Wednesday, November 24, 2004

South Florida Job Opportunity - Comcast Spectacor

If you live in the beautiful West Palm Beach Florida (south Florida) area, there is a job at the brand new convention center for managing the convention center digital signage network. Familiarity with Webpavement software is a plus.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Moviegoers Say Pre-Movie Commercials May Keep Them From the Theater

Last week on CNBC, we heard the results of a survey that show more than half of moviegoers (53%) surveyed say cinemas should stop this practice.

The public simply does not want to see advertisements prior to watching a movie after they paid $10 / head for entertainment.

It is clear that a compromise is needed for cinema advertising products. Cinemas will lose a lot of advertising revenue if they completely abandon movie screen advertising. Further, advertisers believe advertising on the screens prior to a movie is very effective. We queried a media buyer for Outback Steakhouse and she mentioned that movie screen advertising is always budgeted for their media buys. Asked if she (Outback) would transition their media buys to lobby advertising - she wasn't educated enough about digital signage in the lobbies to say yes or no.

On the flip side, cinemas must listen to their customers where the majority believe cinema ads should be eliminated.

Is digital signage a solution for the stakeholders - cinemas, advertisers and the consumer?

Yes. We believe cinemas should offer a number of advertising products at the theater to satisfy the needs of the 3 stakeholders. Among these advertising products, a proper mix of pre-movie advertising and digital signage lobby advertising.

Movie screen advertising should include advertising related to the movies. Upcoming movies and fresh, never seen before on T.V. advertising will sooth the movie goers perception of being sold after paying for entertainment. Movie screen advertisements should - in general - be different than advertisements viewed on the televisions at home.

Digital signage can be more liberal and open to local restaurants and product advertising not related to movies/entertainment. The question is - will advertisers embrace the concept of lobby advertising rather than movie screen advertising? We think so if the screen placement / lobby design are implemented correctly and advertisers are properly educated about this advertising product.

Contact Webpavement to begin a discussion on designing a proper media mix for cinema advertising.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"Store and Forward" -vs- "Store and Pull" for Digital Signage

Many digital signage software providers (Webpavement competitors) will use the term 'store and forward' when describing their respective offerings. It's typically defined by competitors as such:

Competitive Solution Definition:
Store and forward means that all of the playlist files and schedules are assembled at the central location and delivered to the remote players.

Webpavement Solution Definition:
Store and Pull means that all of the playlist files and schedules are assembled at a central location using a web browser and the remote players retrieve (pull) the respective data and files.

Webpavement believes that our competitors statements are true, but are often a misleading statement to the purchasing authority and IT departments. What the store and forward really means is that the digital signage system will 'store and push'.

Store and forward (aka. push) systems are typically desktop grade software packages -- meaning the centralized system is installed on 1 operator's desktop and introduces a single point of failure. Not a data center enterprise grade solution by any means.

Further evidence that store and forward is the wrong approach is the fact that it poses a security threat. Ask the digital signage provider if special firewall ports will need to be opened in the store and forward model.

A system that is designed professionally will employ a store and player pull method that uses port 80 - a port that is already opened on all firewalls. It is a known fact that the more ports that are opened on a firewall - the greater the risk of a security breach.

The last thing you would want to occur on your digital signage network is a hacker posting obscene and inappropriate messages.

Webpavement's Sign Server uses the store and player pull approach. You will be more secure with Webpavement solutions and you will not need to ask your firewall administrator to open additional/special ports.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Times Square Revolution in Digital Signage Good News for Landlords

Have a read on this very interesting article on the monthly fees collected by landlords renting space for digital signs on the sides of their buildings. Monthly checks are rolling into building landlords bank accounts from $40,000 to $250,000 (for times square).

Webpavement believes the times square success can be applied to other top DMA's in the United States and abroad.

Why? With (1) high office vacancies (2) high availability for sub-leasing opportunities and (3) the growth in newly constructed office buildings -- it's clear new revenue channels must be assessed for commercial real-estate developers and landlords. Some real estate analysts have indicated that commercial real-estate is in a bubble similar to Internet stocks in the mid to late 1990's.

An excerpt from the article that impressed us the most:

One Times Square in Manhattan has only one tenant, a Warner Bros. retail store filling the first three floors. The remaining 19 floors are vacant. It's not that Sherwood Outdoor--a partner in the famous building that drops the ball every New Year's Eve--can't fill the space. "Who needs pain-in-the-butt tenants," says Brian Turner, president of Sherwood, "when you've got the largest sign tower in the world?"

The landlords make more money by leasing the space on the outside of 1 Times Square for advertising, he says, than they would from the office space inside. The building's 26 signs bring in monthly rent checks ranging from $40,000 to $250,000.

Webpavement will assist you with your ideas applicable to this topic no matter your locale. Contact us to discuss your opportunities and building locations.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hosting Client Call

I just got off the phone with one of our hosted clients. She wanted to schedule a avi animation every day except for Monday for the next 3 months to play between the hours of 4pm and 3am. I walked her through the reservation process in a few minutes and she made a joke about how she's going to be on vacation the next month and she ended up scheduling for many more months in advance noting that she could cancel the reservation if she needed to. She raved about the ease of use and flexibility of the system and said she wouldn't have a problem getting it done next time. I said no problem, it was fun.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

U.S. Political Advertising Spending Reaches $1.45 Billion

According to this article, political advertising budgets in the United States from political advertising was about $1.5 billion USD in just year 2004.

Webpavement believes this depicts an opportunity for digital signage and other alternative media forms.

If you look at the chart in the article, you will notice that Internet advertising was included. This is great news for alternative media outlets - it represents a fragmented advertising market and the need to narrowcast to consumers and citizens. What's more, it shows that alternative media runs through a cycle of advertiser adoption - then becomes mainstream.

Do you remember when advertisers were skeptical about Internet advertising? Google's recent quarterly revenue was close to $1 Billion USD.

Webpavement believes that the digital signage industry will follow similar trends and adoption cycles that internet advertising went through. Now, a large majority of all major corporations and media buys include internet advertising.

Alternative placed based media strategists, entrepreneurs and investors/venture capitalists should start considering Digital Signage as the next big investment or business.

Contact Webpavement to discuss your digital signage network business plans and ideas.