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Advertising The Almighty Buck

Empty Times Square Building Generates $23 Million a Year From Digital Ads 227

dryriver writes "Advertising things at the right place is proving to be a cash cow, as electronic ads earn about $23mn each year for an empty building at One Times Square – the iconic tourist destination in the New York City. A 25-story Manhattan office building that has long been empty keeps on bringing in millions to its owner as a billboard. Michael Phillips, CEO of Atlanta-based Jamestown Properties, bought One Times Square through a fund in 1997 for $117 million, as the Wall Street Journal reports. More than 100mn pedestrians pass through the square each year, which is 90% more than 16 years ago, says the Times Square Alliance, a non-profit business improvement organization. And this is what makes a price tag for having a company's name placed on the building the highest in the world, even above such crowded tourist destinations as Piccadilly Circus in London. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. pays $3.6mn a year for a Dunkin' Donuts digital sign on the One Times Square building, with Anheuser-Busch InBev paying another $3.4mn a year for its advertisement. Sony and News America pay $4mn a year for a shared sign."
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Empty Times Square Building Generates $23 Million a Year From Digital Ads

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  • Re:Profit (Score:4, Informative)

    by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @09:23PM (#42408001)

    Just like the President and Congress do not, personally, do most of the things they're credited with. The millions of blue collar workers are the ones who end up doing it. However, there's something to be said for the guy(s) on top who put it all into motion and maintain it at the highest levels.

  • by kriston ( 7886 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @10:40PM (#42408385) Homepage Journal

    The One Times Square building is decades obsolete for an office building. However, as a mounting point for the multimedia signs, it is very functional. The empty floors provide power and space for the equipment required to run the signs and the massive equipment required to cool the equipment that runs the signs.

    Plus, it's at the crossroads of the world.

  • False advertising :) (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:18PM (#42408517)

    Lets set something straight here, the building used to be empty but about a year ago a Walgreens (with its own crap load of digital signs) opened taking up the first 3 floors. I have been working across the street from this building for the past 5 years and indeed the rest of the building is empty. It is also quite narrow and I just don't see how it would make for comfortable offices. While some taxes might be getting paid the owner does not need to pay for heating or cooling or most types of maintenance. Security, cleaning, water, etc ... This really was a smart move by the guy.

  • Re:hilarious (Score:4, Informative)

    by rgbrenner ( 317308 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @11:25PM (#42408523)

    Ok, let's use your number. 39 million people per year. That's 100,000 per day.

    Dunkin donuts pays 3.6m per year. That's just under $10,000/day

    That's $0.10 per person. 1 in 10, would make that $1 per customer acquired.

    You really think a Dunkin Donuts customer is worth $1? They're going to buy 1 cup of their cheapest coffee, and then NEVER visit the place again their lives.

    That's one of the dumbest assumptions I've ever heard.

    Dunkin Donuts knows how much each of those customers are worth. It sure as hell isn't $1.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday December 28, 2012 @02:46AM (#42409347) Homepage

    With NASDAQ next door, there has to be gobs of fiber running along Times Square.

    NASDAQ isn't there at all. The NASDAQ put that sign in years ago to give them a visible presence in New York. NASDAQ corporate HQ is downtown at 165 Broadway. The signage is strictly for PR purposes.

    Operationally, NASDAQ is distributed. The data centers aren't in New York. Neither are those of the NYSE; the main one is in New Jersey, but there's a backup elsewhere.

    After Hurricane Sandy, the NYSE and the NASDAQ closed for two days. But not because they couldn't operate. The NYSE operations people wanted to transfer operational control to the NYSE Arca offices in Chicago and come back up the next day for online trading. The floor traders and the Wall Street financial community screamed. [] They were terrified of the financial system running without them. Especially if it worked just fine.

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