The “Proof Of Play” Lie In Digital Signage

April 28, 2016 by guest author, Nick Donaldson


Guest Post: Nate Remmes, NanoLumens

For companies paying good money for advertising, having validation that the ads they’ve paid for have actually played on screens when and where they are supposed to is of critical importance.

The advertising industry has long relied on “Proof of Play,” or an auditing process that shows advertisers that their ads played when they were supposed to on a digital display. Sounds good, right?

But, what if the display was malfunctioning?


Nate Remmes

The hard truth is that “Proof of Play” only reports on scheduling – whether or not the ad actually played on working display is simply an unknown.

Most ads are probably getting played in the 99% of the time. But, this is a false sense of security. Advertising providers know for a fact that there are more challenges going on here with the running of ads on displays than they are admitting to themselves. Displays go down all the time.

Clearly, “Proof of Play” from the software or content management system has its limitations.

The industry has made some strides to try and solve this problem by placing cameras on the front of displays in order to monitor that they were working properly. But, this solution really only accounts for catastrophic events. It does not account for whether or not the display is performing properly.

Network operations centers, where they check the cameras for display failures, have an outdated way of doing things. They typically check the camera every 1-3 hours. So, depending on the timing of the check, a display could be down for two hours and 59 minutes, meaning hundreds of ads could be improperly displayed or not displayed at all.

The only way to ensure a display is functioning correctly and ads are truly running as intended, is to couple monitoring cameras with emerging “Proof of Display” technology.

“Proof of Display” actually pulls data from the digital display’s hardware to ensure the display is performing properly. It provides data on whether the display was plugged into a power source, if the LEDs are working, if the voltage is good. All of this reportable data can validate that the display is working as promised.

“Proof of Display” set-ups can send emails to verify all systems are fine – or warn if a specific display is having trouble, like overheating, before it becomes an operational issue. This real-time information allows for advertising providers to have better management of the displays and to pro-actively manage them, instead of reacting to a problem. Coupling a camera pointed at the display with “Proof of Display” technology is the only way to guarantee that ads are being played AND being displayed as promised.

“Proof of Display” helps solve a pain point in the digital advertising industry, and it provides certainty to advertisers that they’re getting what they’re paying for. By employing “Proof of Display” and “Proof of Play” technology, display service providers can empower their clients to more effectively help their advertisers. And, it enables advertising providers to better manage and monitor their digital displays.

This peace of mind is a selling point for digital advertising providers. While “Proof of Display” isn’t widely adopted by the industry, it’s not far away. Stay tuned for what’s coming.

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