Austin, Texas-based Signagely has rebranded as Metascreen, and opened up a free-forever tier to its web app-driven digital signage CMS.
Founder Nick Kristoffersen says the name change was a simple case of coming to grips with the hard time people were having with pronouncing and spelling Signagely. I don’t think Signagely is all that hard, but I like Metascreen better anyway.
“We’ve rebuilt and redesigned the interface to focus on ease-of-use,” Kristofferson told me in an update email. “Being the easiest digital signage platform is very important to us, and we will continue to innovate with that focus.”
I can’t really speak to whether it is indeed the easiest to use out there, but easy is one of those attributes many and arguably most CMS platforms tout.
Kristoffersen says the product is not totally focused on the small business market, but the free “Bootstrap” offer for Ma and Pa shops and services will certainly resonate. That one allows a single connected device for free per customer, with access to basic apps and no storage caps.
There are two paid tiers – Business and Enterprise – with the latter including support and custom app development, as well as a set of premium apps also available to the business tier.
The apps side of this is interesting, and part of where I think signage is going on the software side. You already have some of the largest, enterprise-focused companies like Four Winds and Appspace providing and marketing functionality apps that sit on top of a core platform.
For smaller companies like Metascreen, they’re using APIs from cloud-driven services to get content on screens using HTML. So you can have a what’s on tap beer menu that’s derived from the mobile app Taplister, or UberX availability at a specific location on a screen by a door.
The company got my attention last year when it started touting the ability to run the service on a $39 Kindle Fire HDMI stick. Because the service is by and large calling, display and caching web pages, it is somewhat platform and device agnostic.