DOOH Hot Topics
Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief
A few weeks ago we did an interview with Minicom which was published just recently over on their own blog. As DailyDOOH approaches the grand old age of two (our birthday celebrations are in July) we thought that sharing the interview with you would give many of you some historical perspective on how we got here and some of what we think the future holds…
- Minicom Digital Signage: How long has DailyDOOH been around for? How did it get started?
Adrian J Cotterill: DailyDOOH’s 2nd birthday is coming up in July. It started, pretty much by accident when it was suggested by some Dutch acquaintances of ours that we turn the email newsletter that we did at the time into a blog.
Our Head of R&D was on it straightaway and his team deployed WordPress in our rack at Telehouse – you can still get to and see our blog by its very original address http://aideycot.weareon.com – being as it was intended at the time my CEO blog for our business!!!!
- MDS: At what does your website excel and what would you like to provide more of in the coming year?
AJC: Our mantra is “insight, knowledge and opinion”, we focus purely on the Digital Out of Home sector. We like to think we help promote the industry AND to keep it honest! With dozens of contributors and staff dotted around the world, and lots of language skills to boot, we aim to be the pre-eminent global news gatherer for the industry and as part of that we have just launched a sister site http://www.dailydooh.asia that focusses on Asia
- MDS: What information is most important for industry watchers to know about?
AJC: That’s easy!! It’s the information that people don’t know about!!!
Its easy for our so-called competitors to simply re-publish press releases from the industry but the key is to read between the lines and interpret what it means. People in the industry want to know what technology they should spend their money on AND what they shouldn’t send their money on, who to go into business with (i.. who will be around long term going forward), what shows to attend and what shows to avoid and even whom they should employ and who they shouldn’t!!
- MDS: What information would you most like to see published about the industry but is currently unavailable?
AJC: A lot of the really important information is never released and so the key is knowing what is NOT being said. We are privileged to work with many companies working on the next generation of technology and helping them bring that to market – unlike so called ‘market research reports’ that typically take technology that is public domain now and then predict future growth rates we are in a position to actually be on top of what trends are coming. KNOWING what is coming in the future is the most important thing to know, not guessing or analysing numbers based on today’s technology that may not be important tomorrow.
- MDS: What are your favorite Digital Signage related websites and/or books?
AJC: There is only one site we religously read and that is Bill Gerba’s blog Digital Signage News – http://digitalsignagenews.blogspot.com/
- MDS: What major trends do you see in the DS market?
AJC: Two things briefly; screens won’t be screen shaped and very few of today’s top 10 digital signage vendors will have any relevance in the industry in a few year’s time
- MDS: What new technologies do you like best?
AJC: The technology is actually not that important to our industry, although some people have made some big mistakes backing the wrong horse. Having said that we are excited about what Adobe are doing with Flash and what Intel are doing on their chipsets with regard things like Audience Measurement – companies such as Tru-Media and Quividi have a very short life span unless they change the way the do automated audience measurement.
- MDS: What technology is most important to have but is currently missing?
AJC: Guaranteed play out on screens. Whilst ‘players’ are attached to screens, rather than the technology built in the biggest issue is the ‘players’ reporting successful playback but with the screens turned off!!!
- MDS: How fast is the technology changing?
AJC: Up until recently surprisingly NOT fast at all. The likes of Scala who claim 20 years of heritage haven’t been innovating for 20 years and for them it has been more like 20 lots of 1 years experience. With a number of new software companies (and networks building their own systems) embracing open standards, Web 2.0 and the new innovations from Adobe and the new technology from Intel we are going to see seismic changes in the technology used in our industry.
- MDS: Which companies surprised you most last year both good and bad?
AJC: We try to predict trends going forward and if we were really good at our jobs we wouldn’t be surprised!!! Having said that Cisco were the biggest surprise and the biggest disappointment – they had a real chance to change the industry and be a major player but just did not get it.
- MDS: How badly has the industry been hit by the recession and who has been hit hardest?
AJC: We believe that the recession has been good for the industry, shaking out those with poorly thought out business models and those with weak management. Whilst there has been some unfortunate collateral damage with nice guys who have failed we all know that great companies have been forged out of recession and we see nothing different this time around.
- MDS: Do you foresee a recovery anytime soon?
AJC: Retail has been hit particularly badly but retail companies with strong brands have continued to innovate in both their window space and in store with concessions and branded fixtures. We are seeing 20+ RFPs for big network rollouts in the US and we think the tide may have turned here. Europe will take longer to catch up, with Germany perhaps hardest hit and may take the longest time to recover.
India may also take some time to get back on its feet though its turmoil has not only been the recession.
- MDS: Thank you for joining us today, Adrian.
AJC: Thank you.