Telly ships free billboards… err… TVs

Telly ships free TVs

Together with

The Future. Telly is shipping 500,000 free TVs across the country, each equipped with an attached lower screen that displays constant targeted advertising whenever the TV is on. It’s an ambitious strategy to put ads in front of audiences who no longer watch ad-supported content. The company may live or die based on whether people really are okay with having an always-on screen they can never really turn off.

Commercial channel
Telly is out with the first TV that’s pretty much subsidized by advertisers.

  • Customers (mostly millennials and Gen Zers) are receiving the 55-inch TVs free of charge after answering some personal questions, agreeing to their viewership data, and promising to not block the screen.
  • The TV is equipped with a sensor to make sure they abide by the rules (it’ll make them pay for the TV after multiple violations), and it can scan the room to see how many people are watching and determine ad impressions.
  • Telly also struck a deal with Nielsen to help determine program viewership — another metric that’ll help advertisers.
  • The second screen can display weather, news, and sports scores, too.

For advertisers, Telly allows a lot of customization, like only showing ads during certain types of programming (just sports, for example), targeting a specific age group, and marketing to people who only drive Hondas (a boon for Kia, the first brand working directly with Telly).

Right now, Telly is offering slots through ad-tech companies and media agencies, per WSJ. But it’ll soon offer its own self-serve platform for advertisers… and the ads will still have to pass through human checks and balances.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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