Tuesday, August 30, 2005

GlobeSt. Retail gives a primer on digital signage

Real estate and retail e-zine GlobeSt. Retail just released this article that gives an introduction to digital signage for those not yet familiar with the industry. It features quotes from me, so how can it be bad :)

Here's a clip:

"Hardly new, digital signage, which, to a low-tech person, translates to full-motion video versus “static signage,” is still in the early stages of development and it is proliferating rapidly. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Albertson’s, CompUSA, Dick’s Sporting Goods and some Simon Properties’ malls, are among those with systems already in use."
Traditional advertising reaches people at home in hopes of luring them to a store to buy a product. But print readership is down, and with the advent first of mute buttons and now TiVO, more and more people are tuning out commercials. Consequently, advertisers are moving ad dollars to people while they are in the store and finding out that the closer the prospect is to the point of sale, the higher the return."

Digital Signage Firm Focus Media Acquires Commercial Location Advertising Company

Do you know who Focus Media is? If you read this blog or are involved in the digital signage industry, you should. And if you don't:

"Focus Media operates the largest out-of-home advertising network in China using audiovisual flat-panel displays based on the number of locations and number of displays in its network. As of June 30, 2005, Focus Media had 35,710 display units in our commercial location network and in-store network throughout China. Flat-panel audiovisual displays are placed in high traffic areas, such as elevator lobbies of commercial buildings, retail chain stores, beauty parlors, karaoke parlors and golf country clubs. Over 900 international and domestic advertisers have placed advertisements through our networks as of June 30, 2005."

They recently announced, "the acquisition of Shenzhen Bianjie Commercial Location Advertising Company, an local audiovisual advertising network operator in Shenzhen.

"Shenzhen Bianjie Commercial Location Advertising Company currently operates its audiovisual advertising network in 54 commercial locations in Shenzhen. Under the terms of transaction, Focus Media has acquired a 100% equity stake in the company. Shenzhen Bianjie Commercial Location Advertising Company will also transfer all of its rental contracts with its existing property owners to Focus Media.

"Through this acquisition, Focus Media will further strengthen its network coverage in Shenzhen."

Their press release has the rest of the information.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Digital signage in movie theaters increase sales

aka.tv is running an interesting story on the performace of digital signage advertising networks in movie theaters. The network that they studied was from SignActive, who is managing New Zealand’s first cinema digital-signage installations. They have found that:

"According to the operators, the new technology has already enhanced ticket and candy-bar sales – and, with the number of sites potentially increasing up to 12, more third-party advertisers are expected to take advantage of the new foyer screens. So far, the advertising space has only been offered to the cinemas’ existing suppliers, which include the likes of PepsiCo, Panasonic, NestlĂ© and Allied Domecq."
"Content is generated both locally and remotely. Live, real-time information, including movie names, times and ratings, is extracted directly from the cinema database using custom-written software specifically developed for this task by SignActive, and sent to the displays.

"But all creative content, including advertising, is distributed via a private network to the cinema locations from SignActive’s head office in Auckland, ensuring the system provides a hands-off solution for the cinema management."

While I can understasnd why suppliers would want to advertise their products in the theaters (since they're selling them there), I'm not sure what the draw will be for outside advertisers. Sure, there's a captive audience, but they're not primed to purchase outside goods while walking into a theater to watch a movie.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pharmaceutical companies advertise on out-of-home, place-based networks

Reminding us that not all digital signage networks are of the remotely-managed variety is AFMN, who distributes DVDs to doctors offices and other health-related locations every month. Apparently, things aren't going so badly for them:

AFMN, Inc. (Pink Sheets:AFNN) and its subsidiary, African American Medical Network, Inc. ... anticipates that it will be receiving more advertising placements from pharmaceutical companies due to a shift that is occurring in the advertising industry that will likely allocate more advertising dollars to place-based media companies like African American Medical Network.

Referring to a recent article by Bob Ehrlich of DTC Perspectives, Inc. that pointed to an on-going shift away from traditional allocations directed at network television, to the desire of drug marketers to reach consumers at the point-of-care, and to a predicted 500% growth rate in the point of care business over the next five years, the Company's President Charles Richardson suggested, "We are gratified to see that someone else has seen this positive shift that is occurring in the advertising industry. We have watched this happening for some time now. And with more agencies and companies looking to target this type of captive audience, we are in the perfect position to meet their needs."

If you want to, you can read all about it here :)

Kroger deploying digital signage network

As reported here by Internet Retailer (and commented upon by myself in "Kroger launches digital signage / in-store TV network"), supermarket chain Kroger is teaming up with IBN to deploy digital signage systems to their 2,500 grocery stores throughout the US. Here's some additional information from the press release:

The system, provided by In-Store Broadcasting Network, will let Kroger coordinate messages channeled through in-store TV and radio networks, both supported by IBN, said Evan Anthony, vice president of marketing and advertising for Kroger. The system complements Kroger`s existing in-store music-programming network also provide by IBN. “For the first time, we can combine in-store radio and TV to deliver what we call perfect media, with multiple channels in each store displaying fun, exciting and relevant content focused exclusively on our customers,” he said.

In-Store Broadcasting Network`s programming is housed locally on a server at each location, and IBN’s proprietary scheduling and delivery software enables each server to receive new content as often as necessary over the Internet.

IBN will install the network over the next 18 months. Once completed, Cincinnati-based Kroger expects it to serve 68 million in-store shoppers each week with information ranging from new product announcements and prices to cooking recipes.

IBN buying lots of HSS speakers for in-store digital merchandising

BusinessWire notes that:

American Technology Corporation, an innovator of proprietary sound reproduction technologies, today announced an HSS(R) H450 purchase agreement with In-Store Broadcasting Network (IBN). Under the agreement, IBN has agreed to purchase 12,000 HSS H450s for their in-store media networks located in select first tier retailers. The agreement calls for ATC to begin shipping its proprietary HSS H450s to IBN in the quarter beginning October 1, 2005 with continuing scheduled quarterly shipments.

In-Store Broadcasting Network is the largest retail place-based media company in the world. IBN is the only measured electronic retail media company with exposure to more than 256,943,000 shopper visits per month in over 17,000 grocery and drug stores in the US and Canada. IBN deploys patented technology and systems comprising "Perfect Media(TM)," a unique synchronized and integrated media combination including audio, video, and other targeting technologies and methods that deliver advertising messages guaranteeing audience reach. IBN and Kroger Company recently announced a long-term agreement for the implementation of "Perfect Media(TM)" across the 2,524 Kroger stores starting in 2006.

IBN recently announced that Kroger, a current subscriber to their in-store audio services, would also be deploying digital signage systems in the near future. One should wonder whether the HSS speakers are intended for that deployment, since it is approximately the right number. You can read the rest of the press release here, or check out my article on the Kroger plan at "Kroger launches digital signage / in-store TV network."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Dynamic Signage Consortium to study digital signage usage in bars and nightclubs

"The Dynamic Signage Consortium announced today that they have teamed up with HappyHours.com to conduct the first of a series of sophisticated research studies to learn more about the awareness, use and adoption of Dynamic Signage in bars and nightclubs across the US.

"The Dynamic Signage Consortium's mission is to grow the dynamic signage industry through high quality market research and information dissemination. The Dynamic Signage Consortium unites companies that have an interest in the growing dynamic signage industry and provides its members with many benefits such as networking, standardization, resources, market analysis and state of the market reports. The primary objective is to document the voice of various dynamic signage customers using end-user surveys that will provide critical information to the industry.

"HappyHours.com Inc. is a leading website and e-newsletter for beverage alcohol consumers and the trade. The e-newsletter is currently distributed to more than 140,000 individuals worldwide and the website includes articles from some of the beer, wine and spirit industries' leading authors and experts. Through its HappyHours PRO division, the company is also dedicated to helping the beverage industry connect with their consumers through the use of technology and the application of various permission marketing tactics.

The rest of the PR may be found here.

EZ Show begins digital signage rollout

News from another digital signage company that I've never heard of until now :)

"EZ Show LLC, a Washington State multimedia production and distribution company announced today that it has secured an agreement to roll out the first wave of 500 flat screens to convenient stores through marketing company, Judan, LLC. Initially, these screens will be placed in local stores with a plan to expand to over 20,000 locations within the next year.

"EZ Show’s ownership of the screen means that the screen itself is FREE to the hosting retailer. The retailer also receives a complimentary ad and, if desired, a wireless internet “hotspot” for consumers to use while in-store. The retailer’s ad will be one of thirty, 30-second spots that loops every 15 minutes. The other ads that appear on the screen will be placed at a low cost to the advertiser - just $99 a week. And of course, the retailer has the final say about which adverts appear in their space.

"In addition to having ad space available for its flat screens, EZ Show is also creating LCD screen/brochure rack combination displays for use in stores, at trade shows, and in other locations where paper brochures are still needed as a take-away. The collection of orders for these combination displays has now begun for October delivery.

Read the rest of the press release.

Lamcy Plaza’s Digital Signage Advertising Network Attracts Mall Shoppers

"LamcyTV was first installed at the beginning of 2005 as Point-of-Purchase signage for mall tenants to help attract mall shoppers to their stores. To date however, Lamcy Plaza has already sold airtime to industry brands that benefit from the large premium market the mal attracts.

"Ahmed El Ridi, General Manager of SSS, a certified Scala Professional, explains, 'POS purchases make up 70% of all buying decisions – that’s a recognized fact of consumer buying behavior. Dynamic Digital Signage or Narrowcasting is highly-targeted advertising to the captive audience within the mall environment.'

"LamcyTV network consists of thirty-seven Plasma and LCD screens distributed in strategic locations where shoppers congregate, i.e. elevators and landings of escalators. The network is a joint project between Lamcy Plaza Management and Specialized Software Services (SSS), the leading provider and marketer of Dynamic Digital Signage Networks in UAE.

"The system employs twenty-five Scala InfoChannel® Players that drive twelve 17" LCD screens with built-in computers and twenty-five 42" Samsung Plasma Screens. The network is managed by Scala’s InfoChannel® Enterprise Edition Network Manager, and because of the mall infrastructure, controlled over a WiFi Network.

"To gain maximum ROI from the network Lamcy Mall Management advertises their own brands and displays mall services on the network. In addition, advertising is sold to large premium brands that are sold in the mall shops. Because of the advertising interest by premium brands and tenant stores, Lamcy Mall Management anticipates the investment for the installation will be recouped in less than one year. Lamcy Mall Management will engage a professional research firm at the end of the year to measure the effectiveness and sales uplift experienced by LamcyTV."

Find the rest of it here.

Kroger partners with InStore Broadcasting Network for digital signage

The nation's largest grocery chain is preparing to install a massive digital signage network. From the press release:

"The Kroger Co. entered into a multi-year agreement with InStore Broadcasting Network (IBN) to provide a television network for customers in more than 2,500 Kroger-owned stores across the country.

"...The satellite-delivered network uses plasma and LCD screens located in key locations throughout the store to deliver information about new products, services, cooking tips and special promotions. Kroger community service and relevant entertainment segments are also highlighted.

"...Installation of the network will take place over the next 18 months. It is projected that more than 68 million shoppers will be exposed to in-store media every week.

"...Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains, operating 2,524 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under two dozen local banners , as well as 793 convenience stores, 552 supermarket fuel centers, 432 fine jewelry stores, and 42 food processing plants."

Read the complete article here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Train TV firm TNX TV Faces Bankruptcy

From aka.tv:

The owner of a defunct British train-TV network says it needs to raise $1m or face bankruptcy.

U.S.-based TNX Television Holdings Inc. believes it needs that sum to stay in business following the collapse of its TNX TV network in England, and plans to ask existing stockholders for the money.

The crisis, revealed in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stock-market regulator, is the culmination of months of doubt about TNX’s future.

Earlier this year the company’s wholly-owned British subsidiary TNCI UK Ltd. appointed administrative receivers to manage it while seeking agreements with creditors.

Its network on trains run by Central Trains in England’s Midlands region continued to operate, however, through a new firm – 360 Onboard Ltd., also wholly owned by TNX in the U.S.. 360 Onboard had been incorporated the previous December, according to documents filed at Britain’s Companies House.

Now 360 Onboard has also hit trouble and suspended its TV network “when it became clear that it had insufficient near-term revenue prospects to cover the ongoing cost of operations, particularly daily content procurement and delivery”, according to the TNX SEC filing. For example, on 18 July, 360 was unable to make a £28,800 payment due to the Inland Revenue, Britain’s tax authority.

All but three of 360’s employees are having their contracts of employment terminated.

There are lots of interesting details about the rise and fall of this firm, along with some insights into the cost of installing, maintaining and removing narrowcasting equipment.

Read the whole thing here.

Albert Heijn to trial in-store digital signage

From aka.tv:

"Amsterdam-based Medialandscape has won the contract to run a digital-signage pilot for Albert Heijn, the Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain.

"Believed to be internally dubbed DIM – standing for ‘dynamic instore media’ – the Albert Heijn trial will involve five stores in as-yet-undisclosed locations, according to Dutch reports. An eventual rollout would likely include 200-400 stores from the retailer’s estate of 700+.

"Thirteen screens in each store – ten plasmas and three LCDs – will display a number of different channels, with significant variation in the content mix. For example, at store entrances and in meat and fish areas, the screens will display 70 percent Albert Heijn content and 30 percent third-party advertising.

"Vegetable and fruit areas will show only the retailer’s own content, but pharmacy, alcohol and cleaning materials will be 70 to 80 percent advertising."

You can read the complete story here.

NEC and Scala partner on lobby digital signage

NEC Solutions (America), Inc., a premier provider of integrated solutions for the Connected Enterprise in North America, has augmented its comprehensive digital advertising system and display offering through its partnership with Scala, Inc., the leading Pennsylvania-based developer of end-to-end software platform for centrally controlled and managed digital signage networks.

The partnership marries NEC's full range of ADVASuite(TM) displays with Scala's InfoChannel(R) 3 software platform to ensure an industry-leading broadband display solution for participating movie theatres. Together, NEC and Scala will help increase the revenue earning potential of exhibitors through high quality pre-feature and in-lobby advertising.

Take a look at the full press release here.

Watchit Media, Inc. Reports Financial Results

For the three months ended June 30, 2005 the Company reported revenues of $609,000, a 161% growth over the same period in 2004. During the June quarter, approximately 44% of revenue was derived from subscription fees the Company is paid under one year and two year renewable contracts with its clients. Gross profit for the same periods increased 207% to $377,000. As a percentage of revenue, gross margin increased from 53% for the same period in 2004 to 62% in 2005.

For the six months ended June 30, 2005, the Company reported revenues of $864,000, a 179% growth over the same period in 2004. During the six month period, approximately 59% of revenue was derived from subscription fees the Company is paid under one year and two year renewable contracts with its clients. Gross profit for the six month period increased 204% to $519,000. As a percentage of revenue, gross margin increased from 55% for six month period in 2004 to 60% in 2005.

You can view the rest of the press release here.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cinemark selects digital signage provider

From aka.tv:

"In the latest development for the burgeoning cinema advertising market here, Cinemark USA, one of North America’s largest cinema companies, has entered into an agreement with Christie Digital Systems to outfit its nationwide network of nearly 2,400 screens with LCD projectors for the purpose of delivering pre-show digital advertising.

"According to Christie, installation of the projectors is to begin later this month in anticipation of Cinemark's digital pre-show advertising program scheduled to commence on January 1, 2006 in theatres reaching over 100m patrons annually across the United States.

"Under the terms of the contract, Cinemark will also purchase Christie’s projector networking technology, ChristieNET – which enables Internet-based remote content scheduling and monitoring – with every projector."

Find the complete article here.

Sainsbury's ponders second digital signage network

From RedNova:

"[UK retailer] Sainsbury's is considering rolling out an in-store TV network throughout its convenience store business, following a successful trial in its Sainsbury's at Jacksons subsidiary.

"The retailer is holding discussions with network and content providers about a wider roll-out. Sainsbury's has 262 convenience stores under the Jacksons and Sainsbury's Local brands.

"According to sources, it is unlikely that Sainsbury's will use its Fresh TV format, which is being trialled separately in its superstores, for its convenience network.
"The 110-store chain completed the installation of its network, which displays public information, music videos and 10-second ads, in June. It is managed by Firebrand Media.

"The Jacksons tests revealed a sales uplift of between 5% and 45% on products advertised, with the greatest increase recorded on sales of a beer brand.

"In contrast, trials for rivals Asda and Tesco's in-store TV have contributed to sales increases of about 10%."

There's a lot of good information in this article. Go here to read it.

Chinese digital signage firm Focus Media doing well

Having just released their quarterly results, Chinese digital signage network owner Focus Media is showing extremely strong growth.


-- Net revenues grew 127.9% year-over-year and 52.3% quarter-over-quarter to $14.6 million;

-- Advertising service revenues grew 160.6% year-over-year and 51.8% quarter-over-quarter to $14.3 million on the continued strength in our commercial location network and the commencement of commercial operation of our in-store network;

-- In the second quarter, we sold 3,057 time slots on the commercial location network compared with 1,998 time slots for the first quarter of 2005, an increase of 53.0% quarter-over-quarter. Total capacity, or the total number of available 30-second equivalent time slots, on the commercial location network increased to 6,720 from 6,010 in the first quarter of 2005 due to the full quarterly impact of time slots from regional distributors Focus Media acquired in the first quarter of 2005 and the addition of new regional distributors in the first and second quarter of 2005. Our network utilization rate, or the total 30-second equivalent time slots sold as a percentage of total 30-second equivalent time slots available during the relevant period, for the commercial location network increased to 45.4% in the second quarter versus 33.2% in the first quarter of 2005. Average advertising revenue per 30-second equivalent time slot for the commercial location network in the second quarter was $4,573 versus $4,721 in the first quarter of 2005;

-- Total number of displays in our commercial location network reached 22,931 and total number of displays in our in-store network reached 12,779 as of June 30, 2005;

-- We have rapidly penetrated the retail point-of-purchase advertising market in China and as of June 30, 2005, total installed base of our in-store network reached 1,835 retail stores, including 439 hypermarkets, 674 supermarkets and 722 convenience stores; and

-- Net income for the second quarter grew 119.2% year-over-year and 64.5% quarter-over-quarter to $4.3 million.

Read the rest of the release here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

WireSpring measures the impact of dynamic digital signs and interactive kiosks

A new article has been posted on WireSpring's weblog for dynamic digital signage and interactive kiosks. Today's fare:

"Measuring the impact of dynamic digital signs and interactive kiosks"

According to MediaWeek, possible ways of auditing digital retailing networks include relying on retailer information (like footfall traffic, etc.) and using a qualified auditing firm (think Arbitron or ACNielsen). Of course, neither of these take advantage of some of the benefits of digital retailing media. For example, with interactive kiosks one can log the events that take place on each device and use that as a very well-qualified means of recording traffic. Likewise, monitoring technologies can be used to supplement manual store audits, however these are still fairly immature technologies and are prone to errors (like this idea to basically put RFID chips into everything and track where they go).

How to charge?

The #1 question that I've been asked lately is how much to charge for a "slice" of time on a digital sign, or similarly, for a single customer interaction event (such as an application the customer submitted) on a self-service kiosk. The MediaWeek guys got a great quote from Hyperspace's James Davies (the digital division at poster specialist Posterscope), who notes that "[y]ou have big screens, little screens, screens with or without editorial, high frequency, long play. How you consume in the back of a cab is very different to how you consume walking down the aisle of a supermarket." Further, "a common trading currency does not equate to a shared pricing structure. The rate cards for both Vogue and weekly real-life title Pick Me Up are based on circulation, but an ad in the glossy monthly will be relatively more expensive because of the value of the audience and the worth of being in a lush environment with a longer lifespan." Relating the different kinds of digital advertising networks to magazines is a great idea, and immediately helped me to understand all of the pricing issues that surround these kinds of networks. Case in point: I've seen clients draw up invoices for their advertisers totaling anywhere from $125 to $125,000 per month. But in the former case, the price was per-screen, per ad, and the content running on the screen was entirely composed of 30 second commercials, while the latter case was a package price to place a 30 minute infomercial clip on several thousand captive audience displays. Thus, an apples-to-apples price comparison isn't appropriate at all.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Minicom Audio/Video Hardware Runs Bar&Club Digital Signage System

Minicom Advanced Systems, a leading provider of audio/video distribution systems for the last mile in digital signage, revealed today that Switzerland's screenIMAGE uses Minicom hardware exclusively in its digital signage applications. screenIMAGE (www.screenimage.ch) is one of the largest A/V integrators in Switzerland, and the only to provide complete turnkey digital signage installations.

When they started the famous "Bars&Clubs Channel" project, the digital signage market almost didn't exist. The bars weren't willing to lay out money for an unproven, new technology. With many digital signage integrators still toying with different pricing models, screenIMAGE, began generating profits by following a business plan that involved partnering.

The Bars&Clubs Channel system uses Minicom's CAT5 Video Display System (VDS) in the locations to display content to spectators. Content is delivered via TCP/IP to 350,000 customers in 50 Bars and Clubs all over Switzerland each month. Thin CAT5 cable discretely transfers the content in real time, without loss of screen quality, to small VDS remotes, behind the displays.

"Our video-over-CAT5 distribution system helps amplify the power of digital advertising, which attracts more attention than static signs, and can increase sales anywhere between 30% and 100%," said Eran Kessel, Minicom's Vice President of Marketing.

Read the rest of the press release here.

UnoLink deploys digital signage to Caracas hospital

From their press release:

"Hospital de Clinicas Caracas, the most technologically advanced health institution in Venezuela, is the first hospital to install 'Vida', a digital dynamic entertainment and advertising network created by UnoLink. Fourteen 42-inch, high definition plasma screens installed in 8 different areas of the hospital display entertainment and relevant health-related information to patients and patrons while they wait. This channel has been fully functional 24/7 as of March 2005. It represents the first multimedia network of its kind to be installed in Latin America.

"'Vida' (Life), offers exclusive programming that is managed via the Internet using Scala's InfoChannel® software. Original content - created in a joint effort with TV production powerhouse Canal Uno — includes health information, music videos, local and international news, as well as segments on arts and entertainment, comedy, beauty, quotes and advertising. Video and sound have been carefully tailored to the specific wait areas in the hospital to keep their full impact while avoiding the disruption of normal operations.

"According to Eduardo Baptista, the Operations Manager for H.C.C., the impact this system has generated on the visiting public has been very favorable: 'UnoLink has provided a versatile system that offers different programming, congruent to the location of each screen. UnoLink has also supplied the hospital with a powerful communications tool that creates a medium in which we can reach our patients, their families and visitors in general with a programming format tailored to the needs of the institution'."

You can find the complete article here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Establishing price points for media on digital sign networks

From MediaWeek:

"[A]s Media Week reported last week (Outdoor owners debate currency, page 13, 26 July), digital screens have now reached the point where an industry currency is needed in order to continue to grow.

"But for media owners operating in a new medium, the trick is knowing when it's time to develop a common currency – too soon and you risk losing your focus when the mediumis still in its infancy, too late and you could find it's become an impediment to growth.

"And once the sector has made the decision to develop an industry-wide trading currency, what are the challenges?

"For screen media, it's very much early days. Digital screen operators began discussing the issue in committee meetings at the Outdoor Advertising Association only in the past couple of months and it could be well over a year before any kind of decision is reached, let alone implemented.

"Agencies are crying out for a consistent trading currency for the mediumand media owners acknowledge that this is needed if the sector is to grow.


"The challenges with deciding on a common currency are immense given the huge variation in the sector – from Maiden Outdoor's huge Transvision screens at mainline rail stations such as Victoria to in-store TV in retail outlets such as Tesco, WHSmith, Boots and Sainsbury's."

This is a great article. I highly recommend you go read the rest of it.

Sainsbury's digital signage experiments show positive results

"Two months into its trial of an in-store TV network, Britain’s third-largest supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s is cautiously upbeat.

"'We’re starting to analyse the data and we’re having positive signs," says business development manager Rob Crumbie, though a decision on a full rollout will not be made until the trial period finishes toward the end of 2005.

"The project, called Fresh TV, is just one of several digital-signage ventures at Sainsbury’s, but is distinguished from the others – as well as from many rivals’ networks – by the numerous separate channels and high concentration of screens per store.

"Fresh TV is being run in conjunction with Sony Retail, providing operational, software and screen expertise, and research specialist Litmus. Branding and publishing consultancy New Crane, which already works on Sainsbury’s magazine and other print materials, provides creative and production input."

Read the full story here.

Austrian DIY firm expands in-store TV network

From aka.tv:

"An in-store TV network at one of Europe’s largest DIY (home-improvement) retailers is set to grow to more than 200 screens this year.

"The platform was recently extended to all nine OBI stores in Austria’s Carinthia and Styria regions, employing more than a hundred 42- and 50-inch screens. It is now scheduled to expand into a further five outlets in Vienna in November, giving the network a daily reach in excess of 22,000 viewers.

"The system was set up by hardware specialist Networksynergy and is operated by Austrian real-time marketing and promotions company 42inch.tv, which also produces content and sells advertising space on the network."

Read the full story here.

Lighthouse unveils new digital signage LED screens

"Today's announcement includes the launch of Lighthouse's PopVision, the industry's first portable and self-sustaining LED video screen that promises to give users a piece of "Times Square in a box." Also making their debut are two new fanless 10mm pixel pitch indoor video screens, the P10 and R10, the industry's lightest fully-integrated LEDs that feature their own built-in power supplies.

"According to Mark Chan, Managing Director for Lighthouse, the new products were initially unveiled at the InfoComm International Exposition 2005 which staged in Las Vegas in June, saw Lighthouse report record sales. Says Chan, "InfoComm has always been a profitable event, but this year we registered more sales in the opening hours than the entirety of any past show."

"Mr Chan attributed the company's success at InfoComm to the debut of its new screens, coupled by an up turn in the market. He comments, 'The unveiling of these advanced products are fortunate to coincide with an upswing in the LED video technology industry, which has provided us tremendous marketing momentum.'

"According to iSupply, a leading analyst firm covering the video display industry, LED video technology has become the preference for indoor and outdoor venues due to its affordability, brightness, durability and scalability. The worldwide market of LED video displays, valued at $639 million in 2004, is expected to rise to $755 million in 2010. iSupply also projects the retail-signage market, which occupies the largest share of LED text, graphics and animation displays, is expected to grow from 41,248 sq. meters in 2005 to 69,832 sq. meters in 2010."

Read the complete article here.

CTX entering the digital signage business

"CTX Technology Corporation today announced the launch of a new digital signage product line, targeted to provide an effortless solution for the presentation and remote management of digital advertising content at anytime, anywhere!

"'Digital signage is IN,' exclaimed Jim Chen, CEO at CTX. 'Many indicators show growing sales opportunities for digital signage. According to iSuppli/Stanford Resources, the worldwide retail signage market for displays is expected to grow a whopping 29 percent annually to $2.35 billion in 2009.' Whether it is at retail stores, banking kiosks, quick-service restaurants, or pubic transportation terminals, visual merchandising has taken on a whole new meaning due to today's easy accessibility to low cost, high-bandwidth networks. 'Digital signage is definitely here to stay!' commented Nelson Tsay, Sr. Director at CTX.

"To accommodate different settings and system needs, CTX offers three types of bundled solutions: MediaView(TM), SmartView(TM), and IntelliView(TM). All three solutions are available both in open frame and chassis versions."

The rest of the press release can be found here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Digital signage firm Avanti claims profitibility

From MediaWeek:

"Screen marketing company Avanti Screenmedia is on course to meet broker expectations of £1.3m operating profits for the year, according to a trading update for the company. The company expects to report £3m net cash in its annual report due in September, according to chief executive David Williams.

"Shares on the London Alternative Investments Market rose 3.9% to 245.75p on the back of the announcement on Friday, pushing it above the sector average after several weeks of below-average trading.


"Avanti's trading update came as the company published a summary of two years of its market research, showing that nearly two-thirds of media buyers now expect to advertise on pub and bar plasma screens.

"Growth in the pub and bar sector drove Avanti’s breaking of the 1,000-venue barrier earlier this month. The company now has a third of its target audience of 18-34 year-olds, with a combined audience of more than 12m people a week."

You can read the complete article here.

SportESign Digital Signage Network Launched

In an unlikely partnership, "The Minnesota Vikings and AlivePromo, Inc., a digital sign solutions company located in Minneapolis, announced today that they have partnered to install and manage a digital sign network in sports oriented restaurants and bars throughout the upper Midwest. The network, called SportESign, is scheduled to deploy before the Vikings first game of the 2005 regular season.

"Conceived as a new medium for the Vikings to communicate with its regional fan base, SportESign will leverage year-round interest in the Vikings team, featuring current and breaking news, coverage of training camp, future drafts, and free agent acquisitions. During the football season, SportESign will stream live game information, pre and post game statistics and analysis, fantasy football statistics, scores from around the NFL, and more."

You can read the rest of that press release here.