In the last two or three years there has been a pretty big shift by the main display manufacturers to bring CMS software companies on to their “smart” signage screens, so it’s interesting to see Sharp’s UK Business wing announcing it is partnering to re-sell a platform that has a separate, proprietary standalone player.
Sharp has partnered with BITVU to resell its Screenspace digital signage solution – which pairs a cloud CMS with a simple little device about the size and shape of a small computer mouse.
The Screenspace set-up runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and end-users can manage things off a browser or an app for iOS or Android. The management system connects to and gets reporting back from Bitvu’s proprietary Freedom media player. Because the player is external, it can run on any Sharp commercial panel.
Sharp, like almost all of the major display manufacturers selling commercial solutions, has been pushing digital signage solutions that use an embedded system on chip solution that negates the need for a separate media player. In Sharp’s case, the company has a solution that runs the Android operating system, making it relatively easy to get a CMS that already “does” Android to run on these smart screens.
The separate device is $165 and the subscription monthlies for the SaaS service start at $13. This should be instructive for startups STILL coming into the market who think a business plan that sees $40/month as the going rate is workable (pro tip – it’s probably not).
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 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.