InLinks go live in Cardiff
InLinks launch in Cardiff: the second Welsh city to benefit from free ultrafast Wi-Fi and phone calls.
Cardiff joins Swansea as the second Welsh city to benefit from free InLinks, which already have more than 215,000 subscribers across the UK.
The first three dual-language InLinks have been activated in the city, providing ultrafast Wi-Fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available in the UK.
The first of the fully-accessible InLinks have recently gone live on Queen Street, St Mary Street and Bridge Street, with further activations expected in the coming weeks. With the roll-out of the first three InLinks in Cardiff brands have access to a busy high street audience.
Not only do 77% of consumers agree InLinks have a positive impact on their communities, our research has shown that 75% of them feel more positively about brands that sponsor services such as Wi-Fi, charging locations and travel information.
The UK rollout has so far seen more than 522 screens installed in Swansea, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Gateshead, Glasgow, Southampton, Newcastle and Sheffield, as well as nine London boroughs; with hundreds more to be installed in key towns and cities across the UK.
Since the first InLink was launched in June last year, more than 215,000 people have subscribed to the service’s free Wi-Fi, using enough data to download the equivalent of more than 24.7 million songs. The InLinks have saved people more than £980,000 in free calls, with 50,000 calls being made on average every week across the UK.
The InLinks also provide free phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles, rapid mobile device charging, the BT Phone Book app, as well as easy access to charity helplines.
InLinkUK and its partner BT have worked closely with stakeholders in Wales to ensure that the new InLinks will support both Welsh and English languages, with both the screens and the tablet showcasing dual language information at launch.
Cardiff’s local community are also benefiting from the InLink’s digital screens that display real-time information, including local events and interesting facts, as well as community messaging.
Adrian Field, Executive Director, for Cardiff BID added, “We are delighted that Cardiff will benefit from the installation of InLinks to help improve the aesthetics of an area, safety, and promoting key messages. It allows those in the city centre to have the means to make their visit an even better experience. We expect them to be widely embraced by visitors, residents and employees.”
Global to acquire Exterion Media
Radio group Global has made a binding offer to acquire Exterion Media just weeks after snapping up fellow OOH (out-of-home) companies Primesight and Outdoor Plus in a double deal.
The purchase will help the media organisation bulk up its newly-formed OOH division, Global Outdoor.
In the UK, Exterion boasts an estimated 20% share in the sector. They hold the lucrative £1.1bn Transport for London (TfL) advertising contract for the London Underground and rail networks.
Current chief executive Leon Taviansky will transition with the business to Global Outdoor, which it has been announced will be overseen by Stephen Miron, Global’s group chief executive.
Miron said the acquisition complemented its two most recent buys.
“The incredibly positive reaction we have had to the news of our entrance into the OOH sector only reaffirms our belief and excitement about the opportunities within the outdoor market,” he said.
“Exterion has a great track record in the UK and across Europe and we look forward to working with the team to develop the business further.”
‘Heavily investing’ in digital sites
The LBC, Heart and Smooth Radio owner now has three prime OOH estates that will help it flex its muscle against giants like JCDecaux and Clear Channel.
Global previously suggested that digital OOH will become an increasingly important part of its business, saying it would “heavily invest” across Primesight and Outdoor Plus’ portfolio to up the number of digital sites it owned.
On the radio side, Global has already doubled down on programmatic with its audio exchange platform DAX.
The ‘perfect fit’
Exterion is also responsible for the OOH inventory across the other three metro systems in the UK: Newcastle, Liverpool and Glasgow.
The company claims to be the largest supplier of bus side advertising in the UK, and Global said its “transport focussed assets” would serve as a “perfect” complement to the portfolio it scooped up in the Primesight and Outdoor Plus deal, adding transport to its “existing, mostly roadside business.”
Primesight has an OOH ad estate of billboards and display panels that covers more than 35,000 sites in the UK, claiming to reach 95% of the population.
Outdoor Plus, meanwhile, owns a multitude of premium digital ad sites nationwide, especially in London where it owns the space at the Hammersmith Towers and Euston Underpass.
Global’s most recent purchase will have a far-reaching impact on the OOH industry for both competitors and brands.
Source: The Drum
Swansea’s going digital!
Swansea has become the first Welsh city to benefit from free ultrafast wi-fi and phone calls
The free ‘InLinkUK from BT’ service, which already has more than 148,000 subscribers across the UK, has just found its first home in Wales, in the heart of Swansea.
This latest city launch brings exciting new opportunities for brands to target consumers in some of Swansea’s busiest areas.
The first 11 InLinks have been installed in and around Swansea’s city centre and will provide ultrafast wi-fi speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), the fastest free public Wi-Fi service available in the UK. The InLinks also provide free phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles, rapid mobile device charging, the BT Phone Book app, as well as easy access to charity helplines.
The first of the fully-accessible InLinks have recently gone live on Princess Way and Castle Street, with further activations expected in the coming weeks.
Since the first InLink was launched in June last year, they have saved people more than £660,000 in free calls, with 50,000 calls being made on average every week across the UK.
Swansea Council leader Cllr Rob Stewart said: “This is great news for the public and local businesses. The exciting addition of the InLinks – with their free high-speed public Wi-Fi to Swansea’s streets matches perfectly our ongoing work to transform the city centre into a vibrant and bustling location for business, leisure and living. We want to increase the number of people working and living in Swansea – and our InLink network will be a big help.”
“Digital ambition is at the forefront of what we plan for our new city centre. The Kingsway will become a thriving digital district as we start to deliver projects that are due to be part-funded by a £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal – and plans are progressing well for the city’s 3,500-capacity digital arena.”
Finally, and particular to the roll-out in Wales, BT, InLinkUK and Primesight have worked closely with local stakeholders to ensure that the new InLinks will support both Welsh and English languages, with the screens showcasing dual language community information at launch (with the tablet to follow shortly).
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Global enters out-of-home market
Global, the UK’s largest commercial radio group, has made the bold move into the out-of-home sector with the purchase of Primesight and Outdoor Plus.
The surprise double acquisition, to be named Global Outdoor, is estimated to have cost more than £200m.
Primesight has an advertising estate covering more than 35,000 sites nationwide, reaching over 95% of the UK population. Outdoor Plus has a strong premium digital footprint. Particularly in London where it runs ads at The One, Knightsbridge, The Hammersmith Towers and Euston Underpass, as well as a network of digital bridges in partnership with TfL.
Founded by Jonathan Lewis in 2006, Outdoor Plus also has over 100 premium OOH sites nationally. Including; the Bluewater and Manchester Arndale shopping malls and premium digital roadside sites in Cardiff, Brighton and Bristol.
Jonathan Lewis and Primesight’s CEO, Naren Patel, will transition with their respective businesses. Global Outdoor will be overseen by Stephen Miron, Global’s Group CEO.
The new business will work alongside Global’s radio business. Whilst the two businesses will run stand alone, Global’s said its structure will “enable smart opportunities” for advertisers in the future.
“We’re incredibly excited to be entering the Out-of-Home (OOH) sector in a substantial way through the acquisition of Primesight and Outdoor Plus,” said Miron.
InLinks hit 400 screens
Primesight’s InLinks hit 400 screens across five UK cities and eight London boroughs.
InLinks are a hybrid of functionality and advertising. They connect the public to the web, provide free phone calls and offers councils a way to communicate directly to their constituents.
They provide a range of free public services, not least the fastest public WiFi in the UK. They also have a touch-screen tablet with a range of features including content and apps. Also, free calls to UK landlines and mobiles, and rapid charging through USB ports. Advertising is displayed on two HD 55 inch screens that fund all the services.
They have this week grown to 400 screens across Leeds, Gateshead, Glasgow, Southampton and London.
In just over a year InLinks have grown from their beginnings on Camden High Street to a further seven London boroughs. Including; Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth.
77% of consumers agreeing that InLink has a positive impact on their community. 64% agreeing they make their cities more innovative.
Our latest research also suggests that 75% feel more positively about brands that sponsor services such as Wi-Fi, location and travel information.
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Ad-funded free Wi-Fi kiosks launched by BT and Primesight
The state-of-the-art replacements for London payphones finally launched this week, with Camden the first borough to turn on the shiny new machines.
The new InLinkUK kiosks, which allow hundreds of users to access Wi-Fi, will also provide free landline calls and marks the next step in the evolution of payphones in the capital. Created via a partnership with BT, Primesight and Intersection, they will provide free Wi-Fi, calls and phone charging services – all funded by the incorporated digital advertising.
The free services supplied by the kiosks will be funded by the ad revenue generated, but other “premium services” such as maps, directions and local services will also be available.
Sensors will feature on the new Links, which can capture real-time data relating to the local environment, including air and noise pollution, outdoor temperature and traffic conditions. This could potentially introduce a new range of “smart services” to local councils and communities based on the Internet of Things, says BT.
Only two 55-inch digital ad display Links have been installed on Camden High Street so far, with at least 1,000 InLinks being installed across central London and major cities across the UK over the next few years.
Advertisers will be able to buy on a ‘share of time’ basis in the kiosks placed only in high footfall, inner-city locations. They have also been designed to be seen by pedestrians as well as motorists.
InLink will offer advertising for national brands, but will also support “community commerce” allowing local advertisers to buy screen time. It also offers opportunities to tailor ads to the weather and can promote local businesses with timely offers and directions.
London is second only to New York in bringing InLinks to its streets, which were first installed in January 2016 as part of LinkNYC. Over 1.8 million users have registered to use the Wi-Fi service in the US.
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