Passengers in London’s Hackney carriages will soon be able to make the most of their time when stuck in traffic jams or on the move.

VeriFone, known for its payment systems, has announced an agreement with Sky News to broadcast bulletins in licensed cabs in the capital. Breaking news from the Murdoch news network will appear on screens in the vehicles with ads from the VeriFone Digital Network, VNET .

VNET’s TaxiTV has already been making great connections with media markets in the US. Last year VeriFone struck a deal with NBC owned television stations to provide in-cab content. NBC Universal content now appears in 12,000 taxis in New York, Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. The company also provides a service to petrol forecourts and and convenience stores in America.

Ads for a captive audience

Advertising to taxi passengers is a smart move for brands looking to target an audience that will be in one place for a fixed amount of time. This especially makes sense when passengers are likely to have smart phones to play with while sitting still and may well follow through to e-commerce sites spotted on in-cab screens.

“In addition to providing passengers with access to entertainment and news, VNET provides advertisers with a unique opportunity to engage directly with their audience through targeted promotions and information, reaching affluent business professionals and consumers inside the London black cab when they are at their most receptive and least distracted,” said VeriFone Vice Chairman Bud Waller.

cabspic2 Catch up with headlines on the move as VeriFone launches Sky News in Londons iconic black cabs

The Sky News deal works well for consolidating brand presence for the broadcaster too. With no option but to grab the news from one specific channel in a cab, it’s an opportunity to influence audience habits.

Andrew Hawken, Editorial Director, Sky News Digital, commented: “Sky News aims to provide breaking news to users in an as many places as possible. This deal allows us to bring news directly to a large market across London, providing an innovative service in a new location. We are delighted to have the opportunity to allow people to enjoy our news on a high quality screen in the comfort of a black cab.”

Passengers can watch Sky News as soon as the taximeter is activated, controlling settings with a remote just as they would their own TV. Delivered on a 14-minute loop cycle that matches the length of an average London taxi journey, the Sky News content is refreshed between six to eight times daily.

Changing cabs

Over the past 12 months, VeriFone has helped to upgrade the experience of taking a cab in London. The firm has eased the payment process with the deployment of ‘tap-and-go’ system for journeys that cost less than £15.

The company has been active in the London taxi market since 2010, combining card payments with in-taxi media screens and enabling taxi drivers to securely take debit, credit and contactless cards.

Already the London black cab represents a sense of trust that the driver will have ‘the knowledge‘ and can be relied upon to get you where you need to be. The addition of in-cab news and easier payment methods means that this iconic way to travel will continue to be a first choice for many passengers in the capital.