JCDecaux SA, a top outdoor advertising company worldwide, announced that its newly formed joint venture with Interstate Outdoor Advertising and sister company, Foster Interstate, has signed a 20-year contract with the city of Chicago to operate 34 up to 1200 square feet digital billboards with 60 LED-display panels along city expressways.
The Chicago City Digital Network is the U.S.'s first public-private partnership to create a large-scale digital billboard network on public land. It will serve as a communications broadcast system for emergencies, weather and traffic alerts, safety issues and cultural events while at the same time generating revenue for the city and providing advertisers the best locations along expressways to display messages on a real-time basis.
"While the city continues to crack down on illegal billboards, we are creating a billboard network with cutting-edge digital technology that will allow us to better communicate with residents and travelers about important public safety announcements," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
"Chicago is becoming the Silicon Valley of digital outdoor media," said Jean-Francois Decaux, co-CEO of JCDecaux. "Ten years after winning the street furniture contract delivering prime audiences in downtown Chicago, JCDecaux, in partnership with Interstate affiliates, will develop and operate the best digital billboard locations along Chicago's busiest expressways, offering a one-stop solution for national and local advertisers in the third-largest U.S. market. Billboard advertising represents more than 60 percent of the U.S. outdoor advertising market and digital billboards is the fastest growing segment. The Chicago City Digital Network will pave the way for JCDecaux to build more digital billboards on an organic basis in other U.S. cities."
JCDecaux is the largest outdoor advertising company in the world and a market leader in Europe and Asia-Pacific. JCDecaux, which first invented the concept of street furniture in 1964, is currently the only world-class player exclusively focused on outdoor advertising, pursuing a comprehensive range of activities in the areas of street furniture, transport advertising and billboard. Employing a total of 10,300 people, the group has operations in 55 countries around the world (1,013,500 advertising panels), and is present in 3,700 cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants.