You’d be hard pressed to find a person that hasn’t seen a picture of Times Square. Originally named because Time owned the familiar building in the center of the area, that
building has been bought and sold half a dozen times over the past 100 years. On the bottom level you’ll normally find a retail shop of some sort, and floors above have housed a variety of things, including a restaurant and various other endeavors. However, the building is essentially storage and advertising space today, with the exception of the Wal-Greens that’s on the bottom floor and open to consumers.
Reportedly though, the buildings owner makes between $100,000 and $250,000 a month from advertising revenue via both digital and traditional signage that’s attached the buildings outside. A few companies have been featured as the JumboTron on the face of the building. Previously it was Sony, but more recently Panasonic has taken that spot, but more on that in a minute. The biggest sign on Broadway (and in Times Square) is the famously blue NASDAQ sign. Walgreens also currently has a sign that has over 12 million LEDs and is 17,000 square feet in size. It was designed by a company called the Gilmore Group and then built by D3 LED. It’s so large because it actually runs up both sides of the building and loops around the front. Officially it weighs over 250,000 pounds.
1990 was a big year for Times Square. It was the year that Sony installed the first JumboTron on the exterior of the building. It hung for over 6 years until their lease was up. A large LED screen manufactured by Panasonic then replaced them. Above the large LED screen a number of well known companies have been featured. Most notably have been NBC and News Corp (parent company of Fox.) It’s worth mention that more recently Kia, Dunkin Donuts, Chevrolet and Toshiba have had signage hanging above the large screen LED. Over the years the mega screen TV has been used for a variety of purposes. Probably the most famous was when David Letterman was fed live into Time Square via the video wall.
Since 2010 Sony is back in it’s thrown above Times Square, replacing Panasonic and they continue to be sponsored by Fox’s News Corp. This screen real estate is considered to be some of the most valuable advertising space in the world. It can be rented by the day, or even the hour for special events and product launches. The fee is over $10,000 an hour though, so you better have your credit card ready.
Digital signage is an increasingly popular medium to reach potential clients and to help brand products. It’s no surprise, but Times Square is just one example of where you might find large digital screens that are used for advertising. These types of mega screens are popping up all over the place. While Times Square is probably the best known some other popular places are casinos, trade shows and even office buildings are popular places as well. Thanks to multiple screen and monitor technology these types of displays are more economical for smaller and mid sized businesses too. The invention of millimeter bezel has played a large roll in this increase among less known companies. Of course it will still cost you, depending on how big of a screen you want to use, but it’s significantly less expensive than it was even 5 years ago. And even more important than price, the quality of the screens has gone up dramatically. You can now have a multi-screen system that has 1080p resolution, higher than what most people use for their TV and even their computer!
The JumboTron in Times Square is highly recognizable because we’ve all seen so many movies and TV shows featuring images of it. But with that said, the technology implemented there has led to many other awesome companies creating similar displays. This seems to be the wave of the future, and with multiple screen displays being organized and used, it should make the future an interesting one.