How Transport for London, and its media business, uses real time passenger data for ad effectiveness

Transport for London (TfL), the agency responsible for the capital’s Tube, established a privacy-safe system for measuring passenger flow using wifi connections, yielding some surprising results.

Beginning in 2012, Transport for London (TfL) launched a wifi network on its Underground system. The agency responsible for running London’s vast transport network, including the city’s famous Tube, had rolled out connectivity (in stations, not in tunnels) to coincide with that year’s London Olympics in which fans from around the world would be travelling across the city, and using the network’s internet connections to work out how to do so.

It was only by 2016, when Exterion (subsequently acquired by Global) won the London Underground’s advertising contract, that TfL began to consider how this wifi connectivity could help both...

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