Hong Kong OOH firm Asiaray bags ad placement rights for Thomson-East Coast Line

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has handed the new Thomson-East Coast Line’s (TEL) advertising operator tender to Hong Kong-based OOH media company Asiaray Connect, while a consortium comprising SMRT Experience, JR East Business Development SEA (a subsidiary of East Japan Railway Company) and Alphaplus Investments (an investment company of NTUC FairPrice Co-operative) will take on the retail operator tender.

Asiaray is wholly owned by Asiaray Media Group, which has 25 years of experience operating in mainland China and Hong Kong with a strategic focus on airport and metro line advertising. For this tender, Asiaray proposed a mix of digital and static media products tailored to each TEL station. According to LTA, its digital media products also allow for the application of advanced technologies, such as video and data analytics, for dynamic and responsive advertisements that can adapt quickly to the fast-changing preferences of commuters.

Meanwhile, the retail consortium’s proposal included retail spaces with a curated tenant mix catering to commuters’ diverse needs (including Cheers convenience stores at several TEL stations). According to LTA, this marks as the first time it has outsourced the rail non-fare business. Through this consortium approach, LTA aims to improve the vibrancy of TEL stations as well as inject new ideas and competition into the market. These two non-fare operators will be granted a 16-year concession when the TEL commences revenue service.

The two operators are expected to bring over SG$164M in concession fees over the next 16 years, LTA said in a media statement, adding that this will generate “significantly” more non-fare revenue per rider and improving the long-term financial sustainability of the TEL.

The tenders were called on January this year and concluded in April, with seven proposals from local and international companies. Tenderers were evaluated on the quality of the proposal, as well as the company’s ability to grow the local non-fare business and generate more non-fare revenue from TEL advertising and retail spaces.

Currently, advertising and retail operations on rail lines are managed by the respective rail operators. SMRT Trains is the operator of North South line, East West line, Circle Line and TEL, while SBS Transit operates the North East line and Downtown line.

(Photo courtesy: SMRT Facebook page)