more likely than teetotalers to be early adopters of new technology; they are also more likely to make word-of-mouth recommendations to their friends.
The company's digital signage push hit the 500 mark a few months after it acquired the bar and nightclub assets of Alloy Media + Marketing's Insite division, covering over 2,000 bars, clubs and restaurants. After the acquisition, Zoom's nightlife ad portfolio now includes 4,000-plus venues with more than 20,000 signage installations.
500 screens is definitely a milestone worth writing home about. Even though many of today's networks have learned from the past failures of other big names, very few ever make it past a couple of hundred screens. On their side Zoom has the ideal target demographic, the 18-34 year-olds, and the ability to pitch to these people in a comfortable, casual, consumption-friendly environment. In addition, their acquisition of Alloy Media gives them a huge footprint -- over 20,000 screens in over 4,000 venues, making them more attractive to national ad buyers who like to see significant coverage in lots of the top-25 demographic areas before they're willing to make a purchase. While normally we'd discount a digital signage company who had plans to grow to an additional 1,500 sites in the near future, with a contined strong execution, Zoom Media is one that could certainly meet that goal.