The digital signage business seems to inexorably going turnkey – with most vendors I chat with saying that’s the ask and end-users saying that’s how they want to see things play out.
On a broad scale, that means integrators and the largest software firms are offering a full range of capabilities in-house or through sponsorships. On a more modest scale, I think you will see more of what Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Freshwater Digital is doing.
The company recently announced FreshSign, a simple, turnkey solution that boils down to a single monthly number. For $125 per month, users get a package that includes a commercial-grade LG 49” LCD panel, mount, installation, a full-featured cloud-based CMS software license, access to a large library of customizable content, content management and full customer support.
“FreshSign is the complete digital signage solution that takes the guesswork out of starting a digital network,” says Matt Downey, President of Freshwater. “Freshwater Digital has developed FreshSign as an incredibly simple, amazingly affordable opportunity for business, retail, food service and virtually anyone else to take advantage of the benefits of digital signage.”
I’ve known Matt for years – we very weirdly met while sitting side by each on a flight to the same conference – and he’d asked ahead of the launch if he was on to something, or nuts.
I said he was on to something. End-users big and small want someone else to sweat the day to day of their digital displays, and they greatly prefer one vendor, and one back to pat/one throat to choke, as opposed to several vendors who point fingers at each other when some shit hits the fan.
This is not the first bundled offer out there, but it’s rare to see one all packaged up like this. It’s reminiscent of LG’s SignNET offer from several years ago, which had a bundle for $179/month. That came and went, and there were some obvious reasons why that one didn’t work.
The FreshSign offer was publicized last week and Downey says he’s already seeing activity from multiple businesses with 100s of screens.