Clear Channel to Offer HD Billboards

Clear Channel, the mammoth radio group which is also one of the nation’s largest billboard firms, said its advertising display unit, Clear Channel Outdoor, will unveil its first 40-by-40-foot HD digital billboard in coming weeks.

The so-called Spectacolor HD Board, one of which is prominently displayed at 47th Street and Broadway in New York’s Times Square, will boast what Clear Channel said is “the highest resolution possible”--along with added connectivity and interactive components such as Bluetooth, SMS messaging, and free broadband wireless public access extending across the street.

The electronic billboards, to be placed in other high-traffic spots throughout the United States, will display HD video, along with text-streaming of local and national news, weather and sports data along the bottom third of the screens. Clear Channel said it’s currently lining up a variety of media partners for the venture, according to Media Week.

Although initially costly to erect, the billboards can increase advertising revenue over traditional billboards by 10 times or more, Clear Channel said. Advertisers, for their part, are given the option of targeting messages to various dayparts, similar to TV and radio plans.