A couple of stories caught my attention today. First, Reach Media Group (RMG), a digital out-of-home company that we’ve previously written about, signed a deal to push New York Times content to its network of 800 coffee shops, cafes and eateries in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco.
According to the press release, RMG’s digital place-based network (formerly known as “Danoo”) has been entirely re-envisioned to emulate the familiar, trusted design of NYTimes.com. We think this move will add considerable credibility to the fledgling network. It can offer a more compelling content experience (assuming you find the NYTimes content compelling) and ultimately, a more legitimate advertising sales proposition.
For some time now, we’ve said that digital out-of-home or digital place-based advertising models will develop rapidly over the next five years. But this scenario relies on the consolidation of the market, more standardized advertising options, and more targeting and mobile content connectivity.
We think we’ll get there. The potential for consumers to view condensed content on a screen and then connect to www.NYT2day.com for the full story offers advertisers a proxy for performance, and the user a simple way to more fully engage in the content.
The second interesting story today comes from The Omaha World Herald, which reports that New York equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors has made an offer to purchase Omaha-based InfoGroup — formerly known as InfoUSA. A deal like this has been expected since late last year, when the company hired an advisor to essentially find a buyer.
According to The World Herald, the sale of InfoGroup has been supported by Vin Gupta, the company’s founder and former CEO. While Gupta is no longer an officer of the company, he still sits on the board of directors. In our view, InfoGroup’s sale makes good sense for the company and the shareholders. Taking it private will enable the company to continue its re-branding process from InfoUSA to InfoGroup.
For years we’ve been asked by companies around the globe if InfoUSA or any of its competitors offered similar business listing information. Shifting the name to InfoGroup would certainly enable the company to expand it offerings beyond its current borders.
Should this deal be finalized, it would presumably be the end of Gupta’s involvement, active or passive, in the company he founded almost 40 years ago with $100 and the vision to compile, aggregate and verify the names, addresses and telephone numbers of millions of businesses in America. Certainly, it has been a difficult job. But Gupta and his pioneering colleagues can proudly take credit for delivering hundreds of millions of qualified leads to SMBs.