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Times Square’s NYE ball drop building makes $23 million a year from ads

Excerpt from WSJ

Dec 31, 2012 3:48 pm

Skift Take

The tourist footfall is so high and increasing, that ads for the eyeballs, not rent, makes Times Square so lucrative.

— Rafat Ali

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Dan Nguyen  / Flickr.com

It is these horde of tourists that make the high price of billboards on One Times Square worth it. Dan Nguyen / Flickr.com


When the Times Square ball drops New Year’s Eve to ring in 2013, it will do so over a Manhattan office building that is mostly empty. Yet, it is minting cash.

The 25-story tower is doing a booming business as a billboard…From sign rentals alone, the small trapezoidal building at One Times Square takes in more than $23 million a year in revenue, the documents say.

Dunkin’ pays $3.6 million a year for a Dunkin’ Donuts digital sign that often shows photos of fans who send images to the company’s Facebook page.

WSJ 2: The New Year’s Eve ball drop ceremony is rather expensive. In recent years, the owners have spent more than $2.4 million annually to host the event, although the cost is offset by the $2.5 million to $3 million in revenue the event creates, in part from sponsorships.

In addition, signage revenue is still on the rise at the building. It’s gone from $17 million in 2009 to about $23 million in 2012. Next year it’s expected to be more than $24 million.

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