NYTimes.com, RMG launch digital out-of-home partnership

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The New York Times began distributing content through 850 digital out-of-home screens in coffee shops, cafes and airport newsstands on March 1. The partnership with RMG Networks, a video entertainment and media company, is targeting five cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.

The ad-supported screens, branded as the NYTimes.com Today network, deliver content on a 14-minute loop. Some subjects are customized based on location.

Donna Boyer, the project's GM at RMG Networks, said consumers can use their cell phones to engage with the Times and advertisers.

“While people are waiting in line for coffee or their lunch, they tend to have their phones on them and be idly checking text messages,” she said. “Through SMS and Bluetooth downloads, this is a great opportunity for The New York Times and brand advertisers to engage consumers.”

Boyer added that viewers can optin by text message to receive more information from advertisers or the Times. For example, users can download entire Times stories via Bluetooth, or enter sweepstakes or receive coupons from advertisers.

The partnership's target audience is business professionals in high-income locations.

The network will be available in franchises including Dunkin Donuts and Café Metro in New York and Trimana in Los Angeles. More than 70% of screen locations either sell The New York Times or are near a newsstand.

The Times and RMG are planning to launch 850 more screens in coming months. RMG's advertisers include Yahoo and GM, both of which are sponsoring this deal's content.

RMG has more than 60,000 screens nationwide, including those in gyms and on JetBlue and Continenetal flights.  

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The New York Times Co. was not immediately available for comment.

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