The Sunset Strip, a 1.5 mile stretch along Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, is a tourist destination and nightlife hotspot. Now it’s at the center of a provocative project to bring digital advertising to the city.
These pixelated, bright, moving messages are big business. While they’ve been banned in many cities in Southern California, West Hollywood is embracing the artistic potential of digital billboards.
Last year, West Hollywood created a Sunset Arts & Advertising Program. It called for artistic digital billboard designs that would generate revenue for the city and improve buildings and public space. A goal: Make the Sunset Strip more appealing as a pedestrian experience.
KCRW’s Frances Anderton was on a committee that helped select which digital billboards may be built in West Hollywood, following a public approval process.
She says a static sign can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, and a digital sign can bring in six to 10 times more revenue. That means millions of dollars per year. That money would go toward affordable housing, services for the elderly, and other public benefits.