Out-of-home advertising is seeing a rebound as marketers aim to reach consumers who are returning to their pre-pandemic routines after being stuck at home during lockdowns. While billboards, posters and digital signage provide ways for their brands to seen by “on-the-go” consumers, streaming startup Atmosphere is offering a platform to deliver video ads to public venues.

“We see ourselves sitting at this interesting intersection both of the out-of-home ecosystem and of the television ecosystem,” Blake Sabatinelli, chief operating officer of streaming startup Atmosphere, said in this interview with Beet.TV. “We take the best of what exists, whether it’s on the internet or on traditional TV, and repackage it in a ‘sound-off” capacity.”

Bars, restaurants, laundromats and waiting rooms are all places where people spend time away from home, often looking at their phones to kill time. Atmosphere wants them to look up from handheld screens to watch its visually compelling content that doesn’t require audio to enjoy or understand.

“We go out, we find the absolute most captivating and appealing things, and do our best to make people look up, make people smile and make people happy,” Sabatinelli said.

Its programming includes content from social video app TikTok, ESPN’s X Games, Nitro Circus and its own Atmosphere News. The content is grouped into dozens of streaming channels such as Chive TV, Happy TV, Superhuman TV and Tavern TV.

19,000 Venues and Growing

Businesses that want to show Atmosphere’s video streams to their customers pay a $99 activation fee, but no monthly subscription charges. Atmosphere is available in about 19,000 public venues, and is adding more every day.

“It’s important to accelerate that growth model, and as we accelerate, the growth model of the advertising model continues to grow and evolve too,” Sabatinelli said.

Its ad formats include traditional 15-, 30- and 60-second spots, along with longer-form videos lasting a few minutes. Atmosphere also has quizzes and other content that’s designed to engage viewers with ad messaging.

Getting Back Outside

As pandemic restrictions ease and people go back to restaurants, bars, theaters and shopping malls, there are more opportunities for marketers to reach them outside the home.

“Pre-pandemic, 70% of the time people spent in their lives was outside of their home,” Sabatinelli said. “ So the out-of-home industry as a whole has always been highly influential, especially in purchasing decisions and the opportunity to influence thought along the way of your consumer.”

He compares the growth in out-of-home advertising to the early stages of connected TV, which ushered in programmatic media buying on video platforms. Atmosphere reaches consumers in the 18 to 49 age group that’s an important segment for brands.

“We’re making it easier for people to buy because we’re enabling the opportunity to buy really valuable audiences,” Sabatinelli said. “We have the opportunity now to make it easy to buy, streamline the process and then get the audiences that you want.”