Digital Signage

Ready For Change?

Data leads the way.

Big changes lie ahead, not just in government, but also in the digital signage industry. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is going programmatic, video is pushing into new spaces, location data is enabling real-time actionable messaging. These were key trends highlighted by speakers at the 2016 DPAA Video Everywhere Summit last fall. Let’s take a brief look at some underlying factors with implications across all types of digital communication systems.

Back in 2010, I wrote about the introduction of NEC’s Vukunet ad server platform and the revenue potential it offered partners. In the years that followed, others have rolled out combinations of direct sales and aggregator models for ad placement on DOOH networks, but lack of audience measurement tools and other issues inhibited widespread adoption.

More recently, advances in automation, M2M (machine-to-machine) communication, digitization and IP/wireless connectivity have led to innovative advertising solutions, including platforms for programmatic buying. Automated or programmatic buying of digital advertising requires audience/viewer data that systems can trade on, so server platforms that target online audiences have proved successful. However, in the DOOH space, issues such as a lack of viewer data capture and measurement, and a lack of standardization across networks, have slowed industry acceptance of programmatic buying.

In response to the need for standardization, the DPAA’s Programmatic Committees and Prohaska Consulting have developed technical and creative standards to facilitate DOOH programmatic ad buying. In the tech specs, the DPAA has leveraged existing protocols, building extensions upon the IAB’s OpenRTB API Specifications v2.4 (Jan 2016) protocols. Both documents are available at

Providers of digital signage and CMS platforms are ready to augment this trend. BroadSign, for example, recently announced the appointment of Vince Banks as VP for Programmatic Sales Operations. Banks brings years of experience working with innovative programmatic organizations in various vertical markets, and BroadSign anticipates he will accelerate the company’s growth in the DOOH sector.

Video is pushing into new spaces, going both big and small—everywhere! Think 4K on super-large out-of-home displays and, at the same time, closely related, customized video on mobile devices. Video is now delivered within apps, and making sure it looks good in any context, especially in messaging apps, is critical to expanding audience reach.

How do you automate the delivery of video content to display as desired on a DOOH screen, as well as within apps on mobile devices? Companies such as Vistar Media are merging the science of automation technology with the art of understanding consumer behavior in a platform for DOOH and mobile integration. Last fall, Ayuda launched AYUDA[x], a martech company and platform with a cross-screen ad server that, according to the company, “analyzes massive spatiotemporal datasets and uses geo-fences to tag devices that are physically observed in places of interest. It delivers ads in real time to mobile apps on devices while inside the geo-fences, and retargets those same devices after they leave the geo-fences on both mobile apps and DOOH screens.”

Brand marketers and ad agency execs are excited about location data because of its potential to engage digitally absorbed consumers with personally useful messaging, through a variety of displays.

Why should you care? Automation, video and location data are making it possible to reach and respond to customers on their terms, wherever they are. Video is the most compelling communication medium, and mobile is where business connects with customers. It may be time to evaluate, rethink and transform your company’s or your client’s digital communication strategy to take advantage of this brave new world.

Best wishes for success in the New Year!

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