JCDecaux installs 500th digital screen in delayed London roll-out

JCDecaux will reach the halfway point today in the rollout of 1,000 digital screens in London, a project that has been dogged by delays.

JCDecaux: installs 500th digital screen in delayed London roll-out
JCDecaux: installs 500th digital screen in delayed London roll-out

The 500th digital screen will be installed in City Road, Islington today, with the full 1,000 expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017 as part of the London Digital Network. 

However, the world’s largest outdoor advertiser had expected to have installed 500 screens by the end of June 2016 with a target of 1,000 by the end of this year. Delays began when 20 screens were installed at the beginning of April, instead of the planned amount of 300.

JCDecaux said the delay was due to "complexity surrounding the installation of this major construction project with the involvement of several contractual partners". 

Delays to the project have affected JCDecaux’s organic revenue growth and, according to the company’s trading update earlier this month, will have a "negative impact" on its operating margin.

It said: "During this major digital transition period, the Group will continue its efforts to mitigate this slowdown and the impact of these two strategic decisions on our margins through a tight cost management control." 

Other London locations with the new screens include King’s Road, Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, High Street Kensington, Park Lane and Oxford Street. 

JCDecaux said the LDN network now delivers more than 100 million impressions per fortnight and reaches 70% of Greater London.

The French-owned outdoor giant won the Transport for London bus shelter contract last year and is tasked with installing 1,000 84-inch dynamic HD screens across the capital, claimed to be the world's biggest rollout of digital street furniture.

Clear Channel had previously held the TfL bus shelter account since 2005.

Having announced an extensive digitisation programme across its entire portfolio of Large Format, Retail, Rail, Airport & Cities at this year’s industry Upfronts, the company expects its total digital network to be delivering one billion impressions by the end of 2017.

Spencer Berwin, co-chief executive at JCDecaux UK, said: "London is JCDecaux’s global showcase for digital out-of-home, and LDN is an integral part of that story.

"Having the premium locations and the most developed digital network has put us ahead of the pack with an impressive share of the market.

"Reaching 100 million eyeballs is an important milestone in our flagship LDN project; a core part of a wider digital transformation that will establish us as a top tier digital media owner in our own right."