What Am I Worth to Advertisers? My Obsessive Quest to Put a Price on My Attention

319. That’s the number of discrete advertisements, both online and off, served to me over the course of one Tuesday in July. I know because I counted each and every one.

Why catalog the informational noise that, in many cases, our brains have quite literally trained themselves to ignore? Hidden in plain sight, ad money is the invisible force that subsidizes many of the services we depend on—especially online, where keeping up with friends, reading the news, or streaming music is ostensibly “free.” I wanted to to find out exactly what my eyeballs are worth.

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John Schweikert
Taxis' ad deal is one edge they have on Uber

For the city's yellow cabs, there is still some value in being iconic—or at least in driving past millions of eyeballs every day.

Despite all the troubles the industry has endured since Uber came to town, a trade group for some of the biggest fleet owners has struck a taxi-top advertising deal that could bring in tens of millions of dollars.

The agreement, with Atlanta-based Strong Digital Media, is for 3,500 taxi tops. Negotiating with the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, which represents 5,500 of the city's 13,587 yellow cabs (about 9,000 of which have roof ads), Strong outbid the taxi tops' previous advertising operator, Curb Mobility.

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John Schweikert
MTBOT - Largest Yellow Taxicab Trade Association in NYC - Announces Major Investment Deal with STRONG for Traditional and Digital Taxi Top Advertising

The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade the largest taxicab trade association in New York City, has announced a digital taxi top advertising deal with Strong Digital Media, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE American: BTN). The deal covers more than 3,500 yellow taxi tops – nearly half of the overall taxi top market in New York City – and will include an initial roll out of 300 state-of-the-art digital taxi tops by summer 2018. More than 150 digital tops have hit the New York City streets already.

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John Schweikert