The time is apparently right for Chicago-based Akoo International to officially launch its m-Venue network that, according to a New York Times story, “aims to transform mobile devices into universal remote controls that can select on-demand content from big-screen TVs in airports, bars and restaurants.”
m-Venue, which has been in trial since mid-2007, lets registered users send a text message to request a video to be played on the venue’s Akoo digital screen. The ad’supported service will then send a coupon or other promotion to the user in exchange for playing his request. The Times likens the service to a high-tech jukebox.
Akoo marketing VP Andy Stankiewicz told the Times that “this is the only digital out-of-home billboard network that’s fully interactive with mobile phones.” So far, Akoo has signed content partnerships with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and Fashion TV. The service is live in several Chicago-area restaurants and the University of Texas, the Times says.