TargetCast Acquires Ripple TV

Consolidating digital out-of-home networks in casual dining chains, TargetCast Networks announced Tuesday (Sept. 22) it acquired Ripple TV, for undisclosed terms.

The deal brings together Ripple’s network in 650 “fast casual” locations such as Borders, The Coffee Bean and Tully’s Coffee with TCN’s network across 750 “casual dining” locations such as Applebee’s, Chili’s and Hooter’s, for a combined reach of about 3.9 weekly viewers, per Nielsen.

John McMenamin, CEO of Ripple, will remain with the combined company as chief revenue officer, reporting to Jerry Hall, president and CEO of TCN.

With TCN’s acquisition of Ripple, there are now two major companies offering digital out-of-home networks in quick-service and casual dining chains. IndoorDirect is in about 1,000 quick-service and casual dining chains including Denny’s, Carl’s Jr., Arby’s, CiCi’s Pizza, Hardee’s, Del Taco and Captain D’s.

The space was long overdue for consolidation. As individual networks, both Ripple and TCN were big enough to get attention from advertisers but lacked reach in certain markets. Concentrated on the West Coast, Ripple had a strong presence in Los Angeles but was weak in New York where TCN was strong. Combined, the network has a strong presence in the top 30 markets.

“When you put TCN and Ripple TV side by side, it was easy. The companies [Ripple TV and TCN] reach virtually the same demographic, the same viewer, just at a different point in their day,” said Hall, who said the network is close to signing two more chains in the category.

TCN plans to rebrand existing Ripple TVs, concentrating first on standardizing the advertising delivery between the two platforms, followed by integrating the content.

More deals could be in the works for TCN, which recently announced a deal with Premiere Retail Networks for sales representation. “In today’s world, you have to consolidate and partner. We’re talking to folks about a range of ideas.”