Feeds

Clear Channel turns digital billboards into 'store fronts'

Fewer adverts, more interaction

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

The CEO of Clear Channel says there will be fewer billboards in the future, but that those which remain will be screens, and able to sell you stuff too, the Financial Times reports.

The move away from paper posters shouldn't be any surprise: in city centres screens are already replacing paper posters and Clear Channel reckons that in the UK 10 per cent of our billboards are already screens. But the exploitation of "dwell time" – time spent waiting for a bus or similar – to sell as well as promote stuff is new, and will be powered by the widespread adoption of Near Field Communications (NFC).

NFC enables short-range communications from extremely low-cost hardware, so a tag costing less than 20 pence can be embedded in a poster and transmit a URL to a smartphone waved nearby. That URL could connect the user to a transaction service, say Amazon, to place an order for the product advertised – turning the billboard into a store front.

That increases the value of the billboards, which is good news for Clear Channel International as it runs nearly a million of the things around the world, including more than 200,000 in the US.

According to William Eccleshare, Clear Shannel's CEO, in 10 years' time 90 per cent of our billboards will be electronic screens, with adverts booked for specific time slots in a way more akin to TV than traditional posters. The paper points out that Magners already limits its poster advertising around Piccadilly Circus to Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, as there's little point promoting posh cider at nine in the morning, even outside Vulture Towers.

But it is NFC that has the company really excited about transforming posters into shops, and making money out of them: "This year we are going to start seeing some real breakthroughs ... in terms of providing real revenue and a real business model" gushes the CEO, and with a million potential shop fronts to hand, why wouldn't he? ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.