How do you compete with free?

December 12, 2006 by Dave Haynes

An Australian company is offering downloads of free digital signage management software, using lots of CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamations to drive home that this is a big deal!!!

“Enough!” we said. No more “just for the big guys”. The small guys need a break. For the first time EVER we’re making Digital Signage Software available absolutely FREE. No catches. Use your own hardware. Hell yes this is news! It’s a World First. There are huge benefits. Spread the word!”

I never really thought our business was on the precipice of revolt, waiting for somebody to rise up and stick it to the man. But there you go.

The company is called Digital Recall and the free software offer looks like a couple of things:

  1. realization that with some 250 companies already in this space, there’s little chance of making money selling the software unless it is unbelievably different and stable
  2. a loss leader tactic to drum up business on the content production side of the firm

I have not had a chance to download the software, but coming up with an app that will play a loop of media files according to a schedule is no great feat. There are Windows XP screensaver apps that pretty much do that, and they’re also free.

The user guide suggests there is at least some meat on the bones of this application, but there is an equivalent to a banner ad on some of the user screens asking, “Need adverts made?”

I’m sure there will be small companies that take this up and, in a way, that can be a good thing. We all get tied up too long on the phone with guys from muffler shops who want a plasma screen in their store.

Muffler shop chains, we want. One-offs, the local owner can get this free app and have a ball figuring it out.

  1. Yaron says:

    Has anyone heard about C-nario?

  2. Hi. Our objective is to introduce many smaller retailers to the benefits of digital signage.
    We’re saying that it’s no longer just the large RETAILERS who should have access to this technology. This in no way targets other software suppliers as “the man”.

    By making the software available for free, and the content available for very little we aim to introduce many new users into the market. That’s potentially good for everyone.

    A merry Christmas & healthy and happy New Year to everyone. Michael Marcus.

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  4. […] start-up offering its software free of charge I did a post more than a year ago about an Australian company called Digital Recall that was offering its digital signage software […]

  5. Sean says:

    Well if you think this is bad, a friend of mine got a private beta access to a new company called MediaSignage ( the web site I found we )

    They seem to have amazing prices and my friend told me that the system is very easy to use with lots of features.

    I’ll see if I can get access and get some more info

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