• Vendor Profile: Blip Billboards

    Insider counts 11 North American companies that are trying to develop cloud based systems for buying and selling out of home advertising: ADstruc, AdSemble, Adquick, Blip Broadsign, DoMedia, Fliphound, Kinetic,rVue, Vistar and Xaxis Places.  Today we look at Blip Billboards.

    Company: Blip Billboards

    Headquarters:  1591 W 820 N, Provo, UT  64601

    Phone:  801-692-3217

    Email:  contact@blipbillboards.com

    Blip operates an online marketplace for digital billboard space. The
    company’s approach differs from many other online marketplaces in that
    it does not require a contract and allows advertisers buy ads in
    single-display increments much like Adsense or online advertising.
    YESCO uses Blip to sell digital billboard space. Insider interviewed Brent Thomson, Blip’s founder.


    Brent, how did you get the idea for Blip?

    Prior to working on Blip, I assumed the digital billboard industry
    already worked like online pay-per-click advertising. In rough terms,
    I knew that a digital billboard was a computer with an enormous
    display attached. I thought I could send an ad image to the sign
    owner, have it show up for one day, and then never show up again if
    that was all I wanted to pay for. A friend of mine that was familiar
    with the billboard industry (James Munnerlyn; also now my co-founder
    at Blip) filled me in on how the industry differed from my naive
    belief. From there, we decided to build a platform that provided
    billboard advertisers many of the benefits of online advertising.

    How does Blip’s system work?

    Similar to PPC or online advertising, Blip is a self-serve platform
    for advertisers. An advertiser creates a campaign, specifies a daily
    budget, and selects their target audience. In our system, selecting a
    target audience means picking individual boards or geographic regions
    in which to display the advertiser’s content and indicating when the
    ads can be displayed. Then the advertiser uploads artwork and launches
    their campaign. Once the artwork is approved by both the sign owner
    and the Blip moderation team, the new ads start showing up on the
    target boards. Statistical and display data is then available to the
    advertiser, who can use it to make more informed marketing decisions.

    What are the benefits for Blip’s system to an out of home advertising company owner?

    There are two major benefits to sign owners. The first is that the
    medium is now accessible to all advertisers, not just those with the
    very largest budgets. We did some research which concluded that,
    across the 4 states we considered, only 2% of businesses used
    billboards in the last year. The biggest factor in whether an
    organization advertised on billboards or not was budget. Because the
    minimum unit of sale with Blip is a single display of an ad, there is
    effectively no minimum budget. This makes billboards as a medium
    suddenly accessible to the full 98% of absent advertisers. Rather than
    taking a slice of the existing OOH pie for ourselves, we’re bringing a
    whole new pie.

    The second huge benefit to owners is that Blip eliminates remnants
    completely. Because there’s no minimum budget, we can fill any vacant
    space with numerous smaller advertisers. Those advertisers would never
    have been able to take all the space individually, but together they
    soak up any available space—and together they generally wind up nearly
    matching the retail rate the sign owner might have charged for that

    What does the system cost and who pays?

    Sign owners continue to serve their contract advertisers exactly the
    same as they have always done (including sales, customer service,
    billing, etc), and the owner continues to collect 100% of the revenue
    from those clients. Blip handles sales, customer service, and
    collecting payments from the marketplace advertisers. We take a
    percentage of that marketplace spend, but the majority of that revenue
    gets passed through to the sign owner.

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