Magna partners with Black-owned airport network ReachTV as travel returns

Magna partners with Black-owned airport network ReachTV as travel returns

Dive Brief:

  • Magna, the media investment agency under IPG Mediabrands, has partnered with Black-owned over-the-top (OTT) airport network ReachTV as part of its larger commitments around equity, per a press release.

  • ReachTV, which commands nearly 2,500 screens across 90 airports, broadcasts a mix of original offerings and licensed content from more than 50 partners, including NBC, A&E, AMC and NFL Network. It was a participant in Mediabrands' first annual Equity Upfront in March.

  • The agreement includes opportunities around sponsorships, content integrations and "snipes" — automated on-screen messages — during programming, as well as "additional impressions" from ReachTV. With the deal, Mediabrands and parent IPG continue to build out a platform aimed at better supporting minority-owned and targeted media.

Dive Insight:

With the new pact, Magna draws deeper ties to a burgeoning OTT network that also fits in with parent IPG's mission to invest more in Black-owned media — a goal that has been in the spotlight over the past several months amid a busy upfronts season.

Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Lynnwood Bibbens, ReachTV has quickly expanded to airports in the top 10 U.S. media markets, as well as several high-traffic travel hubs in the U.K. Even as the pandemic halted travel last year, the company, which is Nielsen-rated, says it generated 12 billion impressions over the period. Earlier this month, ReachTV cut an expanded deal with NBCU to bring in more content and sell more advertising. The network serves daily content through a patent-pending, cloud-based platform that emulates a traditional TV network. ReachTV focuses on positive and truthful programming while also trying to keep ad clutter low.

With travel activities picking back up in many areas of the U.S., Magna is getting in on the ground floor of a network primed to receive more engagement. Impressions across the network were up 70% in May, according to the announcement. ReachTV also offers brand partners custom dashboards that intend to help drive sales at airport retailers.

"We can help Mediabrands' clients reach travelers who are emerging from the pandemic with pent-up demand," Bibbens said in a press statement. "We're able to reach them from takeoff to destination and from terminal to bar to airport gate."

IPG has enacted several initiatives to better support minority-owned media, a directive that's taken on fresh relevance since a wave of racial justice protests swept the U.S. last summer. Along with holding the first Equity Upfront, which featured presenters like Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios, BET Network, Essence Communications and Urban One, Mediabrands has pledged to allocate at least 5% of total media spending among its clients to Black-owned media by 2023. Several other agencies, including WPP's GroupM, have made similar commitments and have seen early buy-in to their efforts from brands.