Reggie is on Vacation

August 14th, 2014

Reggie DeLarge

summerbreak2014

The nice people at DailyDOOH Towers are on vacation. We will still be posting the odd story (which you will be able to find by browsing below).

An email newsletter will only be going out if we have enough stories that we think warrant it (you never know).  Normal service will be resumed in September.

I (Reggie) will likely be tweeting from time to time.

Canadian OOH Revenue Up 5.5% H1 2014

August 21st, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada has released figures from Nielsen showing that, during the first half of 2014, Out-of-Home revenue has increased 5.5% compared to the first six months of 2013.

logo_omac-1However, total advertising spend was only up 2.5% during the same period.

The share of total media dollars being allocated to OOH increased from 6.8% in 2013 to 7.0% in 2014. Digital OOH is a key growth area, with OMAC members experiencing double digit growth across outdoor, indoor and transit. The categories with the largest spending increases in OOH were Telecom, Financial Services, Media and Alcohol.

“The perception and use of OOH is changing,” says Rosanne Caron, president, OMAC. “OOH’s strength of quickly building mass awareness can now be leveraged with digital, mobile and social media to increase consumer interaction and create immersive brand experiences.

“There’s evidence of this change in the entries for the 2014 Cannes Creative Effectiveness. An analysis by WARC revealed 92% of the shortlisted campaigns used OOH. Only 58% of the shortlisted campaigns used TV compared to 83% in 2013.”

Digital is a ‘key growth area’ for OMAC’s member companies, with double-digit increases across its three main business lines: outdoor, place-based and transit networks. OMAC members include: Astral Out-of-Home, Pattison Outdoor, CBS Outdoor, Cogeco Métromédia, Lamar Transit Advertisiing, Zoom Media. (Associate members are Watchfire Signs, Daktronics and OutdoorLink.)

Several of the larger companies in OOH and DOOH in Canada that are not OMAC members are Cieslok Media, NEWAD Media, and Canadian Health Media Network, so whether the figures would be up or down if they were included is unknown.

While companies are converting many boards in high-traffic locations to digital, the actual conversion rate in Canada is an unknown. Expected to be hurting the growth of the industry is the sign law and a billboard tax imposed by the city of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

After several years of dancing through the courts, the out-of-home industry’s fight against the billboard tax ended in late 2012, when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal to eliminate it. That tax, which ranges from $1,000 to $24,000 per year per advertising face, is expected to cost Toronto’s out-of-home industry up to $10.4 million per year. When the tax was first broached, OMAC members said that it effectively would wipe out all their annual earnings.

However, we are seeing more digital boards going up in other cities or areas – in some cases for the first time.

Digital Caddies Planning IPO

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Digital Caddies Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona-based provider of on-course delivery of technology services and content to golfers, has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed direct public offering of its common stock and a proposed offering for resale of existing shares of its common stock held by their current shareholders.

digital_caddies_logoIn connection with this offering, Digital Caddies intends to apply for listing on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The registration statement relating to these securities has only been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.

The company notes that this announcement, via a press release, shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any offer or sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction.

Digital Caddies currently has over 10,000 interactive screens installed on more than 142 golf courses in all major markets across the country, with more screens coming online daily. The company’s access to players comes via an interactive tablet mounted in golf cars, serving up features golfers, course operators and advertisers want.

Once a golf course is equipped with Digital Caddies’ touchscreen tablets, golfers enjoy a variety of useful applications and services including GPS-based course navigation and aerial fairway and green views with accurate yardages to landmarks. Digital Caddies’ tablets install easily on golf carts and connect wirelessly to the Web through Sprint’s nationwide 3G network, providing the golf course a broad portfolio of real-time course management tools via GPS-based cart tracking and communications.

Digital Caddies’ management is committed to ongoing innovation that will deliver valuable content to
golfers, enhance golf course operations and allow marketers to reach one of the most sought-after and lucrative demographics.

Is Glantz Dynamic Solutions Gone?

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Rumour is that all sales people from Glantz Dynamic Solutions have been pink-slipped and that any business is likely being moved over to Almo Professional AV.

If that’s the case, it’s a shame because N. Glantz was the one sign company that, after deciding to go the digital route, was really getting into it big time from what we saw at #2014SignExpo earlier this year. However, the business apparently hasn’t materialized as hoped – probably because it had traditional sign people selling as opposed to digital experts.

We haven’t been able to reach the powers-that-be at either company yet, but if this rumour is true, and we think it very likely is, it’s not going to encourage other sign companies to get into digital as the International Sign Association and the Digital Signage Federation have been promoting in the Digital Zone (or, as they call it, Dynamic Digital Park) for the past two years at the International Sign Expo events.

And, in fact, we’ve even heard that Almo – a major exhibitor in that section – is having second thoughts about returning in 2015.

Both Glantz Dynamic Solutions and Almo are Samsung distributors.

‘Space as Theater: The Future of Digital Displays’

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We are definitely voting for Phil Lenger, president of Show + Tell, New York, to be one of the speakers at the South by Southwest conference (SXSW) this year – and you can can vote for him, too, here.

Phil_LengerIn fact, he’d appreciate it. Last year, there were 4,500 possible submissions, so the competition to be voted in as a speaker is strong. But with his suggested creative DOOH talk titled ‘Space as Theater: The Future of Digital Displays’, it would be great to get that topic in front of the discerning SXSW audience.

Certainly a person of such knowledge and talent as Lenger speaking on behalf of digital signage can ONLY benefit the industry.

You see, the panelists for this event are chosen by web voting, with public votes counting for 30%, while votes by the Advisory Board, a group of industry experts from around the world, count for 40%,and the votes of the SWSX staff count for 30%. The Staff votes are important because the experienced staff weighs in with feedback and works to fill any gaps in subject matter, and tries to strike a balance between new and veteran speakers.

On his topic of Space as Theater: The Future of Digital Displays, Lenger says that the practice of designing physical environments (architects, retail, interior) is becoming challenging. When walking into a new space, audiences, visitors, and communities are expecting more.

He says in his submission that the environmental design exercise is becoming more exciting and creative. New tools appear in the designers’ kit of parts. Reactive and interactive components create living spaces: ‘skinnable’ spaces or ‘dynamic environments’. These places are flexible and create infinite variations for the visitor. Interactive display technologies, in the discerning designer’s hands, will continue to transform experiences for the life of the media and owner.

Thinking about the environment’s theatrical facilities, ones that change and adapt with the ‘show’, helps designers create a new kind of sustainability and re-usability like never before. Treating visitors as an audience, and creating methods for changing the sets and shows, transforms the way designers deliver even more engaging dynamic environments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Epatra & @Signagelive Partner In Benelux & Scandinavia

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Signagelive, global suppliers of cloud-based digital signage technology, has teamed up with Epatra in the Netherlands to create all-inclusive bundles for digital signage users in the Benelux and, together with Swedish subsidiary company ACE AV, in Scandinavia.

signagelive_logograd_light Epatra is the largest wholesale distributor in the region and an established supplier of AV solutions and digital signage technology.

This new agreement will give Signagelive greater exposure to mainstream ICT resellers as well as the possibility to secure new opportunities in niche markets such as retail, education and fast food industry.

epatra_logoEpatra has partnered with Signagelive because of its in-depth understanding of the industry and its cross- platform support capabilities. Signagelive is one of the few software companies that is not reliant on auxiliary devices or onsite media players to run digital signage applications because its offering is cloud-based, requiring simply an Internet connection.

Over the last 18 months, Signagelive has made digital signage technology widely accessible to different market sectors and user types by enhancing its support capabilities for a range of non-PC devices, including Android-based players, Intel NUC, IAdea players and Signboards, as well as Raspberry Pi technology.

Signagelive’s cloud-based software is written in HTML5 and supports multiple content formats including static images, streaming video, IPTV, web pages and RSS feeds. It also integrates with QR code technology and all common social media widgets.

Targeted information can be displayed on different screen types and/or sizes and scheduled to dynamically update, depending on factors such as time of day or updates from external data sources. Promotional information can be overlaid onto background content to reinforce marketing messages and encourage consumer engagement, resulting ultimately in increased sales.

“We see great opportunities with Signagelive for our resellers,” says Hans de Blois, general manager, Epatra. “This platform makes it possible to schedule media from mobile devices. The prices of displays are still decreasing. Together with cheaper players this narrow casting solution is really affordable for all end-users.”

“I believe that the Signagelive/Epatra collaboration will deliver exciting business opportunities for both organisations,” says Jason Cremins, CEO, Signagelive. “Our cross-platform support and cloud-based software, combined with Epatra’s established presence in the market makes digital signage technology accessible to markets that have not historically benefited from digital signage technology due to high cost barriers.”

Signagelive and Epatra will be holding an open day on 16 September in Alblasserdam, Netherlands.

Accent Health For Sale?

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

According to Reuters, the privately held AccentHealth, a company that shows CNN programming hosted by Dr Sanjay Gupta on TV screens in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices, is exploring a sale that could fetch $300 million.

AccentHealth is working with investment bank Moelis & Co to help find a buyer, according to Reuters’ unnamed source. AccentHealth is owned by private equity firms M/C Partners and Ridgemont Equity Partners.

The company pays a licensing fee to Time Warner Inc’s Turner Private Networks to carry customized medical segments featuring Gupta, who is CNN’s chief medical correspondent, and Robin Meade, host of HLN’s morning show.

The company, founded in Tampa, Florida, in 1995, has screens in 30,000 waiting rooms, reaching 200 million patients annually. In 2013, Accent Health bought both Havas Impact’s health panel business and Everwell waiting room television network (a division of MediVista Media LLC.) The two purchases basically doubled Accent Health’s size.

Accent Health operates various condition-specific networks, believed to be 21 different networks at last report, and generates revenue by selling advertising to companies that want to reach patients in waiting rooms of doctors’ offices. It uses BroadSign’s content management system. The company also sells medical wall displays and distributes marketing brochures.

Its competitor PatientPoint, owned by private equity firm Catterton, is one of the companies that may look at acquiring AccentHealth, according to Reuters’ sources.

The Reuters article says that AccentHealth generates roughly $20 million to $25 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and could sell for roughly 10-12 times that amount.

An Interview With Ken Sahlin, CEO, DOmedia

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

“We’ve been flying under the radar in terms of talking about ourselves, but we are extremely busy,” Ken Sahlin, CEO of DOmedia, Columbus, Ohio, told us in an exclusive interview last week.

K Sahlin“In fact, Our business has doubled each of the last two years. In total, we’ve seen a total of $1 billion in media planned and bought through us.”

Not to be misunderstood, DOmedia does not plan nor buy media itself. Rather, it centralizes information and facilitates the task for agency planners and buyers so that they do not have to deal with a maze of files, spreadsheets and other data in putting together an answer for an RFP, for example.

In the past year, DOmedia was one of the first third party processors to gain a Traffic Audit Bureau OOH Ratings license and helped TAB see the value of making licenses available to other such companies. It has also built an app with a TAB database which allows agencies to search find, map and see ratings for TAB media companies. Only TAB member agencies (like Starcom, Mediavest, Spark, Posterscope, Kinetic, etc.) can access TAB ratings on DOmedia.

DOmedia has over 850 media selling companies in its platform, including over 175 companies selling DOOH.

“I think for the industry to grow and scale, it’s important to have a common currency and a standardized framework to build tech applications on,” said Sahlin. “TAB wants to create the standard measurement currency for the out-of-home industry, digital out-of-home billboards included. They are developing a standardized framework for measurement and we’re building applications with that to help the industry be faster, smarter and better. Agencies are really looking for neutral third-parrty measurement sources.”

DOmedia has also been training planners on how to use DOmedia for RFPs.

“Agencies all have different ways of doing things, so our app allows them to basically use a standard format.” said Sahlin. “It’s making their lives so much easier in the out-of-home and digital out-of-home sector.”

Society for Experiential Graphic Design To Hold One-Day Conference

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) will be holding Xlab, a one-day conference in Manhattan Thursday, Nov.6/14, that will focus on the future of immersive experiences, the collaborative process, and emerging platforms that can be used to activate projects.

The event, which will hold a kickoff reception the evening before, will feature a group of top global design visionaries as speakers who are creating digital experiences.

They include: Jake Barton, principal and founder at Local Projects, New York; Jason Bruges, founder of Jason Bruges Studio, London; Matt Daly, principal and chief scientist at Leviathan, Chicago; Paul McConnell, director of design at Control Group, New York; Daniel Meyers, creative director/architect at Second Story, Portland; Christian Marc Schmidt, principal and founder of Schema, Seattle; David Schwarz, creative partner [insights] at HUSH Studios, New York; Alexandre Simionescu, managing partner/creative director of Float4 Interactive, Montreal + New York; Traci Sym, experience design director at Second Story, Portland; and Jason White, executive creative director at Leviathan, Chicago.

The sessions focus on four main themes: INSIGHTS – Emerging Trends and Defining the Problems of the Future; CONTENT – Communicate and Connect with Relevance and Emotion; PLATFORM – Emerging Technology for Immersive Experiences; and MAKE – The Collaborative Process as Innovation Fusion.

There are no panel discussions. All topics on the program are by individual speakers.

SEGD has 1,505 members in more than 20 countries. Its members are graphic and information designers, fabricators, architects, exhibition designers, technology integrators, interaction designers, brand strategists, students, wayfinding specialists, teachers, and others who have a hand in shaping content-rich, experiential spaces.

The SEGD event will be held at the SVA Theater, 333 W 23rd St, New York, with registration and networking at 8 a.m. concluding at 5 p.m..

Virtual Sensitive-eyevis Technology Partnership For New Coconote

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Thanks to newly installed eyevis DLP projectors. Virtual Sensitive’s new interactive touch roundtable Coconote offers Improved performance and lower maintenance costs.

The Coconote

The Coconote

Virtual Sensitive, located in Venette, France, had already offered a touch table called Connec’table.

Launch of the new Coconote interactive touch-table is planned for Sept./14. In addition, the Coconote will be presented on a joint roadshow of eyevis and Virtual Sensitive in Spain, France and the UK in October and November.

The round Coconote display table with multi-touch system has more than 100 touch points and is promoted as ideal for presentations, simulation, product demonstrations or co-working in showrooms and meeting areas or at trade fair booths and info points. The new eyevis projectors which are integrated into the table construction not only increase the resolution of the display area, but the LED illumination also lowers maintenance costs of the tables.

The innovative display table makes interactive signage applications possible. On a circular screen area with 76 cm diameter, the Coconote provides access to interactive information. Depending on the application, this can range from classic signage applications over interactive map representations up to 3D animations of new products. It also offers the possibility to run several applications simultaneously, so several users are able to access individual information at the same time.

The eyevis projectors increase the richness of detail of the display area to up to 1.200 Px in diameter. Moreover, the LED-illuminated DLP projectors by eyevis allow for 24/7 operation of the touch tables without having to exchange LEDs within the lifespan of seven years. This lowers service costs of the tables and makes them ideal for info points that are available 24 hours a day.

In order to facilitate installation, the Coconote will be additionally equipped with extended connection possibilities. The touch table now features 6x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, ethernet, wifi and Bluetooth connections. Further, the housing colours and the display frame can be adjusted to any interior design. Also new is the fact that contents, animations and apps can be controlled and configured via computer, tablet and smartphone during running operation through the web-based tool Configurator.