SINGAPORE — Locals can’t escape the boob tube — the island republic has become the first country in the world to offer digital television in public buses to people on the move.
Singapore already has 100% cable take-up. Now TV Mobile, launched Feb. 14 by broadcast incumbent MediaCorp TV, and new entrant SPH MediaWorks’ Channel OOH!, are saturating the city with digital TV.
TV Mobile claims to reach a daily captive aud of 1.5 million commuters on 1,500 buses, with plans to double the number of buses within a year.
The system uses Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) to broadcast 16 hours of programming per day, 70% in the lingua franca English and 30% in Mandarin Chinese.
Programming is tailored to the average 20-minute journey and ranges from entertainment and fashion, to movie previews, sports and news.
CEO of TV Mobile Anthony Gan says: “Advertisers have a new platform for outdoor advertising with the advent of digital TV broadcasting. They have the advantage of a large captive audience at affordable rates.”
Staking a claim
Not far behind is SPH MediaWorks with its Channel OOH! In a joint venture tentatively called CaptiveVision, MediaWorks will take a 36.4% stake for $1.2 million. Digital transmission specialist Advent Television will also take a 36.4% stake and transmit Channel OOH! on DVB-T or DAB depending on regulatory approval. WxS Intl., with 109 screens in 7-Elevenstores and Caltex stations, will take a 27.2% stake for nearly $1 million.
Lee Cheok Yew, CEO of SPH MediaWorks, says: “The out-of-home market in Singapore grew almost 40% last year to hit over $40 million, based on the current rather boring offering.
“With its fresh, professional and innovative offering, Channel OOH! stands a good chance of expanding that market and gaining a sizable share of it.”