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Captivate Network to Program Elevator Content to Desktops

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In a move that could portend a major shift in the programming of out-of-home video networks, Captivate Network is providing content to the desks of its elevator riders through six recently-launched blogs that amplify topics featured on its elevator screens. It's the first step of an emerging strategy for Captivate, which is taking advantage of the community of viewers that see the elevator screens every day at their place of work.

Up until now, out of home video networks have relied on partnerships with various program providers. Captivate alone has content deals with more than 100 partners, including Gannett sister company, USA Today.

By originating programming, Captivate is not only becoming a content company, it is also taking the first step towards becoming a multimedia brand.

"Over time, you'll see our Web site evolve to a consumer-oriented site to provide the rest of the story," said Mike DiFranza, president and general manager of Captivate. "Nearly 50 percent of our viewers identify Captivate as their primary news source. People are time pressed and catch information on the fly and when they want to dive deeply, they go to the Internet."

The idea for the blogs that cover topics like books (Captivate Book Break), movies (Movies: People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo) and wine (The Quaffer), actually came from the daily riders in Captivate elevators who take an average of six one-minute trips a day. Many would search the Internet for the Captivate Web site, a business-to-business site which at the time had no consumer content, to ask about items they saw on their vertical commute.

It's also turning the brand into an interactive one. "People are sending us products to review, so we can cross-program" DiFranza said.

For now, the blogs, each moderated by an expert in the topic, are located at the bottom of Captivate's home page at: www.captivate.com.