HD proliferation driving new opportunities in digital signage

May 2, 2013 | by Jeff Hastings

Those of us in the digital signage industry — systems integrators, installers and manufacturers alike — are always on the lookout for new markets ... emerging customer segments that will fuel the next wave of growth within our industry. Restaurant installations represented one of the earliest mainstream growth spurts, and now we're in the midst of mass adoption at retail and public spaces. But savvy businesspeople are not just capitalizing on where TODAY'S growth is coming from. They're also looking at other markets poised for explosive growth.

I believe we're on the cusp of massive growth driven not by an individual market, but by the explosive growth of HD content sources and the far-reaching deployment of HD-capable systems in virtually any business setting. Backing up several years, when CRT technology was being forced into retirement by a new generation of slim plasma and LCD displays, televisions began finding their way into businesses of all sorts. Giddy with excitement over the ability to broadcast television on a device not much thicker than a picture frame, restaurants, bars and gyms in particular were quick to plaster their walls with these unobtrusive displays.

As a result of this explosive growth, there now exists a massive network of businesses with the ability to feed and display HD content. Surprisingly, many (if not most) of these businesses are missing out on a significant opportunity to have those HD-capable displays double as promotional billboards. Until recently this wasn't possible because most digital signage players weren't capable of passing through Live HD content. But there's a new breed of players on the horizon that can handle multiple HD sources, including Live HDTV.

Imagine the possibilities: Gyms can cut between live SportsCenter broadcasts and customized content to notify patrons about upcoming member events. Sports bars can display live sporting events while also promoting happy hour specials to help drive sales and extend customers' stays. This presents a perfect opportunity to customize the customer experience, increase engagement and ultimately drive revenue.

What's most compelling about this opportunity is that much of the necessary infrastructure for these deployments is already in place. This is low-hanging fruit like we haven't ever seen before. When you consider the upside to integrating dynamic digital signage content into an existing set-up that's already capable of HD, this is an affordable solution that practically sells itself and pays dividends immediately.

Topics: Advertising , Content , Content Management , DOOH Advertising , Hardware

Jeff Hastings / BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings joined BrightSign in August 2009 while it was still a division of Roku Inc. In late 2010 with digital signage activities growing so rapidly, BrightSign became a separate firm. The holder of eight U.S. patents, he also has a history of tech industry leadership, including as president of mp3 pioneer Rio.

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