Video Screens Will Soon Start Forcing Ads On Captive Subway Riders

There comes a moment in every New Yorker’s life in which they have to decide if this city is worth the fight. Sometimes, it’s a rent increase. Other times, it’s a lost job, a broken relationship, or a 40-word Joan Didion sentence. Well, friends, my moment has come—the MTA announced today they’ll be installing digital screens in subway cars to display ads. Soon, you could be trapped in that terrible tunnel approaching the Manhattan Bridge forced to watch an unending loop of ads, just like that episode of Black Mirror where the dude from Get Out tries to keep the chick from Downton Abbey out of the porn industry, and just contemplating this miserable future is making anxiety hives bubble on my wrist.

Today the MTA announced a partnership with OUTFRONT Media to install over 9,500 digital screens “that provide both advertising and customer communications” above and inside subway stations and on subway platforms. Some of these screens will provide information for commuters, much like the touchscreen maps already available at many subway stations. Others will replace paper ads, making it harder for budding artists to add their own decoration.


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