New York subways testing digital ad screens

The Manhattan Transit Authority (MTA) has installed digital advertising screens in 10 of their stations. These include Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, and Columbus Circle to name a few. The MTA is hoping that the five-and-a-half foot screens will bring in revenue from advertisements. A spokesperson of the MTA said that last year, advertising brought in $130 million last year compared to $120 million in 2012. This is a huge revenue gain when in 1997, ad revenue came to $38 million. “The MTA views digital screens as playing an increasingly important role in the future of advertising inside our system,” MTA’s director of real estate Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.


This shows how much technology has advanced and the ways it is helping different businesses, especially advertising. The MTA has tripled their revenue since 1997 and now the money is going back to the transit authority to make it better. As we learned in class, digital innovation increases consumer attention and brand attitude. It is smart that advertising companies want to promote on a digital screen because its cool and also relevant. It is a win-win situation for both advertisers and the MTA because everybody benefits. The digital screens will run ads from Turner Broadcasting and include promotions for the NCAA’s March Madness basketball championship that is coming up soon. Transit Wireless, who does the underground wiring for cell phones will stream the ads so another partnership is created through digital technology.

Most importantly this will enhance the riders experience and keep them busy while they are waiting for the train. It seems like technology is trying to implement itself in train stations because so many people pass through everyday. The type of exposure that a company can achieve through this area is evident with examples from class. Like the glass that talks to people on the train or the orange juice ads on the turnstile, trains are the new area where digital innovations especially in advertising can thrive. The screens in Manhattan will be in place through the month of March, but Turner Broadcasting is interested in keeping it longer. I think they should because more people will hear about it and digital ads and billboards can catch on more.

“This is yet another example of how having state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure in the New York City subway system supports new technology projects that enhance the rider experience,” Bill Bayne, chief executive of Transit Wireless, said in a statement.


Marroquin, A. (2014, February 14). Anaheim transit center eyes digital billboards. Retrieved from

Rivoli, D. (2014, March 13). Mta installs digital ad screens in manhattan stations. Retrieved from

2 thoughts on “New York subways testing digital ad screens

  1. I really like this idea because it is not your ordinary form of advertising. MTA customers will be placed in an environment where they will be able to engage with the product and company rather than just stare at a boring ad in a newspaper.


  2. I really hope Chicago follows New York in adapting digital ad screens in our own metro stations. The redline for example, is really boring and the ad’s don’t really do much to capture people’s attention, despite the fact that so many people ride the redline every day! I would even go as far as being in favor of digital ads becoming more common in areas like the river walk or even state street. There’s something about them, their ability to engage me and inform me of different products that i love!


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