Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mitsubishi Sells Joint Venture with NEC

LCD manufacturer NEC-Mitsubishi will become a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC according to their press release.

The joint venture between NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display and NEC-Mitsubishi Electric Visual Systems Corporation were set up in January 2000. They will become a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation on March 31 2005.

NEC will be eased of the pressure of selling only plasma displays. In the past, sales and marketing personnel of NEC have been defending plasma for public displays knowing that LCD is better for digital signage applications. This PDF speaks for itself of their previous problems with selling plasma while competing with their joint venture NEC-Mitsubishi.

“We are very proud of our accomplishments as NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display, and we are excited to be able to further leverage the strengths of NEC Corporation as we move forward,” said President and COO T.J. Trojan. “We firmly believe that the new ownership structure will provide many new opportunities for future growth through the access of new products and services and the simplification of our go-to-market strategies.”

Monday, February 21, 2005

Outdoor Electronic Billboard - Freedom of Speech

A Bay City (Detroit Michigan area) real-estate agency owner has been lighting up the entrance to Bay City since September with a vibrant electronic messaging sign on Euclid Avenue.

Norm Stevens was recently ticketed by the city on the way he is using the sign. The city cited Stevens only for displaying images of off-site advertisers. The city also said public service announcements also would conflict with the city ordinance. The city claimed the advertising must be for the business on the premises only and that he has an illegal billboard.

Although the permit is only $100, Stevens believes the citation is a violation of his First Amendment right of free speech. Stevens erected the sign, part of a $75,000 electronic system, to advertise his real-estate business, display public service announcements and for advertising other businesses.

Stevens said selling advertising to others helps pay for the system. He sent a message to city regulators that he's willing to fight on grounds of freedom of speech. Stevens has plans to install a network of outdoor digital signage across the city.

This is a case Webpavement will be following - and reporting to you - because it will serve as a great case for digital signage as it relates to the first amendment >> freedom of speech.

Read the press release.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

AMX Acquired for $315 Million

AMX (NASDAQ: AMXC) is a leading control system product provider. Their products are used in a number of A/V applications for controlling most manufacturer display and other video products. AMX products are used for device control in some digital signage applications. Their primary competitor is a private company called Extron.

Read the press release.

2005 is looking good!

Friday, February 11, 2005

US Audio Visual Market $19 Billion - Digital Signage Fuels Growth

According to the International Communications Industries Association's 2005 Market Forecast Survey -- Residential, Retail and Digital Signage will be the Top Growth Markets.

Digital Signage extract from press release:

Among the most positive trends respondents indicated was the increased use of digital signage, particularly in the retail sector, for delivering a message, selling products or simply providing information. "The market for large information displays is growing at a tremendous rate, as increased competition leads to lower prices, and demand increases from businesses and universities," said Bob O'Donnell, Research VP of Clients, Mobility and Display Technology at market research firm IDC.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Jacksonville Int'l Airport prepares Digital Signage

Jacksonville is host to Super Bowl XXXIX. Many preparations were made city-wide to get ready for the hundreds of thousands that will be visiting this fabulous city.

Over at the airport, Webpavement has been busy working on-site with the Jacksonville Airport Authority to make sure the baggage claim plasmas, NEC matrix video wall and gate displays are ready for the influx of visitors. All displays are Webpavement enabled.

Advertising and sponsorship interest has been very high for video advertising for some time - now it's showtime! Run the ads according to media buy terms and prove the ads were played. These tasks will be handled with Jacksonville Airport's on location Sign Server.

Since Philadelphia knocked out our beloved Atlanta Falcons, we hope to see them succeed with a ring. However, we wouldn't advise betting against the New England Patriots who are attempting to build a dynasty with their 3rd Super Bowl title in the last 4 years.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Digital Signage - Conservative Alternative Advertising?

Foreheads, skulls, arms, chests and hair etc.. Body parts auctioned off on eBay as human ad placements is becoming commonplace. Some businesses are being started solely for this purpose.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding alternative advertising (guerilla, stealth, viral, human) advertising that appears to be effective.

The most recognized example is the $30,000 contract a man from Nebraska received for wearing an advertisement on his forehead. He sold his forehead as ad space on ebay to Snore Stop. The winner was invited on Good Morning America and other news outlets. I suppose this is his 15 minutes of fame. I snore - perhaps I should buy a bottle.

A woman just sold her pregnant belly on ebay to golden palace casino for $4000. From the look of her stomach, it doesn't look like she has long until she gives birth.

Just a few days ago, Detroit Pistons guard Richard Hamilton wore the pattern of Goodyear's Assurance TripleTred tire pattern as a hairstyle during the game against the Knicks in Detroit.

It is obvious that this type of advertising creates Buzz. Do a search on forehead in ebay today and you will find a long list of copy cats - or perhaps smart people that are taking advantage of the buzz.

Digital Signage is conservative in comparison to the human advertisement campaigns. The objective - however - is the same. To promote, brand and sell product.

What we found interesting is the ebay factor. We have a number of digital signage network customers that need help selling advertisements.

Perhaps ebay is a viable outlet for brokering digital signage ad space.