Sign of the times: In-store private networks open up to ads

Two of the networks run by Channel M, which produces the content for and manages several in-store TV networks, are opening up their programmning to allow third-party advertising.

The networks running in Ashley Furniture and ecko had been entirely store-focused, but will now allow 30-second spots, flash billboards, product integration and trailers that are targeted by geography.

Another Channel M network, Gym TV, had previously announced there would be advertising.

Primarily targeting women, The Ashley Furniture network includes more than 1,500 screens in 215 retail locations reaching more than 900,000 monthly store visitors. ecko, a younger-skewing male brand, has a network across 68 retail locations.

"By providing the ability for brands to connect with consumers who are actually out shopping and ready to make purchases, Channel M has created a more effective method for delivering branded messages that generate immediate sales results. We are pleased to support this evolution in advertising by opening up these retail networks to brands and advertisers," said Dennis Quinn, president of sales and marketing for Channel M.  

In relative terms there still aren't alll that many retailers who have in-store screen networks, but of those out there most have resisted the the third-party ad thing unless it is a third party that came in and both set up and ran the network, like PRN and countless c-store networks. But a very wobbly economy and worrying retail outlook would certainly prompt retailers to look at ways, like ad revenues, to at least offset the costs of their screen networks.

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