Commuters riding on ComfortDelGro’s taxis in recent months may have found themselves in front of TV screens equipped with ports that allow them to charge their mobile phones.
In August, Moove Media, the outdoor advertising arm of ComfortDelGro, installed TV screens in 1,000 of the operator’s cabs, Ms Tammy Tan, ComfortDelGro’s group corporate communications officer, said in a reply to TODAY’s queries.
The screens, installed on the back of the driver’s and front passenger’s headrest, are equipped with USB (universal serial bus) ports that enable riders to charge their mobile phones.
There are plans to upgrade the screens to make them interactive, so as to allow commuters to choose the content they want to watch, Ms Tan added.
Facing stiff competition from the ride-sharing companies, ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, has seen its fleet shrink in recent months.
In August, it had 15,127 Comfort and CityCab taxis on its books, the lowest for the company in eight years.
This is not the first time TV screens have been installed in taxis, although it is the first of its kind for ComfortDelGro.
For instance, the now-defunct taxi operator Smart Automobile, which stopped operations in 2013, previously fitted out its taxis with TV screens to improve commuter experience.
Advertising on ComfortDelGro’s new TV screens costs S$11,000 for a 30-second spot spanning three months on 300 taxis, TODAY’s checks with Moove Media showed.
Since it was set up in 2005, Moove Media has contributed significantly to ComfortDelGro’s bottomline. The firm said in 2015 that it enlarged its advertising revenue for the group by nearly 100 per cent since it began operations.
Ms Chloe Neo, managing director of media company OMD Singapore, said the opportunity for ComfortDelGro to generate advertising revenue from the new TV screens will depend largely on the level of engagement with commuters.
She noted that with ubiquitous mobile use and competitive mobile-data deals, the “likelihood of a captive audience in a transit environment has diminished”, with most Singapore residents able to access content at their fingertips while on the move.
However, Ms Neo said a disruptive shift offering “real consumer value” could help in-cab advertising take off. This could include tailoring information on the screens — such as shopping and dining options — to commuters’ destinations.
Comfort taxi driver Mok Chun Kong, 65, had the screens installed in his Hyundai i40 cab, for which he received a S$25 diesel voucher.
Mr Mok, who has been with Comfort for 32 years, said the screens were primarily for advertisements, and drivers collect a stamp for every change in advertising. They receive a S$50 diesel voucher on the fourth change.
While he has not received any feedback from passengers since the screens were installed, Mr Mok said: “Some of them who don’t want to see (the screens), they will switch them off. Just the picture only — no volume.”
more pax will take cdg because of this?