Tony Yammine for SMART Report

Indoor Media TV is a privately owned company that has been set up to meet the market needs of communicating promotional and advertising messages to consumers in the Out of Home environment using the technology field of Dynamic Signage (or Narrowcasting or Captive Audience TV to which it is sometimes referred). The company founded by professionals in the communications market delivers Dynamic Signage solutions to companies from literally all industries. What is more, IMTV develops networks that distribute integrated video, voice, images and text information through a broadband network to large-scale Plasma, projectors, LCD displays, and/or TV monitors located at multiple remote sites.

Tony Yammine is the chairman of the board of IMTV Europe, which is the driving force behind Form Trust Holdings, headquartered in Cyprus, including Russian operating companies New Form International and IMTV within its group. Mr Yammine is Lebanese born, French educated and has worked in Russia for the lost 13 years.

In-store advertising systems such as those seen in ASDA and Tesco UK, and Costco in the USA have brought about average sales increases of at least 10% ... and for some product lines up to 45%. In Russia, IMTV is now the largest retail media network for customer information and adding value to the shopping experience ..., becoming one of the biggest of its kind world-wide. Tony Yammine of IMTV explains ...

Tony Yammine: IMTV is a new kind of large scale Point of Purchase communications company, displaying images and promotional messages together with other content such as weather reports and cartoons delivered through a network of high quality plasma screens. It is neither outdoor, nor TV, nor is it Internet. It combines elements of all of these, in the Point of Sale sector

Cleverdis: Tell us about the roll-out.

T.Y.: We have begun with a massive roll-out, implementing the first stage of an IMTV project with Ramstore in Russia, but we are in negotiation with a number of other shopping chains. We chose to introduce the project with Ramstore because we believe in their retail policy, their quality and their aggressive expansion programme.

CI.: How is IMTV different?

T.Y.: We have brought together a group of leading technology companies as our technical partners, including Scala, the world leader in broadcast multi-media; Device, the world leader in information networks; Magenta Research, a company in the forefront of communication technology ... and we source our plasma displays from Panasonic.

All screen content is sourced from our central headquarters in Moscow. Our engineers feed varied content to different screens according to their location. Content is distributed to the stores via satellite, supported by internet communications. The satellite system works on a two-way, IP-based broadband link. The return satellite channel makes it possible to manage the content. The design of our system means that within one hour of receipt of content from an advertiser, their message can be transmitted throughout Russia.

CI.: What about screen monitoring and maintenance?

T.Y.: Our software engineers have developed an interactive reporting system in any of our screens, our head office engineers receive a message notifying them of the screen ID number, its physical location and details of the impending problem. This enables us to replace the screen that night and return it to base for repair and maintenance during the stores downtime when restocking of shelves usually takes place ensuring no interruption to the public display and no disruption to the stores customer traffic. We also supply completely accurate monitoring and reporting to directly measure the impact on cash register activity to the products promoted on the in-store screens. Sophisticated tests done in the UK retail chain ASDA revealed over a 10% week-on-week increase in both number of units and value of sales on products featured on the screen advertising. In some product categories, such as baby products the increase in average weekly sales was over 25%.

CI.: What kind of content is delivered?

T.Y.: It is important to attract viewers attention by displaying interesting quality content such as news, weather, video clips, sports, public announcements and even community information. Content must be tailored and relevant to the local context in order to support the advertising.

CL: Who benefits from IMTV?

T.Y.: Its a four-pointed win situation ... Everyone benefits. Retailers benefit from new revenue streams we lease the sites from them. Through the infotainment system and local information, the retailer builds customer loyalty in his store; the advertising and promotional content generates additional sales and the system enables detailed monitoring allowing the creation of models optimizing sales benefits from message exposure. Brand owners benefit from increased brand awareness; increased take-up of promotional offers; improved brand loyalty and increased sales while locking out rival brands. The customer gets more entertainment out of the shopping experience and receives valuable information about new products and special offers while theyre at the point of sale, right next to the shelves where the products are stocked.

From SMART Report February / March 2006

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