When Capital Bikeshare launched back in 2010, the kiosks came with space for advertising. For a long time, there were no ads in these spaces because DC had sold exclusive rights to public advertising to Clear Channel in 2005. Once negotiations with clear channel were completed (what the full result of that was would make an interesting story) DC was able to solicit bids for advertising which they did in 2012. I started noticing ads on stations earlier this year, but Washington Business Journal got the story.
The Department of Transportation has accepted a five-year, $3.6 million offer fromVan Wagner Communications LLC, the nation's largest privately held outdoor advertising company, to place advertisements on 190 CaBi advertising display panels. The goal: to make CaBi a self-sustaining enterprise.
D.C. will receive $1 million up front, and a minimum of $231 per month for each of the existing 190 panels, or roughly $44,000 per month over five years. Where the revenue for any advertising panel tops $462 per month, the District and Van Wagner will share the excess 50/50.
And if DC expands CaBi, they make more money. This means DC will make an average of $720,000 a year (or $1 million up front and $520,000 a year). As noted earlier this year "The District had an operating loss of about $392,000 for fiscal year 2013." Which means that if DC runs a similar operating deficit (less advertising revenue) in 2014, then it will actually turn an operating profit of over $100,000. Not too bad.