Guest Post: Mark Hemphill, ScreenScape
Savvy communicators could be increasing revenues by building dynamic media channels into every one of their business locations via digital signage, but a lot of them are held back by the cost and complexity associated with that technology. It’s still too expensive and complicated for the average business owner to want to take on.
Or is it?
Many traditional vendors in the digital signage industry make the task of connecting and controlling a few screens out to be a momentous challenge – a task best left to high-paid experts.
But a new class of technologies – now used for home entertainment – strips the exercise of getting media on screens down to basics. And that tech is surging in popularity.
Apple TV, and other similar streaming Internet devices like Rokus, have managed to successfully eliminate the need for complicated hardware and complex installation processes, allowing average, non-technical homeowners to bring the Internet to their television screens. What’s happening with consumers offers insights for commercial digital signage vendors and their customers. They can lead to simpler, more cost-effective, more user-friendly, and more scalable solutions.
- Simple appliances outperform PCs and Macs as digital media players;
- Sourcing and mounting a TV is not the critical challenge in digital signage;
- In order to scale, digital signage networks must be designed for average non-technical users to operate;
- Creating an epic viewing experience isn’t as important as enabling a large and diverse network;
- Simplicity and cost-effectiveness go hand-in-hand.
While some digital signage projects are complicated, the majority are actually quite basic, presenting many of same challenges we have seen homeowners overcome with the help of devices like Apple TV and Roku boxes.
To follow the example of today’s modern digital media players, digital signage vendors should adapt their technology to make it simpler, more cost-effective, more user-friendly, and designed with scalability in mind.
Screens located inside retail stores represent a special opportunity to influence buying decisions where it matters most. Naturally, marketers have plenty to gain by controlling the screens inside places where their products and services are offered for sale. Apple TV helped Internet TV to soar in popularity over the last few years.
A plug-and-play appliance built for digital signage has the potential to do the same for the world of business.
By making it easier to connect and control screens, tomorrow’s digital signage solutions will help more businesses to reap the benefits of place-based media. Digital signage networks will be able to scale more cost-effectively, and businesses of all kinds will be able to participate.
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