aka industry website has new owners, and plan

A couple of Skypers started popping up messages on my desktop yesterday, both of them from execs from a company I worked with until recently. They were letting me know they had started a new, separate holding company that had just closed a deal to buy the aka.tv digital signage news portal, started a few years back by Bill Collins and run more recently by Barnaby Page.

Here’s the press release:


www.aka.tv the on-line digital signage news portal has been acquired by Screen Holdings Ltd, owner of The Screen Forum Ltd,.

Screen Holdings Ltd, which in June 2007 purchased The Screen Forum Ltd from Digital View Ltd, has now acquired http://www.aka.tv .

From the 1st November 2007, http://www.aka.tv, the long established on-line digital media news portal will join The Screen Forum Ltd, the UK based events organiser and thought-leadership association for the digital media industry. This will create an expanded independent platform reaching the digital signage industry internationally.

“We are passionate about this industry,” commented James Henry, Chairman of Screen Holdings, “we believe that these two organisations have been pivotal in bringing this young industry to a wider audience and establishing a sense of community and professionalism between the different players”.

“Just as with The Screen Forum, AKA was developed by established industry players who buy into our vision of creating a single unified voice for the industry worldwide”.

http://www.aka.tv has around 11,000 subscribers in more than 60 countries across the globe, evenly split between Europe, North America and the Rest of the World.

“The global nature of AKA is really exciting”, said Richard Cobbold, Managing Director of Screen Holdings. “With The Screen Forum we have been able to generate exciting momentum in Europe, and the AKA footprint means we will be able to deliver unrivalled reach and value to our members, subscribers and partners”

Screen Holdings is undertaking a major investment programme at AKA and will be launching a number of new initiatives including an “AKA International” magazine – aimed at the global industry – and further development of The Screen Forum’s published directories and online presence.

“AKA defines an industry that has become an established part of the media landscape”, said AKA founder Bob Clarke, who joins the Board of Screen Holdings, “Now its time to combine our energies with Screen Holdings and create a truly independent, international media platform to champion the next phase of the industry’s growth”.

The digital media market has quickly risen to become 15% of out-of-home media spend. Out-of-home is one of the fastest growing established media sectors with CBS Outdoor’s London Underground digital media investment and digital developments in JC Decaux’s global airport franchises, suggesting the sector is set for even greater growth in the next few years.

“We are seeing major new funding for digital ventures all around the globe, refined business models, and greater acceptance from media buyers and planners,” reports Richard Cobbold. “The next phase has well and truly started, and AKA will be there to report the news, and analysis from around the world and provide an independent platform for the thoughts and opinions of the key decision makers and market influencers”.

– end —

James Henry & Richard Cobbold both have an long history of involvement in the digital media related market. They founded Digital View Ltd in 1995 and went on to develop and launch the first on-line digital media distribution service (RemoteTransferTM), building a business division with over 6000 connected screens. This division was sold in March 2007 to Enqii Media Ltd. They created the UK’s first connected digital media network, Captive View Ltd, which was sold to Warner Howard Ltd in 2004. Their specialist digital media content division, Junction 7 Productions Ltd, was sold to Grand Visual Ltd a specialist UK content design agency in 2006.

The Screen Forum is the leading industry association dedicated to the digital media market. Based in the UK, The Screen Forum has a host of members from across the industry and holds regular thought-leadership events. The Screen Forum publishes the Digital Out-of- Home Advertising Networks directory.

Richard and James are very bright, very nice guys and aka is therefore in good hands.  If you’ve been on that site through the years you know it has been a good resource, but also that it had languished in recent months and made some turns, here and there, into advertorial territory.

James told me they are planning to revamp the site (I’ve always hated that scrunched main page) and get a new content management system in place. They also plan to go well beyond just recycling press releases.

Explore posts in the same categories: News, People

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