CTA consolidates ad contracts with Titan, but takes hit to bottom line

The CTA on Wednesday consolidated all of its print and digital advertising with Titan Outdoor, but at the same time reduced its projected revenue from those ads due to the sluggish economy.

The new contract with Titan guarantees the CTA at least $80 million over five years for the print ads on trains, buses and stations.

But the CTA's take for digital advertising took a big hit -- down a whopping 67% from the original contract with Titan negotiated just less than a year ago. The CTA expect that That contract inked in 2008 would generate $100 million over 10 years, or $10 million a year.

But this new consolidated contract will net the CTA just $3.3 million for five years. That's a 67% drop in expected income. Plus, the CTA won't see that income until Titan recoups all costs associated with the purchase and installation of the digital display screens.

The CTA press release notes: "Both print and digital advertising have been impacted by the weak economy and the new agreement takes into account the current market
conditions and expectations moving forward."

A CTA spokesperson says that while these new contract revenues "are lower than the prior one's projections, they are guaranteed revenues. It is better to have actual revenue coming in from digital advertising now than the promise of revenue in the future."

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  • Agreed - where are our train arrival times? Can you find this out Kevin?

  • I have already asked the CTA when the arrival times will be fixed. Stay tuned.

  • I talked with some people at the CTA during the Vision Study meetings. They reiterated what was stated before. The problem is that they need to allow the system to account for the lag (attenuation) between where the signal sources from and where the signal is being read from. There are a lot of variables to account for and I believe they need software to do this. Most likely they are modifying the software to specifically account for circumstances that may be unique to the CTA, and thus reflect accurate times. The problem before wasn't that it didn't work, it was that it wasn't accurate.

  • In reply to chris:

    Instead of listing minutes - couldn't it just list current station location? Say you're at Belmont, heading north - the display could read: "Brown Line at Fullerton, Red Line at Clark/Division." On top of that it could even say what a predicted time is - who cares if it is accurate 100% - it is better than nothing, no?

  • In reply to aczysz:

    This is an excellent idea. There are stations (Western Brown Line, for example) where there is an audio announcement that informs people that either an inbound or outbound train 'will be arriving shortly.' There enough time between the announcement and the arrival to get up to the platform if you hear it when down in the station also.

  • In reply to aczysz:

    "the CTA won't see that income until Titan recoups all costs associated with the purchase and installation of the digital display screens."

    So basically the CTA is bankrolling Titan's capital expenses until it can be profitable? And I thought we lived in a capitalistic society. Why doesn't Titan get a loan from a BANK like the rest of us?

    Unbelievable!

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