Zoom Media Acquires WHEN

Advancing its strategy to consolidate the digital out-of-home business, Zoom Media & Marketing announced Wednesday (May 27) it acquired the Wellness Health Education Network, for undisclosed terms. The addition of WHEN, which programs and operates a digital sign network in 255 high-end fitness centers in the U.S., not only increases Zoom’s distribution in fitness clubs, but also gives Zoom valuable original health and wellness content.

The acquisition comes just three months after Zoom raised $30 million by selling a minority stake in its company to ABS Capital Partners.

Zoom plans to integrate the WHEN content platform into its existing ClubCom network of more than 1,350 digital venues in 123 DMAs. While most digital out-of-home networks rely on third party content, Zoom is betting that advertisers will find taking out sponsorships around relevant and original content a more attractive proposition.

“This is a big move for us into editorial, which we expect to grow over time,” said Dennis Roche, president of Zoom. “We want to become the fitness authority for the advertising community. It’s one thing to put up signs, but between our fitness and wellness expertise, we’re starting to define it.”

In addition to advertising, the deal also helps Zoom increase its second revenue stream, subscriptions for content from both ClubCom and WHEN.

Despite the economy, Zoom’s Roche said that business was up but not easy to come by. “In this economy, getting something new sold in is tricky because advertisers are drastically cutting,” he said, noting that Zoom has worked with several new clients including Walmart, Starbucks and Verizon FiOS.

WHEN is the third business acquired by Zoom in the past 14 months. Last year in March, Zoom acquire Alloy’s nightlife media business, followed later in the year by ClubCom. In total, Zoom now operates digital media networks in more than 2,750 venues and static out of home signage in more than 8,000 venues.