Up to 4,000 black cabs are about to be fitted with iBeacons across London and other major UK cities, allowing passengers to receive contextually-relevant messaging as they travel.

It’s a result of a new partnership between proximity marketing company Proxama and Ubiquitous, the country’s largest provider of taxi advertising, which will allow the former to target consumer smartphones via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals.

Cities to be included in the scheme so far include London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham.

Mileage in beacons

Each black cab is estimated to make around 4,500 journeys per year, with the average clientele tending to have high personal income and be ‘smartphone and tablet enabled’, says Proxama.

The company sees taxi users as a desirable group for brands to reach.

Based on data from its existing beacon projects, the network expects a click-through rate of 24% to apps from ‘in-the-moment’ notifications, and it opens opportunity not just for Ubiquitous’s client-base but all app-centred advertisers seeking to engage with that target audience.

“The average cab journey lasts around 20 minutes in London and is a natural time for people to engage with their smartphone for messages and new content. We look forward to seeing the customer reaction,” says Jon Worley, CEO of Proxama marketing division.

Worley says the firm’s network of beacons has grown rapidly across London since the beginning of the year.

The Proxama Network now covers London buses, airports and black cabs, with further expansion planned across multiple sectors.

Proxama’s mission to connect with London’s commuters made PerformanceIN headlines in July this year, announcing that 500 buses in the capital would be equipped with beacon tech.