Tracking the TTC’s Wi-Fi network

A whistle stop look at the results so far and new opportunities for the ad-supported system.

More than 300,000 unique users have accessed the Toronto Transit Commission’s ad-supported Wi-Fi network since the service launched last December, according to numbers from the company operating the system.

Ad-tech co BAI Canada has revealed the results for TConnect following the expansion of the network on Friday to four new stations – Union, King, Queen and Dundas on the system’s Yonge Street line. That is in addition to St. George, Bay, Bloor-Yonge, Wellesley and College stations. All of the city’s 65 underground stations will have Wi-Fi by 2017.

The system launched in December 2013 with a partnership between content marketing co Performance Content Group, Starcom MediaVest Group and AOL Canada. Starcom client Mondelez Canada ran banners on the platform’s landing page and had ads present alongside updated content from AOL news and opinion site Huffington Post Canada.

One of the campaigns Mondelez ran was a buy-one-get-one-free offer for its Trident gum brand between March 18 to 20. Users were offered an online coupon, the catch being they had to redeem it at the nearby Gateway Newstand convenience store inside the Bloor-Yonge station, which drove users to the point of purchase within a matter of minutes. There was a 35% coupon redemption rate during the campaign.

Koodo is the current sponsor of the Wi-Fi service, which has also been sponsored by the city of Toronto’s Summerlicious restaurant program.

Brian Jacks, VP corporate development, BAI says that advertisers have the option to make a buy for a percentage of TTC riders, which means multiple brands can advertise on the platform at once. In addition to the landing page banner, brands also have a presence on the welcome page and have the option of including a pre-roll video prior to a user’s initial log in. An advertiser’s call to action can include a link to their website.

Jacks says his company is in talks with outdoor operator Pattison and looking at opportunities to blend the Wi-Fi network with OOH in the underground.

“There are some brands that are looking to marry advertising on the Wi-Fi network as well as on the static and digital screens they have,” Jacks says. “We think that is a very intriguing opportunity for advertisers to have a call-to-action right on that sign and people already connected so they can interact right when they see the ads on the wall.”

Here are some other demographic statistics about the user’s of the TTC’s Wi-Fi:

  • 65% are male while 35% are female
  • 45% are between the ages of 25 and 34
  • 15% are between the ages of 18 and 24
  • The top four platforms people access while using the network are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram
  • 75% of users are return visitors
  • An average of 5,200 new riders start using the service each week
  • The peak usage time is weekdays between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Last week in Montreal, a mobile network was switched on in its Metro, giving riders the ability to use their connected devices underground.