The explosion of content is now expanding beyond the screens in our living rooms and on our mobile devices: PervasiveTV, a new entertainment network, is aiming to fill the thousands of screens at well-traveled areas like airports with targeted news and entertainment content.
PervasiveTV founders Ron Bloom and Lynwood Bibbens have partnered with screen owners to fill them with original content, with the goal of reaching 100 million viewers across 1,000 screens by the end of 2016.
“Our simple insight was that it is not the device that is mobile, it is the person,” said Bloom, who recently exited as CEO of BiteSize TV, having completed a sale of the company to Lin Media. “By connecting the screens that people pass every day, we can reach millions of viewers in the only environment where we control the remote.”
Bloom says he already has deals in place with top content providers — including a partnership with AOL that gives them access to programming from networks including ABC, NBC, Fox Sports and more — but aims to produce about 30% of its content in-house. Typical programming may include Hollywood news, a lifestyle piece or a game show, while live text feeds offer local news and sports, weather and additional information.
Bloom tells Variety that the idea came to him when he started to think about the amount of time people spend outside of their homes, which he says is 75% of their day. “What if I could put content on those screens, designed to entertain the person when they pass it?,” he says. “If you can speak to people as they’re passing by, and if they like it just enough, they’ll click it, and the entertainment network will jump over to their mobile.”
Geo-fencing technology will enable viewers to opt-in for a given story. “If you’re a good producer you should be able to create a relationship with the person before they walk away,” he says.
The content is replacing traditional flip ads that filled those screens. “The out-of-home industry was really built on billboard advertising, and they sort of inherited the digital signs that sprouted up in retail outlets from airports to retail stores,” added Bibbens.
Bloom calls this effort “a different paradigm in a highly fractionalized environment,” and says he’s been getting tremendous response in the industry. “We bring the distribution and the eyeballs,” says Bloom, who also executive produces “Hollywood Today Live,” a daily, one-hour show for FOX TV. “Content producers are lining up to give us programming.”