I would imagine this is not the happiest of times around the various offices of Scala, as news is out that a big, longtime client has cut the cord and gone with another digital signage platform provider.
Jason Cremins, the CEO of signagelive, tweeted this afternoon:
We are extremely proud to announce The Life Channel has moved their 5,000 device Digital Signage network to… http://t.co/NhbNHV31
— Signagelive (@Signagelive) January 15, 2013
That’s roughly 5,000 licenses that had been safely in the books for many, many years with Scala, and probably a pile more that were coming as the network expanded. The Life Channel describes itself as the largest Digital OOH network in the UK, with screens in schools, medical centres and even prisons and probation centres.
With screens strategically installed in key dwell areas displaying a mix of programming content and national or community messaging tailored to each audience it reaches, The Life Channel Group’s networks provide direct engagement with local communities across the UK.
They also offer greater opportunity to national government departments, local authorities, primary care trusts and community agencies (including Community Safety Partnerships, Local Strategic Partnerships, Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships – CDRP’s – and the emergency services) to communicate key social messages to a broader captive audience. Making communities safer and better places to live and work, The Life Channel Group’s networks create more awareness amongst the general public about the existence and achievements of these organisations.
Presumably that means they tap into all kinds of dollars allocated government-funded facilities to encourage better learning and healthier, safer lifestyles. However, I’d imagine budgets have been somewhat constricted in a global recession and belts that have been cinched in several notches by the David Cameron government.
I have heard from a few corners that Scala had changed its go-to-market offer and it wasn’t necessarily being well-received. Stuff also happens, and things change. There’s likely more of a back story here on the how and why the deal went down than I’ll ever hear about.
Going with signagelive almost certainly reduced operating and capital costs in a big way, and meant the platform vendor was in the same country – as opposed to North America, Scandinavia and India with Scala. The Life Channel people also get a somewhat future-proofed platform, as Cremins is maniacal about keeping right on top of emerging technologies like HTML5 and low cost media players that will start showing up very shortly on commercial panels (think genuinely smart TVs).
It’s a very big win for the little company, and probably the biggest business event in Little Chesterford, Essex since Harrold Pickersgilt-Cunliffe invented the umbrella shooting stick (look it up).
On the flip side it is a big hit for Scala, regardless of how Life Channel was buying the service. There are endless companies talking about world domination and deployments of 5,000-plus sites, but very few that are actually operating.
DailyDOOH’s closer view from the UK is here: http://www.dailydooh.com/archives/79066