VeriFone, a provider of technology for electronic payment transactions, has inked a deal to acquire the Clear Channel Taxi Media business from Clear Channel Outdoor. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The deal vaults VeriFone to the front lines of the growing place-based advertising video network business. VeriFone will add all of CC's inventory from 5,000 New York taxis to its existing network of 6,500 taxis.
To extend its business beyond simply serving as a technology provider, VeriFone has created a media division headed by Bulent Ozaytax, who moves from general manager of VeriFone's U.S. wireless business to general manager of U.S. Media Solutions. Beyond taxis, VeriFone is also looking at expanding its media role at other venues where it provides technology, including gas pumps and checkout counters.
"As consumers shift to electronic transactions in taxicabs and other media-enabled locations, we have a unique ability to deliver dynamic and interactive campaigns with desirable and measurable advertising efficiencies," said Douglas Bergeron, CEO of VeriFone.
For now, VeriFone is concentrated on rolling out taxi inventory in other cities, including Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Miami. VeriFone expects to increase inventory from taxis outside New York to about 6,700.
To step up sales, VeriFone hired Chris Polos as vp of U.S. media sales, reporting to Ozaytaz.
Polos was most recently director of advertising for Danoo (now known as Reach Media Group.) As part of the Clear Channel acquisition, VeriFone will add a nationwide network of more than 20 account executives.