Five Video Template Services That Power Low-Cost Creative For Digital Signage

February 24, 2020 by Dave Haynes

What seems like a very long time ago, I launched a little spin-off service called Spotomate – an online production toolset that would allow people who didn’t know how to even launch motion graphics software to produce great-looking digital signage creative for peanuts.

The pitch was enabling the rapid production of video for a fraction of the cost of pro creative – as in $25 versus $2,500 or $25,000.

It was my road to riches, path to glory, whatever – and it did not catch on. At all.

More than five years on, and about four years after I decided Spotomate wasn’t happening as planned, there are many companies offering similar capabilities – at lower cost and predictably faster, better and easier, because  of a variety of overall software advances.

It is possible to produce a pretty darn good looking video spot for as little as $10 – dragging in images or video to a browser console, changing text and clicking on submit. Wait a minute or two, and you have a video file.

Spotomate did all that, but:

That company, Shakr, is still around, but after dabbling in signage, is focused on social media video. Another early player – specifically focused on signage – seems to have disappeared. Visible Spectrum was offering template-based message production, but the link now goes to the founder’s personal website. I thought the underlying tech was good, but always felt the service badly needed better creative.

Looking around the marketplace now, there are a few offers available, with some more capable than others of servicing needs in the digital signage/digital OOH ecosystem:

Promo – An Israeli start-up that describes itself as “the #1 video creation platform for businesses and agencies. We help our users create loads of visual content and unlimited videos to promote anything they want effectively.”

You can generate a single video for about $50, but the company is built  around regular users who select from tiers. At higher tiers, the cost per video works out to about $12.50 USD.

Many of the videos are geared to online social media formats, but the templates are sortable, so you can search based on widescreen or portrait mode. The templates are snappy, polished and have the right elements like logo positions and calls to action. They also have well-defined lengths like 10 and 15 seconds.

Biteable – These guys are in the unlikely location of Hobart, Tasmania – an island off the southeast coast of Australia.

Their pitch: Make better videos than your competitors. On your lunch break. Sell more stuff with stunning videos. Create content in minutes. See results in no time.

Not that Promo is expensive, but Biteable is even loss costly – with an unlimited video production rate on $49/month USD. One video per month costs $15.

The templates are little more about motion graphics and shifting stills than high-action video. Spots are less standardized in length and the templates aren’t sortable by orientation. Overall, I’d say this is a bit less applicable to signage applications, but it depends an awful lot on the need. What a workplace needs for staff messaging might all be here, and easily produced.

PosterMyWall – California-based PosterMyWall calls itself “a one-stop online solution for all your graphic design needs. We are passionate about simplifying design and allowing anyone to create stunning graphics and videos without requiring any artistic skills.”

It started out doing strictly print, but has expanded into video templates up to 4K in resolution. Costs range from free to $90/month for unlimited.

The templates are sortable, so that users can find those suited to signage applications. If I am reading this right, an interesting wrinkle is that the ad spots reside on the PosterMyWall cloud and are updated on a CMS via a widget. With the other ones, I you are generally outputting and downloading a finished piece of video.

There’s also Magisto, which is primarily focused on the steady demand to produce video tours of real estate listings, converting a stack of still images into a pan, zoom and dissolve video piece.

Magisto has a limited number of templates for things like retail, and costs range from just $5 to $35/month on an annual plan.

Search based on cloud-based video templates and you come up with all kinds of interesting services like RenderForest, which probably don’t suit many signage applications but streamline other long-form motion graphics efforts.

Leave a comment