Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Future Digital Signage Business Models

Webpavement published an article in the October/November INS-Asia issue. The magazine has a readership base of 10,000+ in the Asia Pacific region. We thought you might find it interesting.

Here it is in pdf format: Future Digital Signage Business Models

Friday, October 14, 2005

New Methods for Measuring Outdoor Advertising

The Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB) is the outdoor media industry's official measurement provider for outdor advertising firms. They conduct traffic audits that serve as the basis of outdoor media circulation estimates. The circulation audits are known as "daily effective circulation" or DECs.

The Traffic Audit Bureau has recently issued a request for proposal to a variety of potential research suppliers to develop a new audience ratings system for the outdoor industry. The RFP is seeking a new system that would use new ratings data to provide demographic information about what type of people were exposed to an outdoor ad, when, and for how long.

The demographic data mixed with the TAB's circulation data will provide total audience estimates similar to all of the major media, putting outdoor on a level media planning field for the first time. This is apparantly good news for outdoor electronic billboard (digital signage) advertising providers such as Lamar and Clear Channel.

Here is the rest of the story from Mediapost.

erinMedia, which has taken control of a promising outdoor and radio audience measurement firm called Navigauge, is one of the players expected to compete for the outdoor industry's ratings system. Navigauge uses a system that incorporates global positioning satellite (GPS) technology into cars so that advertisers and agencies know exactly when, where, and how fast people were going when they were exposed to outdoor advertising. The problem with the Navigauge technology is that it does not account for pedestrian traffic.

Arbitron, which has been developing a portable people meter system carried by individuals, also plans to compete, confirmed a company spokesman--but its proposal would be more of a longer-term one that relates to a broader rollout of the PPM technology, not one devoted exclusively to outdoor audience measurement.

Arbitron was a leading contender alongside Nielsen to develop a GPS-based measurement system for outdoor, but has since abandoned that technology, while Nielsen has raced ahead. Nielsen's outdoor unit was recently awarded a contract to use that system to provide outdoor ratings in South Africa, and on Wednesday released the first findings of GPS-based outdoor ratings in the United States from a system it has been testing in Chicago. While Nielsen didn't actually make any of that data available to the press, it hailed the achievement as a milestone, citing testimonials from several industry leaders, including Starcom MediaVest Group's Kate Sirkin and the TAB's Joe Philport.

The Nielsen Outdoor technology, which was developed by RDP Associates, is known as the Npod, a cell phone-sized device that panelist carry with them
throughout the day, much as they would Arbitron's PPM devices.

Because it has made such advances, Nielsen Outdoor is seen as a favorite to win the TAB's contract, although it is possible that several different vendors may supply components of research to the TAB, which would be integrated with other data gathered and compiled with the TAB to produce a unified rating estimate for outdoor audience exposure.

Most significantly, the data would be owned by--and the research methods controlled by--the outdoor industry, its advertisers and agencies, as opposed to ratings systems for TV, radio, magazines, newspapers and online, which are owned and controlled by research suppliers.

Recently, the ad industry began discussing the possibility of forming a joint industry committee, or JIC, to do the same for other media, including television--but the effort was abandoned when Nielsen threatened an antitrust suit. Last month, the Advertising Research Foundation unveiled the Audience Measurement Initiative (AMI), which will function in many ways like a JIC, but will not own or control the research developed by suppliers.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Digital Signage Bandwidth II

Previously we posted an article about bandwidth as it relates to the future of digital signage. The first bandwidth topic was WIMAX.

We'd like to introduce you to a new technology in the bandwidth category. The technology is called Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO). EVDO is basically wireless cellular broadband access. EVDO works most everywhere your cell phone does. EVDO has about a 10 mile range from every Verizon or Sprint Cell Phone Tower.

EVDO offers high speed connections for your digital signs without wiring! This opens up new locations for digital signage including taxi cabs, roadside, subway entrances and other locations where property owners do not want you to intrude on their location with new infrastructure. Remember - no wiring is required for your digital signs - with the exception of power. Download speeds average 400-700 kbps and are capable of reaching up to 2.0Mbps.

EVDO meets the bandwidth and security requirements of both indoor and outdoor digital signage.

Verizon has been advertising this techology on television very heavily as of late. Coined Verizon Broadband Access, they claim to have the largest high speed wireless network in the US currently representing 84 markets, 140 million users and 426 US airports. Verizon is expanding the service coast to coast in the United States.

Webpavement will have an exciting announcement for digital signage as it relates to EVDO very soon.

EVDO is based on the CDMA 2000 standard and is expected to grow in Brazil, Japan, Korea, Israel, Australia and Canada.To learn more about EVDO, visit the Wikipedia encyclopedia information of EVDO.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Retail TV Checkout Channel

Following a year long pilot, PRN announced it would be implementing a Check Out channel at Wal Mart stores. This is a very interesting model. The Wal Mart TV network is now a hybrid network. In other words, they are using the broadcast signal for tv displays within the stores (aisles, end caps etc.) and a narrowcast signal to checkout tv displays. The checkout tv displays will show localized content such as weather. Read the AKA story.

pssst.. Webpavement technology can run mixed mode networks.

The response from the ad agency / media crowd is mixed. Veterans in the media industry witnessed NBC and Ted Turner install checkout channels in the past. These 2 networks were too costly and arguably ahead of their time. Read Media Post's riff on the Checkout Channel.

In today's multi-channel, fragmented media environment - digital signage deserves the attention and traction that we are experiencing.