New York City straphangers who are suffering from advertising overload can replace ads with art — at least on their screens — with a free mobile application called NO AD: NYC. When MTA New York City Transit riders point a smart phone or tablet at an ad on a subway platform, the mobile device displays an alternative image from its portfolio of street art and photography.
The app was developed by Re+Public in partnership with Jowy Romano of Subway Art Blog. “The end goal is to create an app that is part of a commuter’s daily experience,” said Jordan Seiler, who works with Re+Public. “They are waiting on a platform, and instead of ingesting the commercial media they can take out their smart device, point it at that same media, and have an art experience.”
The app only works in the New York City subway and is designed to recognize the “100 most popular horizontal subway platform advertisements” — which the app says are typically for movies, television shows, and popular products.
Advertising is an important source of revenue for transit operators, of course, and the MTA earned $130 million in advertising last year according to spokesman Adam Lisberg. He characterized ad revenue as “one of the ways we’re keeping future fare increases down to no more than the rate of inflation.” And, lest anyone forget, the MTA has an extensive art program complete with its very own Arts for Transit mobile app. Link to full story in Transportation Nation.
Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman