Why Tech Is Going Traditional in Transit

Why Tech Is Going Traditional in Transit

Dave Etherington, Intersection, November 27th, 2017

The most captive audience in the U.S. isn’t sitting on a sofa watching Stranger Things -- it’s in transit.  According to the OAAA’s 2015 data, Americans spend more than 70 percent of their waking hours outside their homes.  As the MediaKix/comScore, 2016 Study on Media Consumption; U.S. Census shows, they also spend nearly an hour each day commuting to work, home, or leisure activities.  In the U.S. alone, commuters travel more than 59.6 billion miles a year on public transit -- buses, subways and trains -- spending 318 million hours in commutes.

Because of this, transit is becoming an increasingly attractive space for advertisers.  Many of the advertisers driving this trend come from a surprising place: technology companies and startups.  Brands such as Samsung, Lyft and Casper stand at the forefront of the latest innovations in technology and occupy a largely digital space, but they are increasingly drawn towards ads in public transportation.  Why might this be the case?  In one word: exposure.

For instance, according to Intersection’s proprietary data, 98.5 percent of Chicagoans, 95 percent of Philadelphians and 96 percent of Seattleites are reached by transit media.  Only a handful of traditional digital media channels have this level of visibility, despite their modernity.  In addition, other digital media is more easily ignored, fast-forwarded, or skipped over.