Sunday, December 17, 2006

Narrowcasting becomes mainstream

Narrowcasting is becoming mainstream. That was the conclusion of the speakers at the conference on narrowcasting in Utrecht. Main companies like the Dutch railways company and the Schiphol Airport company have fine results. And narrowcasting looks like getting a subset: microcasting.

NS, the Dutch railways company. The Dutch railways company NS and Viacom Outdoor will place some 30 big screens of 26 square metres in stations all over The Netherlands. It is a next step in narrowcasting by the NS.NS has been in narrowcasting even before the term existed. Some years ago it experimented with teletext screens intended for departure times, news and advertisements in a few stations. However this experiment, technically supported by TSS, never left the drawing board. Besides this experiment, the NS experiments with screens in trains from Haarlem to Maastricht. But now NS goes big into narrowcasting with big screens in the station halls and LCD screens instead of the analogue indicators. Since July a big screen has been placed in the Utrecht station hall. The first results are announced recently at a conference on narrowcasting. Travellers were positive about the screen and its content. Despite the fact that there is no sound, names of advertisers can be recalled. And a first interactive experiment with Bluetooth and Mp3 downloading music from the record company Universal has been executed with success.

Schiphol Airport. Schiphol Airport placed 2.000 small screens with travel information, advertisement and other content. Compared with the older tubes, which showed only travel information, people are happier with the new ones. The appreciation has grown from 73 to 82 percent.

Rabo bank. The Rabo bank, one of the largest banks in The Netherlands is installing screens above well visited cash points.

Besides public big screens, there are a series of narrowcasting projects in The Netherlands:
- Screen in trams in Amsterdam;
- Shopping centres, e.g. in Utrecht;
- Tabacco shops;
- Electronic sores of Mediamarkt;
- Book shops.

Narrowcasting is spreading fast over Europe. Especially at metro stations LCD screens are becoming common. In London Viacom Outdoor is installing screens, mainly for advertisements. In Vienna advertisements and news is shown. Soon Elf petrol stations will get screens which can generate electronic vouchers.

New is the microcasting, messages directed towards a person. In Utrecht a health kiosk has been set up where in three minutes weight, body mass, body fat, blood pressure and heart rhythm can be measured. The contact with the client is one-to-one.

Tags: narrowcasting, microcasting

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Blog Posting Number: 607

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