So much for having one throat to choke … The people who run Montreal’s Trudeau airport have three companies running signage networks in their public areas. Perhaps more, but I only saw three in the last couple of days.
The one I really liked, having seen bits of it months earlier, is run by telecom giant Bell. It has a series of mid-sized displays, all ceiling-mounted and in portrait mode, hanging in the departure areas as well as some arrivals, from what I could see. I like the way they’ve done it because the screens look like they belong there. Bell has installed enough of them that they are also ubiquitous.
The best part of that install is around the food court area, where there is a string of them in a long curve outside several eateries.
So then I went through security and headed to my gate, and saw the Astral Media Aero TV screens that I also saw about a year ago, as they were getting set to light up. They are Samsung screens, back to back, installed in the middle of departure seating areas. They seem to run the same sort of thing as the ClearChannel-CBC thing in Toronto’s Pearson, though free of the teeny headlines and weather bits no one can read.
Kind of OK, I guess. But then I noticed on the other side of the walkway. More Bell screens!
So we have Bell selling against Astral for the same eyeballs, within a few feet of each other (see the little red circles in pic). Sheesh.
Then there is PassePort Media, which has screens in arrivals – most of which were doing the Windows freezie thing when I was going through Customs the other morning. It is owned by Astral Media now, but still seems to carry the PassePort brand and look.
How the airport ended up with three networks, who knows. How they manage to recover costs while selling against each other may be a greater mystery.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.