A new company called Seenspire has changed up the approach to syndicated content feeds for digital signage networks in ways that are both similar and very different to another company that turned the whole RSS to screen thing on its ear 3-4 years ago.
Based in Antwerp, Belgium, but serving multiple languages and countries, Seenspire presents content the way a creative director would do it. Instead of data feeds packaged up in stupid tickers and rollovers, or in teeny multi-zone boxes, Seenspire (like US-based Screenfeed) goes full-screen. The big difference between the two is where Screenfeed primarily does nicely presented static slides, Seenspire does gorgeous animated builds of content items in a variety of styles.
The company launched this week, roughly 2.5 years after first starting work. I have (for disclosure) provided some sporadic writing help and general guidance for the founders for the past year or so.
The news release about Seenspire says:
Seenspire uses a set of sophisticated motion content packages that present information such as news, sports, entertainment and weather in ways that rival broadcast television. Instead of tickers or static visuals with text overlays, Seenspire uses crisp, fully-scripted 3D motion graphics that build and change information on screens, which creates diversity for your playlist.
“It’s content the way a creative director does things, not how a programmer would do it,” explains Samuel Mekonen, one of the co-founders of the creative firm, which is based in Antwerp, Belgium.
Digital signage networks of all types – from ad-based to corporate networks – simply choose their preferred language and a variety of design styles and feeds from the Seenspire online marketplace, and then subscribe.
Network operators then load the content feeds on their digital signage content management platforms, and sit back as those files get automated information updates from Seenspire’s cloud-based servers.
Content is available in three categories:
– Daily News: Global, Sports, Entertainment, Technology and Health
– Infotainment: Sports Results, Local and National Weather, Financial Markets
– Did You Know: Horoscope, Trivia, Factoids, Famous Birthdays and Today In History
Feeds are available in English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
The Seenspire team uses respected news gathering and information companies for its source content, and then runs them through the Seenspire production service to visually energize the presentations.
Every content feed has multiple variations on full-motion presentations, from a crisp minimalist design to cubes and flowing ribbons.
Seenspire’s Key Features:
- Pro-level motion graphic design: Rich, fast and stable graphics – in a variety of different styles – that would look at home even on national TV networks;
- Auto-updating: Scripted Adobe Flash SWF files that update information text and images on the fly, throughout days and without operator intervention;
- Design consistency: Standard font, color and overall design decisions ensure networks can use as many feeds as they need while maintaining a professional look;
- No shackles: Subscriptions are month-to-month, with no long-term agreements enforced.
The company also does custom creative work for digital signage network operators, including advertising and marketing messages tailored to the specific needs of brands.
“We think it’s not enough to just populate a digital signage network with simple feeds. You need great, visually appealing creative to to get people watching,” says Richard Buhn, a Seenspire co-founder and the company’s Creative Director. “That philosophy guides our designs and our service.”
Really, really nice guys, and a nice-looking product. I steadily reinforce that syndicated, automated content should be part of a programming schedule for well-considered reasons, and not as padding between the ads (often the real reason). If news and other automated content is used, it will drive a lot more interest and attention if it is also visually intriguing. Tickers were visually intriguing 25 years ago, and the sorts of work that Seenspire has developed (and Screenfeed has its portfolio) is where content should be at in 2013.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 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, on Canada’s east coast.