AMI and Merit Create Game-Changing Ad Medium with the Launch of AMI MegaNet Interactive Digital Out-of-Home Advertising Network
AMI Entertainment, leading provider of music to digital downloading jukeboxes, and Merit Entertainment, market leader in coin-operated touchscreen video games announced today the launch of AMI MegaNet – the largest multi-media interactive out-of-home advertising network in the US.
AMI MegaNet, a joint venture between sister companies AMI and Merit and Chicago’s TAP.tv, provides place-based advertising capabilities across multiple broadband-connected digital screens in bars and restaurants across the country. “We’ve taken the best features of online marketing – interactivity and rich content – and combined them with the best feature of digital out-of-home – immediacy – to create an ad medium that we think works harder, dollar for dollar, than any other medium available,” said Mike Nickerson, VP of Advertising for AMI MegaNet.
Nickerson, who has spent nearly twenty years in advertising and marketing for brands like Absolut Vodka, Coors Light, Sony, and Motorola also stated, “There were a lot of start-ups in this space who rushed to market with really limited advertising platforms in a dozen or so locations and limited risk. With nearly 15,000 locations nationwide we decided to take our time and get the mix right so that consumers would embrace our ads instead of avoid them.”
AMI MegaNet seeks to go beyond the traditional model of place-based digital OOH of forcing ad messages onto a captive audience. By integrating brand messages into entertainment favorites in bars like video games, jukeboxes, and big screen high-def TV’s, AMI MegaNet is creating an “advertainment” experience that marketing-savvy consumers embrace. “We know why people go to bars and it isn’t to watch commercials. It was important to us that 21-44 year old adults seeking entertainment got what they were looking for,” said Nickerson. That’s why in addition to running full video ads on all screens, AMI MegaNet integrates brands directly into video game play and music selection and has the ability to create custom content TV channels for high-def TV’s. AMI MegaNet’s touchscreens also use their “Touch Through” technology to allow consumers to click through video ads to interact directly with advertiser microsites.
Networking the Most Popular Entertainment in Bars
In addition, AMI MegaNet decided it wasn’t enough to own the most broadband-connected screens (estimated at 38,000 in 2009). These screens needed to coordinate and “talk” to each other to make the delivery of brand messages even more effective. “In developing a real bar network, the key for us was the ability to coordinate different game, TV, and jukebox screens and cross promote,” said Tim Dorgan, President of TAP.tv. “Not only are our ads real “TV ads,” they are also coordinated across different screens to optimize reach. The machines can even cross-promote content so if a bar patron loses interest in one of our entertainment media, we can drive them to another with our rich content offerings.”
Three Content Platforms, One Network
• AMI (Grand Rapids, MI) – the high quality video jukebox content provider found in over 10,000 locations nationwide
• MEGATOUCH (owned by Merit, Bristol, PA) – the world’s leading brand name in casual touchscreen games with over 250,000 countertop units on-premise in bars and taverns globally with over 150 game titles
• TAP.tv (Burr Ridge, IL) – an advanced, IP-based narrowcasting TV technology
“We’re really excited about having TAP.tv as a key element of our network,” said Mike Maas, CEO of Merit and AMI. “TAP.tv isn’t just amazing high-def TV content, it’s an invention that helps bars manage all their in-house media while measuring every moment of screen time not only for TAP.tv, but for every other TV network a bar chooses to air on their system.”
TAP’s technology allows commercial establishments to completely customize television within their venues, effectively building their own independent TV network. TAP.tv goes well beyond digital signage. Instead of displaying pure ad content on a dedicated screen, TAP.tv’s technology works with any existing screen, fully integrating ads into compelling programming and content channels. Interactive applications, games, and event marketing – all are possible.
Building New Media for a New Era
“It’s no secret that advertising and marketing agencies are being increasingly held accountable for effectiveness (i.e. sales),” said Nickerson. “It’s our belief that by delivering a truly unique advertising medium that is both sticky and immediate, we will be a valuable asset to our advertising partners.”
About AMI Entertainment Inc. – AMI Entertainment Inc. is a leading provider of on-premise digital entertainment and promotions to taverns, restaurants and other public venues in the United States. The company maintains the AMI Entertainment Network, which powers more than 10,000 Internet enabled touchscreen jukeboxes that can operate over a variety of broadband connection devices. AMI is supported by the largest number of jukebox manufacturers, including world-renowned Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp. and Rowe International Corp., as well as Merit Entertainment and View. AMI’s digital music is licensed by the major record labels, numerous independent labels, more than 1,500 music publishers, and the performing rights organizations ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. AMI’s music catalog consists of 500,000+ songs that can be easily searched and accessed remotely. Music is tailored for all listening demographics, including the coveted group of 21 to 35 year-olds. For more information, visit amientertainment.com.
About Merit Entertainment
For over 30 years, Merit has ensured long-term return on investment for operators by providing continually high-earning equipment along with regular updates and upgrades for its products. With an installed base of over 250,000 touchscreen games garnering nearly 4.6 billion plays per year, Merit Entertainment products appear globally in a wide array of venues and appeal to an almost limitless demographic. Merit continues to expand its position in the industry with ever-increasing entertainment, music, content, and new games. The company maintains a website with all the latest information at www.meritgames.com.
Chicago-based privately-held TAP.tv builds custom television networks for commercial establishments using a hybrid TV/Internet technology. TAP.tv combines patent-applied-for technology, licensed program content, and web-based tools to facilitate businesses easily managing their video resources and placing their own professional quality advertising on their own TV screens