News Briefs


Wovenmedia, Place Exchange to Enhance In-Store Media


Retail media solutions provider Wovenmedia has partnered with Place Exchange, a supply side platform (SSP) for programmatic out-of-home (OOH) media, to help retailer clients attract spending from brands looking to advertise programmatically on in-store digital screens.

In-store media has been rapidly growing within the retail media sector, particularly given the proliferation of in-store digital screens that can deliver relevant messaging. With physical stores still overwhelmingly the place shoppers are making purchases – accounting for 85% of total retail sales in the U.S., according to Statista – digital screens in stores are poised to attract a growing share of spend. 

The integration of Wovenmedia’s in-store retail media network in the U.S. with Place Exchange will allow Wovenmedia’s existing and prospective retail clients to access the largest pool of demand from advertisers looking to leverage in-store screens as part of their omnichannel campaigns, according to a media release.

Place Exchange’s patented technology enables planning, targeting, execution and measurement of DOOH networks on par with other programmatic channels, all within the DSP platforms.

Jeff Karnes, chief operating officer at Wovenmedia, said in the release, “We are excited to partner with an industry leader in Place Exchange at a time when retail media networks are exploding. Retailers and grocers are looking to expand advertising opportunities for their brands and partners in the store.” 

“This partnership will allow Wovenmedia’s clients to unlock a new revenue stream as their inventory will now be readily accessible in the leading programmatic buying platforms used by digital advertisers and agencies, and increase the opportunities for in-store media to be integrated into omnichannel marketing strategies,” added Dave Etherington, chief commercial officer at Place Exchange.


Cresco Labs Launches Cannabis Ads on Spotify


Cresco Labs, the cannabis company behind popular THC brands and dispensaries such as Sunnyside, says it is the first cannabis company to launch advertisements on music and audio streaming platform Spotify.

The ad campaign communicates the benefits of shopping at Sunnyside dispensary through 30-second audio and in-app digital banners that drive to the retailer’s proprietary e-commerce platform. Advertising is supported by a volume-driving paid media campaign including programmatic buying, native ads and connected TV, per a media release.

“Audio streaming services represent a major opportunity for brands to reach large audiences in a targeted manner, and we’re excited to collaborate with Spotify to launch the first-ever cannabis ads from our Sunnyside national retail brand,” Cory Rothschild, Cresco Labs’ national retail president, said in the release. “Our Sunnyside advertising strategy is built on a data ecosystem enabling best-in-class targeting and measurement.”

Rothschild added that Spotify’s platform, which boasts more than 551 million users and 220 million subscribers, will enable Cresco’s marketing team to target ads “compliantly and profitably” to its core shoppers in Illinois where he says the company has a leading share in retail.

“This important partnership is not only a step in normalizing cannabis, but it also showcases the sophistication and quality of marketing that we have unlocked at Cresco Labs,” he added.


Sprouts Farmers Market Opens 400th Store


Sprouts Farmers Market is making progress on its five-year plan to grow its business 10% year-over-year with the opening of its 400th store on Sept. 8.

Located in Haddon Township, New Jersey, this location marks Sprouts’ 23rd store opening of 2023. Each new store adheres to an “innovative design concept,” featuring an open layout, community feel and produce at the heart of the market, according to a media release. The stores span 23,000 square feet and boast what Sprouts calls a “bright and airy” farmers market experience.

“Following the unveiling of our 399th store just last week in Rialto, California, and now, on the opposite coast, our 400th store celebrates its opening in Haddon Township, New Jersey,” Jack Sinclair, CEO of Sprouts, said in the release. “The expansion not only marks a significant milestone, but also represents our success in offering high quality better-for-you products to our customers coast to coast.”

Sprouts is now located in 23 states across the U.S.


Stingray Grows Streaming Partnership with TCL in U.S., Canada


Music, media and technology company Stingray has entered into a distribution agreement with Chinese consumer electronics company TCL Technology. The latter's TCLtv+ app is an online streaming service that gives its customers in North America access to a wide variety of free entertainment programming.

This deal brings Stingray's channels, including its FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television) channel Ultimate Trivia, to TCLtv+ users as a way to enhance their entertainment experience with a diverse range of music and specialty content, according to a media release.

Now available on Google and coming soon to Roku and Amazon’s FireTV smart operating systems, the TCLtv+ app includes more than 200 FAST channels and 1,500-some on-demand movies and TV series from major and independent studios.

“TCL’s continued success is greatly due to the company’s innovation and vertical integration, but key content partners like Stingray have helped us become a top two best-selling TV brand in the U.S. for four consecutive years,” Mark Zhang, president, TCL North America, said in the release. “We’re excited to expand the TCLtv+ library with premium music and trivia programming.”

Users can now access Stingray Music's curated audio channels across genres, including cross-genre chart-toppers, genre-specific channels like “Remember the '80s,” Greatest Hits, Classic Rock, Hot Country, Hit List, Easy Listening, and TikTok Radio.

Ultimate Trivia by Stingray allows viewers to test their knowledge through quizzes and compete with others in a variety of categories, including geography, history, sports, arts and entertainment, science and current events.

In addition, viewers can access specialty channels, including:

  • Stingray Naturescape: Combines scenery and close-ups with soundtracks for every moment of the day.
  • Qello Concerts by Stingray: Transforms any screen into an immersive concert experience.
  • Stingray Karaoke.
  • Stingray Classica: Dedicated to global classical music, including concerts, operas, ballets and documentaries.
  • Stingray Djazz: Dedicated to jazz lovers, showcasing both traditions and innovation.
  • Stingray CMusic: Reinvents music videos to offer a new version of classical music.

"We are thrilled to be selected as an anchor content partner for TCLtv+," David Purdy, chief revenue officer of Stingray, said in the release. "This collaboration will enhance user engagement by offering free access to an unparalleled mix of music-related content worldwide."


Marks & Spencer Adopts AI-Powered Visual Compliance Tech


U.K. High Street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has partnered with SymphonyAI Retail CPG, a SymphonyAI vertical, to leverage computer-vision and AI-based technology on associate handheld devices across more than 500 stores. 

M&S, which sells clothing, beauty, home products and food products, is rolling out SymphonyAI’s Store Intelligence capabilities on devices to help store associates compare images captured of products in stores to store-specific planograms, providing an instant view of compliance on store shelves, according to a media release.

The real-time insights generated by this solution aims to create a connected-store environment, giving store associates prioritized tasks to quickly bring shelves into full planogram compliance.

“As we reshape M&S for growth, we’re investing in technology that will create greater efficiencies and a more connected in-store experience for our customers,” Rob Barnes, chief technology officer, M&S, said in the release. “Through our partnership with SymphonyAI Retail CPG, our colleagues will be able to leverage AI-based technology to help them deliver an exceptional service to our customers.”

SymphonyAI Retail CPG’s uses prescriptive technology and generative AI to highlight problems and recommend action.


Olyns to Sell DOOH Media on Programmatic Platforms


Olyns, a recycling solution and digital-out-of-home retail media network, has joined forces with Screenverse, an ad management company for digital screen owners, to increase programmatic sales. The partnership aims to assist media buyers in finding and purchasing ads on Olyns network of digital screens in highly trafficked designated market areas (DMAs) including the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Olyns' network of RVM (reverse vending machines) for recyclables, or “Cubes,” feature 55-inch HD video displays often located near retailers’ store entrances. Each Cube can compress thousands of plastic, aluminum and glass containers, and also serves as a retail media network.

Olyns says goal is to put recycling Cubes in places people go every day (e.g., grocery stores, drugstores, shopping malls and gas stations) and leverage location, design, cash rewards and game theory to encourage repeat visits and contribute to a circular economy, per a media release.

Through a partnerinship with Screenverse, Olyns’ inventory will be available on media platforms such as Vistar, Place Exchange, Hivestack and Broadsign Reach. Programmatic sales will occur through Open Direct, Open Exchange and Private Marketplaces.

"We're on a mission to change people's perceptions of recycling," Philip Stanger, co-founder and CEO of Olyns, said in the release. "Our partnership with Screenverse continues our momentum as we build a 21st century recycling network to change consumer recycling habits and enhance the commercial interests and sustainability profile of our brand and location partners."

In 2022, Olyns and Mars Wrigley launched the “Sweet Rewards Challenge” at a handful of Bay-area locations, including Safeway. When consumers first signed into the Olyns app and deposited qualifying candy containers into the Cubes, the video display began spinning three symbols that offered prizes of up to $100.