Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blogging Hiatus

Webpavement will no longer actively post in this blog. An occasional post may show up here and there, but we don't plan to post very frequently.

We will continue doing what we do best, developing digital signage software.

When we started this blog a few years ago, there were no resources for digital signage. Now there are a large number of websites for getting your digital signage fix.

Contact us if you need some help finding good digital signage blogs or forums.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Google Newspaper Ad System

Google is testing a newspaper advertising sales system.

Advertisers can pick specific newspapers and specific sections for their ads. They would place bids on ad size, sections and days a newspaper is offering. The newspapers can then view the bids from Google and make selections. The newspapers can choose to accept as many or as few bids as they like at any time.

Sounds like a system that's worth a look for digital signage networks.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fantasy Football Dynamic Signage

The NFL season has begun here in the United States. With the start of the football season, many fans of the game participate in fantasy football leagues. Fantasy football can be very competitive. Obtaining real-time information on games in progress is in high demand. So much in fact that ESPN offers a service targeted at this popular and growing market.

Today we learned that Yahoo and Intel will make it possible to overlay customized fantasy football data on in-home TV sets. Is there opportunity for fantasy football statistics on out-of-home TV sets? We think YES.

Source: Yahoo and Intel to pipe sports data to TV screens

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

EA to embed dynamic ads in video games

Interesting read on the wilingness for advertisers to embrace alternative media formats to deliver a relevant message to receptive viewers. Read it

Friday, July 28, 2006

Pay Phone Digital Signage

As many of you know, pay phone usage in the United States is suffering. With cellphone ownership increasing, the demand for pay phones has decreased to the point where operators are removing pay phones that aren't making money.
"If a pay phone isn't covering its costs, we take it out," said Jim Smith, a spokesman for Verizon, which operates more pay phones in New York than any other company. "Toward the late '90s, the wireless phenomenon really got some momentum. That really put the squeeze on the pay phones."
This begs the question:

Do pay phone locations have the infrastructure needed for digital signage?

Undoubtedly, some pay phone locations that are being removed offer great locations for digital signage. We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Arbitron Tool For Profiling Outdoor Commuters

Found a cool tool to show advertisers the connection between commuting and Out-of-Home advertising.

For most markets, you can obtain:
  • Average commute time
  • Travel start time
  • Transportation method used
  • Comparison with U.S. national averages
Check out the Arbitron Metro Commuter Profiler.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

USA Today's take on Electronic Billboards

Wanted to point you to a recent USA Today article headlined Outdoor ads make high-tech comeback noting that outdoor is probably the oldest ad media.

The article discusses features such as interactivity through text messaging, website interaction with the billboards and the fact that new digital billboards can change daily, hourly or by the minute at little cost.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Outdoor LCD Panels

At last week's Infocomm in Orlando, we saw a couple new outdoor LCD products. These new outdoor display products are lower cost than LED and range in size from 37" to 82".

The following products are compatible with Webpavement's digital signage media players.

Hy Tek Tuf Panel - 37", 42", 46"
Availibility: available now

Symbicom Icon One - 32", 40", 46", 52", 57", 92"
Availibility: available in Europe

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Webpavement at Infocomm 2006

Webpavement will be in Orlando next week for Infocomm. We will be exhibiting with our partners Philips Business Displays and Almo Pro A/V. Please stop by our booth #1158 to discuss digital signage networking. We'll be armed with all the equipment needed for full software demonstations - including our Sign Server web-based digital signage server.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Remember PointCast?

Not too relevant for digital signage, but thought you would find this article interesting. Check out PC World Magazine's list of The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.

In 1996, there was a product called PointCast that was ranked 12th worst product. PointCast looked like a cluttered digital sign, but was used by individuals on their desktop computers. It was really cool.

The product was very popular and installed by thousands of users for streaming news, sports and other information. The product was supported by advertising revenue. PointCast's bandwidth requirements clogged corporate networks and was soon banned by many businesses. PointCast last broadcast was in 2000. I bet they would be in the digital sign software business today if they were still around.

If anyone has a screenshot of this product - let us know and we'll post it here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Webpavement at DRE 2006

Webpavement will be at the Chicago Digital Retailing Expo this week exhibiting with our partner Philips Business Displays. Please stop by our booth #1731 to discuss digital signage networking. We'll have an Internet connection for software demonstations.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Digital Signage Impacts Outdoor Ad Growth

Outdoor advertising spending increased 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2006 according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Digital Billboards (aka. digital signage) was noted to be a major contributor to this significant increase. The OAAA believes this is not merely a trend. Rather it's an expansion of outdoor's market size and potential because of technologies such as digital signage.

Notable Quotes from the Article (via: MediaPost):

But the industry itself is also experiencing a long-term expansion, as reflected in the year-on-year growth. "Brands are investing more heavily than we anticipated," Freitas explained: "I think we're starting to see an acceleration in ad dollars moving from other traditional media to out-of-home." Asked why this might be so, Freitas mused: "I think there continues to be uncertainty concerning the future vitality of other media formats, and there's a lot of interest in using out-of-home to reach consumers when they're 'on the go.'"

Beth Gray, of Foote, Cone & Belding, said she's seen an uptick in outdoor ad spending too--pointing to the advent of new technologies, including digital billboards, as a way to "cut through the clutter." "I believe it--especially because in some markets people are buying and creating premium outdoor ads, not just regular 30-sheets. You can just look in Times Square--people are really starting to get into LED displays, and it's driven by the desire to create something that's truly impactful."

Freitas echoed Gray's observation, noting that while the digital billboards "segment is still relatively small, the outdoor companies are being very aggressive." According to Freitas: "A lot of outdoor companies are telling us that even before a sign is built, it's sold out more than a year in advance." By allowing advertisers to display multiple advertising faces, he went on, the digital billboards can boost revenue substantially.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

UK Digital Expo for Outdoor Media

Websignage - our UK distributor - will be representing Webpavement digital signage products at Sign UK 9-11 May 2006, NEC Birmingham.

Qualified representatives will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate digital signage software. Contact Websignage for free attendee registration.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Focus Media Portfolio Grows

Focus Media today announced a 70 screen network of 5' x 5' LEDs. Focus Media's new LED network targets Shanghai's high pedestrian traffic counts.

See the release: Focus Media Adds Outdoor LED Network to Its Out-of-home Media Platform

Focus Media now boasts 70,000+ digital signs, 90,000+ plus static poster signs and an undetermined number of cellphone screens.

Over 1500 advertisers have purchased insertions on Focus Media's network.

Why don't we have a Focus Media comparable in the United States?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bathroom Digital Advertising

Check out the viewrinal video from the Freshcreation blog out of the Netherlands. It's another reason newspaper ad sales are declining :).

The media plaza building installed digital signs on the floors inside the bathroom stalls.

via Freshcreation.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

CNN Money on Digital Billboards

CNN Money senior writer Paul R. La Monica reports the rising interest in billboards - and more importanty - digital billboards.

Lamar and Clear Channel outdoor are highlighted in the article.

Here's an excerpt:

For one, billboards, unlike other "older" forms of media, have not faced the same pressure from the Internet, iPods, satellite radio, TiVo and other technology. When you're driving on a highway, the only way to not see a billboard is to not look out your windshield. Needless to say, that's not a good idea.

"Technology helps people avoid other advertisements, but we are the one unavoidable media. There is no mute button, no off switch. You can't change the channel. We're there," said Paul Meyer, the global president of Clear Channel outdoor.

In fact, technology is actually something that could help Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar in the near future. Both companies are testing digital billboards, LCD screens that can change advertisements instantaneously through Internet connections.

That's a far cry from the old vinyl billboards that only get changed every couple of weeks (or sometime months). "For our industry, technology is no longer a threat, it's just an ally. Digital displays eliminate the biggest disadvantage to outdoor right now, which is that we are a relatively slower acting cumbersome media," Meyer said. "With digital signage, there will be no limitations on how often and when advertisers
change their ads."
Full article here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Webpavement at Globalshop 2006

Webpavement will be at Globalshop Orlando March 26-28, 2006. We will be showcasing our full suite of digital signage solutions in conjunction with partner Philips Business Displays within the Digital Store Pavilion. Please come visit us in the Philips booth # 5436.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Outdoor Ad Spending Soars in US

The Outdoor Advertising Association of America reported spending rose 8 percent during 2005, making it one of the fastest growing sectors of media last year.

According to the OAAA, consumers are spending more time away from home where they are being exposed to increasingly more outdoor messages instead of in-home media.

Digital signage has likely had an impact on this growth.

Results were especially strong in some fast-growing categories:
-- communications +31.8 percent
-- insurance and real estate +16.4 percent
-- retail +11.7 percent

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

UF Study on In-Store Environments

A new study poses questions for retailers considering digital signage. Many relevant benefits and disadvantages were identified. We believe the disadvantages can be mitigated with a proper digital signage software system and the retailer's understanding of their customers. Here are some highlights.

A new University of Florida study finds that buyers want stores to be turn-ons when they browse for fun but prefer sedate environments when seeking mundane merchandise for everyday life.

In the brick-and-mortar world, retail stores may need to resort to satisfying their customers’ competing demands by tailoring design schemes by department, Weitz said. In Circuit City or Best Buy, for example, the section of the store carrying cables and connectors, where shoppers are not likely to want to spend much time, might be quite starkly decorated, while the home entertainment department could be more elaborate, he said.

Or stores could change digital signage to suit customers’ needs at different times of the day, using full motion videos in the morning if early shoppers like to be entertained and simpler messages in the evening if the priority is on saving time, Weitz said.

Unfortunately, many retailers hire interior decorators who are more interested in winning architectural awards than making stores useful to consumers, Weitz said. “I think these people lose sight of the fact that the reason for designing a store is to sell more stuff,” he said. “Sometimes making it more exciting and beautiful doesn’t help.”

Michael Levy, a marketing professor at Babson College, said Weitz’s research has significant implications for retail managers. “Past research has lumped all theories about how store environments impact the shopping experience into one bucket,” he said. “Professor Weitz’s research prescribes specific actions for retailers depending on the type of shopping trip they expect their customers to take or what types of products they are selling.”

Read the article here: UF study: Jazzy store environments not always best for consumers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Digital Signage Photos

A digital signage photo gallery was recently added to our website. All of the digital sign installations in the gallery are operated using Webpavement products.

Monday, February 20, 2006

eBay to sell Media?

Some of the nation's biggest advertisers got a pitch from a surprise media buying "solutions provider"--online auction service eBay.

OnlineMediaDaily reports that eBay was invited by the Association of National Advertisers Television Advertising Committee to present ideas for building an electronic trading system for buying and selling media.

As you know, there have been some strange auctions at eBay in the past for advertising. Now - for eBay to seriously consider being a media buying solutions provider - this is serious business.

This may be good news for our smaller digital signage network owners. If eBay turns out to be a good platform for selling digital signage advertising, maybe we'll see more smaller regional networks implemented.

Google is dabbling in outdoor as well. An analyst at Jupiter research suggests that Google's Next Frontier is Outdoor. We have also hinted that Google may enter into digital signage.

We'll keep a watch on eBay and Google and it's effect on digital signage -- then post findings on this blog.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Here's hoping Congress keeps the pipes open

We ran into a very interesting article written by Andrew Kantor, USA TODAY on the push by high speed internet service providers to make money from the content that is carried across their pipes. It seems the large ISP's are not happy with the revenues generated by providing internet service alone; they also want to charge content providers for transporting that content to customers that already pay a monthly fee to them for internet service. Sounds crazy, huh?

This issue is one that is being introduced to congress by lobbyists for the large ISP's. If congress were to side with the large ISP's on this issue, there would be far reaching consequences for both consumers and businesses. The digital signage industry would also be a victim.

Read the article.

Monday, February 06, 2006

UK Digital Screen Count

According to the January 2006 release of a Samsung and POPAI digital survey, there are close to 100,000 digital signs installed in the United Kingdom. The purpose of the survey is to establish the number of digital screens in stores across the UK.

UK's population is about 60 million resulting in a ratio of 1 screen for every 600 people.

Read the study here: In-store screens increase by 63 percent (PDF File)

We wonder how many screens are in the United States.. If you know of any studies, please post a comment.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Linux Vulnerabilities Spur Enterprise Warning

When evaluating digital signage software, many will ask Webpavement about security. While this question is very broad, the conversation usually includes a Windows vs Linux analysis. Linux is perceived to be more secure than Windows - mostly because it is Open Source software. However, the jury isn't out on this subject.

InformationWeek's Johanna Ambrosio published an article that offers valuable data concerning this argument.

Here are some of the highlights as excerpted from the article:

Recently, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or CERT, reported that during 2005, Linux and Unix combined had 2,328 vulnerabilities, compared with 812 vulnerabilities for Microsoft Windows.

A separate query of the National Vulnerability Database (NVD)--maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology--yielded similar results: During 2005, there were 119 vulnerabilities reported in the core Linux kernel--the one used by all the various Linux distributions, says Peter Mell, the database's main administrator. This compares with 61 published vulnerabilities for Windows XP, according to the NVD. Moreover, the trend appears to be going upward. The 119 vulnerabilities found in Linux during 2005 compares with 47 in 2004, 16 in 2003, and 11 in 2002, Mell says.

As the popularity of Linux increases, some question whether the open-source development model will continue to serve Linux well from a security perspective. "To a large extent, this could be a failure with open source," says Ira Winkler, an independent consultant, president of the Internet Security Advisors Group, and author of Spies Among Us. The primary issue he sees is a lack of consistency in regression testing and other quality-control issues. Because many people may be contributing code in the open-source model, there's no way of being sure exactly how that code has been bulletproofed, or even whether any best-practice testing methodologies have been used across and between contributors.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Arbitron Findings on Digital Signage

Arbitron published a report this week called 'Consumer Interest and Acceptance of Video Displays in Retail Environments'. The findings of the report back the many benefits digital signage industry pundits have been talking about for years.

A good summary was reported on the AKA website.

Arbitron Finds Viewers "Extremely Receptive" To In-Store Video

While the findings of the report are all interesting, we found this statement to personally reflect the desires of many of the males here at Webpavement.

The report also found that almost half of male shoppers (46 percent) are interested in getting sports news and score updates from video screens while shopping.
It was funny. After reading the positive findings by Arbitron, the next news item that we read from AdAge quoted the President of WPP's Global Retail Practice:

Though in-store marketing spending is estimated at more than $17 billion a year, measurement of the medium has been elusive and criticism of its effectiveness fierce. “Brands and marketers are desperate to reach shoppers at the shelf,” said Gwen Morrison, president, The Store in Chicago, a part of WPP’s Global Retail Practice. “Many of these systems have gravitated to these large screens and it’s always been hard for shoppers to look up. It’s been an ergonomic issue almost.”

Ms. Morrison said store employees often turn off volume on in-store networks and shoppers have “zoned out” tuning out the noise from ads. ShelfAds ”might catch your attention and create more of a speed bump in the aisle since the sound is not going on constantly,” she said.

Full story here.


We concur with her point on the ergonomic issue of digital signage. This can be resolved by using appropriate display sizes and installing them in the proper sight lines. However, we believe consumers are drawn to digital signage as noted by Arbitron. Especially the males that need external information (such as sports, stocks and news) when in a retail store.

Published by Webpavement digital signage.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Gartner Group on Retail Digital Signage

Analyst firms such as Forrester Research, CAPV / InfoTrends, Platt Retail Institute and others recognize a strong market for digital signage. The Gartner Group is now part of the analyst community covering digital signage.

The Gartner Group says up to 28 per cent of companies are deploying, or will deploy digital signage by the end of the year, and another 33 per cent expect to do so after 2006.

Read the article from IT Week's UK Magazine here: Gartner discusses its predictions for retailers' IT use

See this page for Webpavement's International digital signage contact information.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Digital Signage Report Card

Lyle Bunn is a well-known digital signage industry veteran. He released a report card on the state of the industry for 2005. Pretty interesting read.

Read it here (PDF File): 2005 Report Card for Digital Signage was a B+ and the 2006 outlook is very strong

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Focus Media to Merge with Target Media

Focus Media solidified its position as the market leader in China's out-of-home audiovisual advertising market using flat-panel displays. They announced a definitive share purchase agreement with Target Media Holdings.

After the the merger, Focus Media will operate a nationwide commercial location advertising network of over 60,000 displays in more than 30,000 commercial locations in about 75 cities in China.

Press Release
Focus Media Website
Target Media Website

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Digital Signage in Target Stores

Target has rolled out a digital signage network in all 1400 stores. The network is called Channel Red and is reportedly in the 1) electronics 2) music & 3) movies department.

Target is the first top ten retailer in the USA to own it's private digital signage network. Could this be a trend? Will retailers also become media companies?

We'll soon find out.

Note: Bill Collins and Laura Davis (both digital signage industry veterans) have more details on this network. Contact us if you are not on their newsletter list and we'll see if we can help you out.