#DSinvestor Sound Bites

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Niko Drakoulis, Akoo’s founding chairman and CEO, announced publicly at last week’s Digital Signage Investor Conference that the company will be launching an in-home product, a subscriptions-based TV model, expanding internationally and that it is targeting an IPO in the next 24 months.

Drakoulis was on a panel early on Day One discussing the creation of a profitable business, and one word that came up on that panel and many times later during the day was that ‘scale’ was needed: scale if you want to attract investors; scale if you want to get on national advertisers – and agencies; scale if you want to expand internationally; scale if you want to attract a merger/acquisition partnership. And of course, the scale of change taking place in the industry (ie. warp speed).

What else was top of mind? Among other key words and phrases we heard over and over were the ‘need for measurement/metrics/data’; ‘the consumer is in control’; ‘content/strategic content/targeted content’; ‘consumer engagement’; and the catch phrase of the moment: the ‘integration of so-lo-mo’ (or variations thereof), standing for social/location/mobile for anyone who could yet be uninitiated with the term.

We also picked up lots of pithy comments from various speakers. Among them:

  • “Consumers are ‘addicted’ to place-based media.”
    Garry McGuire, CEO, RMG Networks
  • “Research must be ongoing, not just at the beginning.”
    Benjamin Mathieu. CEO, enVu
  • “A disruptive platform helped us get dollars.”
    Ajay Chowdhury, CEO, ComQi
  • “I think we’ll see a lot of rollups in the next few months.”
    Paul Rawlings. founder and CEO, ScreenReach Interactive (UK)
  • “Don’t come into an agency and ‘sell’ your medium. Come in and talk about a ‘custom solution’ for what the planner is trying to solve.”
    Amy Vollet, director of media strategy, TracyLocke
  • “Media research must be reliable, actionable and consistent. It helps you get on the plan, negotiate the buy and get renewed.”
    Rob Winston, senior national account manager, Arbitron Out-of-Home Division, Arbitron Inc.
  • “If you cannot measure, you cannot manage.”
    Raj Maini, digital signage worldwide director, Intel Corporation
  • “What this industry needs is to do what Apple did for music.”
    Todd Becker, managing director, Pomegranate Ventures
  • “This is not just emerging. You are part of the ecosystem – but still a relatively niche market.”
    Michael Josephs, managing director, MESA Global

From ‘lessons learned through experience’ to ‘what we’re looking for as investors’, this conference was probably the best of its six years in existence – certainly the best in the three years that we’ve covered it.

If you were there, you know how good it was. If you weren’t, it’s your great loss.

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