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As if we don’t see enough advertisements throughout the day, Russian startup Startrocket wants to get into the business of “orbital billboards”—and not just “get into” it, they want to be the first.
An orbital billboard is exactly what it sounds like: a billboard that exists in the space above Earth that you can spot from the ground. The plan the company has shared breaks it down as using satellites called “cubesats” to project advertisements. The company says that these reflective satellites have the ability to span a 19-square-mile region with a “potential audience of 7 billion people,” according to a quote from the company on Designboom.
The plan is that these advertisements would play on a rotational basis, each appearing in the night sky for six minutes at a time. As you can imagine, this idea to litter the sky with ads has been met with some pushback. That in tow, the company is still set on completing a test launch of the technology in 2021. They have a long road ahead of them, as they need to raise $25 million by October 2019 (according to the timeline they’ve made public).
The startup’s website also shines some light into the cost for advertisers, which might actually be the most impressive part of the whole thing: the CPM (or, cost per impression) would be similar to advertising on TV, between $9 and $15. If you think about it, television has the opportunity to reach just as many people—it’s just the idea of an airborne ad some 250 to 300 miles above the ground that really grabs headlines.
For now, our night skies are safe from advertisements—but it only takes a few big advertisers to fill that $25 million gap.