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The Convergence of Real Estate, Media and Technology

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The Convergence of Real Estate, Media
and Technology



By: Matthew A. Knee,
President, GCG Media Services


The idea to build giant LED screens is not a new concept. Historically called “Megatrons or Jumbotrons,” they have been used to generate buzz and a visual identity for properties and in some cases to generate the majority of the revenue for the buildings they are affixed to. Nowhere has this been more evident than in Times Square, the convergence of Real Estate, Media and Technology for the world to see. Like the neon signs and painted wallscapes before them, these LED signs were the beginning of a new era, a generational embrace of new technology affixed to hundred-year-old bricks, windows and recycled steel skeletons whose entire purpose has been to engage and elicit a response, a feeling and a call to action from the world around them.

Property owners around the world are using digital out-of-home platforms to add significant value to their properties inside and out. These platforms can monetize nearby pedestrian and vehicular traffic, create a higher profile for buildings, and provide highly valuable promotional capabilities for all tenants. In addition to becoming commonplace in landmark environments like New York’s Times Square, immersive LED-display installations are also generating advertising and sponsorship revenue and boosting rental rates at well-located properties around the world.


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CASE STUDY: Immersive and experiential technologies coupled with brick-and-mortar acquisitions will exponentially increase revenue

If you have ever been to EPCOT, Orlando you are likely familiar with the attraction Soarin’ Around the World. This beloved ride takes you on a simulated flight on a breezy, airborne adventure as you hang glide above the breathtaking wonders of the world. Imagine Soarin’ Around the world over major cities as the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, culminating in your arrival over New York’s, Times Square and the world-renowned New Years Eve Ball. This experience coupled with other live events, wellness, retail and food services, high-resolution, multi-shaped LED screens and lights inside and out are the next chapter for media, technology and real estate.

The recent trend of working from home which was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic clearly illustrates the need for fluidity in how corporations, individuals and landlords have to work together to promote and ensure health, safety and satisfaction within commercial and retail real estate environments. An example of a project that is currently under construction in New York that is embracing this concept, is 1568 Broadway, “TSX.” The project includes 3 digital and 2 static signs on the façade, one of which is being built with an open-air stage overlooking Times Square as well as full audio capabilities in order to make it the new epicenter of Times Square, where something equally iconic as the ball drop can occur year-round. According to the development team, “TSX” Broadway will provide a single brand with the most powerful marketing tool in the world, creating a dominant brand presence in the heart of the world’s most visited pedestrian destination.” The project will bring the most technologically advanced signage and lighting package in New York City. There will be an 18,000-square-foot LED sign wrapping the podium, and a full-building façade lighting system that will activate the entire 46-story tower as a branded beacon.

Imagine a commercial tenant experience where you are able to wake up in one of several overnight suites, an iPad or other connected device enables you to operate different functionalities in your room, book a time at the fitness center and order breakfast, all before heading to your office in the same building. At lunch you head outside and are constantly engaged both consciously and subconsciously by lighting, sounds, smells, images, and digital messages in the elevators, lobbies and as you emerge outside on the building’s façade itself. All of this coupled with beacon technology, geo-fencing and rapidly progressing programmatic media capabilities ensure that tenant engagement will be even more consistently and intuitively woven into the fabric of our daily lives as we return to the new post-covid normal.

TIMING: Writing the narrative for what comes next in how we engage and consume with the spaces we live in, work in and visit

The digital-out-of-home industry is estimated to grow from $40.06B in 2020 to $50.42B in 2026. With all these layers of technology working synchronously with bricks and mortar, brands and sponsors will be better able to monitor, track, modify and manage campaigns as they grow. By keeping our fingers on the pulse of technology, rebranding Times Square or any other iconic property or place is not out of realm or reach. This immersive and experiential centered approach to real estate can be used in all types of real estate environments around the world. Real Estate, Digital-out-of-home and experiential marketing have all had a huge overhaul in recent years. In the near term, the focus needs to be positioning brick and mortar assets in ways that will attract more attention and diversity by utilizing technologies that prompt a shift away from the “look at me” effect and towards engagement, “how does it make me feel?”

The time is now to begin integrating the various technologies at our disposal simultaneously. By operating this type of real estate model, implementing and innovating rapidly across vertical technology sectors we can collapse the time table from conceptual to the new normal by seizing the opportunity that exists and writing the narrative for how real estate, media and technology cohabitate in the world of our future.

The views and opinions expressed in OOH Today are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of OOH Today or imply endorsement.


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