VisionChina Media, one of China's largest out-of-home digital television advertising networks on mass transportation systems, is paying $160 million to acquire another Chinese media company, Digital Media Group Co.
The acquisition of Digital Media, a leader in China's subway mobile television advertising market, "allows us to broaden VisionChina Media's subway network to match our extensive bus network," said Li Limin, VisionChina Media's chairman-CEO. "We now have a greatly enhanced advertising platform that includes 22 of China's most affluent cities, including all four of China's tier one cities, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai, as well as Hong Kong's Airport Express line."
The new programming, developed jointly, will be broadcast in prime time from 2010 and will be produced locally by Hunan Satellite TV. ITV Studios will represent the worldwide rights outside China.
"The collaboration will bring Hunan TV's entry into the international market one step closer," said the president of the Chinese broadcaster, Ouyang Changlin.
Hunan Television is the Changsha-based parent company of Hunan Satellite TV, one of China's most successful provincial channels through hits like the "Mengniu Yoghurt Super Girl Contest" and a Chinese version of "Ugly Betty."
With nearly national distribution through cable and satellite distribution, Hunan Satellite TV has become of the strongest competitors of China's state-run national broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV).
"China's television format industry has tremendous potential for international growth and, until now, has been relatively untapped," said Lee Bartlett, managing director of ITV Studios in London.
Suntrend, run by Managing Director Kevin Huang, does in-store marketing, street events, expositions, product sampling and sales promotion than 500 cities in China. The company has offices in 58 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Nanjing.
Dentsu said in a statement that its China clients "are currently placing great emphasis on in-store and street marketing, both of which have a direct impact on product sales."
As advertisers move budgets into sales promotion, Dentsu said, "marketing strategies in China that traditionally concentrated on the major cities and coastal regions have now shifted to a nationwide focus, placing national sales promotion networks in strong demand."
The combined platforms will become one of the largest international distribution channels for the online games sector. Mochi has more than 140 million monthly active users with 15,000 browser-based games on nearly 40,000 publisher web sites. The deal will strengthen the company's micro-transactions and advertising business through access to Shanda's expertise in monetizing online games and improving the stickiness of user communities.
Gome will work with an Isign Media design team in Singapore to design the data reporting system, which can also capture demographic information and measure the effectiveness of each campaign by integrating its data with point-of-sale information and the chain's customer loyalty program.
Return to the Ad Age China home page here