Are we really that news starved?

June 3, 2008 by Dave Haynes

From Digital Signage Today:

Thomson’s Premier Retail Networks Inc. (PRN), a provider of digital media solutions at retail, and the Associated Press (AP), a source of global independent news and information, have announced a programming agreement to present a unique blend of AP news content on PRN’s Checkout TV network in supermarkets and retail stores nationwide.

PRN operates the world’s largest checkout TV network, presenting programming on more than 19,000 screens that entertains and informs shoppers while they wait in line at supermarket and retail locations. Several categories of AP news and entertainment content will be integrated as a scrolling ticker across the bottom of PRN’s multi-paned eye-level screen.

The one thing I ever saw on a supermarket checkout line screen that I thought was clever was a DVD preview, for a DVD release that had copies sitting in a rack right below the screen. THAT made sense.

News headlines, from the venerable AP or whoever, not too much.

I rant about this all the time but it keeps on coming, and people seem excited about it. But common sense tells you checkout line screens are not where people look for news. If they cared that much, and there is much evidence people generally don’t, they would be listening to the radio on the way TO the supermarket. Or tapping news in the endless ways it is now available.

Here, by the way, is a sample of what you would get from top AP News to run on a DS screen right now.


Or … you could use the darn screen to tell shoppers about loyalty cards, credit cards programs, upcoming sales, new store openings, upcoming products.

I just don’t get it … and I spent my first 20 working years in a newsroom.

  1. Jeff says:

    Damn…. my grandfather only built me a crappy shoe rack.

  2. TJ says:

    While I agree that this is a snoozer of a story, I would not advocate cramming more advertising content at people because they lose interest. New headlines seem to work fairly well for Captivate. I’m kind of surprised that PRN didn’t go this route earlier.

  3. Haynes says:

    Make it interesting. Make it relevant. And keep in mind that if people actually do read the headlines, that means they’re not looking at the ads or messages on the screen.

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