The world’s most expensive billboard is set to debut in Times Square tonight.
The digital screen will stand eight stories tall and will span the entire block of 45th street to 46th street on Broadway and will make up nearly 24 million LED pixels.
It’s cost: $2.5 million for four weeks, making the megascreen the most expensive piece of outdoor real estate anywhere in the world according to a report by the New York Times.
The New York Times noted that a digital art exhibition will animate the screen from tonight until November 24, when Google will take over the space as the sole advertiser with a campaign that runs through the New Year.
“Sometimes, it just comes down to wanting to stand out, and it comes down to ego,” Harry Coghlan, president of Clear Channel Outdoor New York, told the New York Times.
His company is in charge of selling the ad space.
The screen is expected to be seen by around 300,000 pedestrians per day, who enters the Times Square “bow tie,” the place where Seventh Avenue intersects with Broadway between 42nd and 47th streets.
Though New Yorkers don’t necessarily hangaround at the intersectin, sometimes passing through it with disdain on the crowd, the place is a huge tourist destination and a well-known New York landmark.
Russia Today noted that the only other billboard able to compete with what is now known as North America’s most expensive billboard is the world’s tallest billboard, in the same vicinity but at One Times Square, where the ball drops on New Year’s eve.
“The signs really are part of the culture, part of the fabric of the excitement of this city,” Steven Roth, chief executive of Vornado, told the New York Times.
“And, by the way, we are in it for the money, and they are an interesting part of our business.” Billboards is one of the oldest forms of advertising and its atrracting a new attention as digital displays allow for new levels of real-time interactivity.
In a report by eMarketer, it noted that outdoor advertising in the United States is expected to increase 3.6 percent this year to $7.2 billion.