CBS Corporation announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SignStorey, Inc., a leader in the distribution of video programming and advertising content to retail stores.
The purchase price is $71.5 million in cash. SignStorey will be renamed “CBS Outernet” upon closing of the deal and is expected in the fourth quarter of 2007, pending regulatory review. With digital video displays in more than 1,400 grocery stores in major markets across the United States, SignStorey offers advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers with targeted content that can be customized by region and by daypart. The company’s satellite-delivery system enables immediate, customized programming and messaging to each individual system.
SignStorey has long-term exclusive contracts with SuperValu (Acme, Albertsons, Jewel and Shaw’s), Pathmark, ShopRite and Price Chopper, among others, and is currently installed in six of the top 10 markets in the U.S., with traffic of more than 72 million consumers every month. The company’s revenues more than doubled year-over-year in 2006, and it has additional contracts and pilot programs in grocery accounts representing thousands of stores across the United States. As CBS Outernet, it will continue to expand its distribution network to other retail locations and shopping environments.
“CBS Outernet will offer our advertisers a tremendous, broad new platform to reach
consumers out of their homes,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “This acquisition is highly complementary with many of CBS’s content and advertising sales relationships. As we’ve seen with CBS’s outdoor business, the burgeoning use of digital advertising allows great flexibility in tailoring messaging to consumers, and can be efficiently controlled from a centralized location. At the same time, retail outlets will now have access to CBS’s wide array of national and local entertainment, news and sports content from across the Company.”
“We are extremely pleased to join the CBS family and to continue to develop a more
exciting shopping environment in local communities across the United States,” said Virginia Cargill, President and CEO of SignStorey. “Our state-of-the-art digital screens give consumers access to information where and when they want it; and the addition of CBS content, resources and contacts will make for an even richer experience for retailers, shoppers and advertisers alike.”
SignStorey benefits from strong relationships with retailers who partner with the company to provide enhanced in-store shopper experiences and to increase store sales and from advertisers seeking to reach consumers at their point of purchase. Among the Company’s top consumer packaged goods advertisers are: Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, General Mills, and Dannon. CBS has a pre-existing relationship with SignStorey since 2006 as part of the CBS Television Network’s promotion strategy.
“Out-of-home digital media has become a crucial means by which we and advertisers can
gain invaluable impressions in this crowded media landscape,” said George Schweitzer,
President of the CBS Marketing Group. “We began working with Virginia and her terrific management team to promote CBS’s fall lineup last summer as part of what we called our
‘Outernet’ strategy, which uses exclusive partnerships to expose CBS programming to
consumers outside their homes. We’ve achieved so much together already and now look
forward to all that is to come as the new CBS Outernet becomes part of the CBS family.”
CBS has significant experience in programming for out-of-home audiences. In addition to
SignStorey, current partners in this regard include American Airlines/CBS Eye on American, Royal Caribbean/CBS Eye on Royal Caribbean; AutoNet TV/Rev It Up; Salon Network Channel; Starwood Hotels/SPG TV; Indoor Direct; Mall of America; On Spot Digital/Simon Malls and Ripple TV/CBS Outdoor, among others.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and The CW – a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Network Television and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products) and video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment). For more information: www.cbscorporation.com