Captivate Adds Content Partners in Push for a 360-Degree Ad Solution

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Media is still fragmented, and as busy consumers become more and more media-averse, the industry is looking for new ways to reach them and new places to target them.

Captivate announced Tuesday that 12 new content providers are joining the company’s digital place-based media network to take advantage of one of those new ways: on screens in thousands of building elevators and lobbies across the U.S. In the moments in a building lobby and elevator, consumers are looking for something to do, says Lorenzo Papa, executive VP of advertising sales at Captivate, in an interview with Street Fight. Captivate uses editorial content to provide actionable information – content that is useable and useful for a sometimes reluctant viewer.

“With TV, you have declining ratings, you have new technology that people can use to fast-forward through the commercials,” Papa says. “People are migrating to OTT options like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon. With digital, you have concerns around transparency, fraud, finding a brand-safe environment.”

Captivate’s network offers that safe environment, he says, with a bonus usefulness for the consumer. The 12 new providers include Vox Media, Bloomberg, Billboard, Quartz, and The Hollywood Reporter, as well as Stadium sports video content (previously 120 Sports), theSkimm, Mogul, Influenster, and Canadian news network CBC. Specifically local content will be provided by entertainment curating company DoStuff, and traffic software and data analytics company INRIX.

“I think of our buildings as individual social communities,” Papa says. “So at work that day, a good portion of the audience we reach is looking for something to do, maybe go out to a movie, go to dinner. With DoStuff they get a recommendation to hear some music or where to go for food or drinks. With INRIX, we’re trying to enhance the viewer’s lives by providing them with information they want but without having to seek out themselves. If you think about the timeframe between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., you’re leaving work, on your way home, what’s the traffic like?”

Especially in commuting cities such as Dallas or Los Angeles, real-time local traffic information is actionable content that has more potential to engage audiences.

Captivate conducts a bi-annual study to get an accurate view of demographics for advertisers. The company uses Nielsen metrics for demographics and impression methodology, which show engagement data such as how many people are watching the displays and for how long they watched. Customer intelligence company Vision Critical provides impact-based numbers on a campaign-by-campaign basis, showing if viewer interest went up or down, and how perceptions were changed.

Vox Media subsidiaries The Verge, ReCode, Eater, SB Nation, Racked, Polygon, and Curbed will all also provide timely and relevant information in the Vox-Captivate partnership.

Including the newest 12 media companies, Captivate now has more than 100 content partners in its network. In the last two years, the company has expanded into nine new markets across North America: Detroit, Tampa, Milwaukee, Tulsa, Memphis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Austin, and Ottawa, reaching consumers in more than 30 markets.

“If you think about how we live our lives on a daily basis, we’re all pretty much tethered to our smartphones,” Papa says. “I know for me, I sleep with mine next to me. What Captivate is trying to do is create connective tissue between the smartphone and the individual viewer, with their desktop computer at work, their tablet at home, and with the elevator and lobby screens, so we can provide advertisers with an offline-online 360-degree solution that really follows an audience.”

April Nowicki is a contributor at Street Fight.