BroadSign To Compete Directly With Neo?

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

As we are no longer on BroadSign’s press distribution list we obviously didn’t get sent this press release but anyway it’s worth taking a look at it in a little more detail (we expect every other online site to report that BroadSign had a good year just cos’ BroadSign says they did – that will be despite all their layoffs and their Petters funding having dried up we guess).

In no particular order here are our initial thoughts on what they have to say for themselves in 2008: –

  1. The figure of 15,000 licenses seems a bit high – 8k of those would be Accent Health and Neo Advertising licenses combined and we are not sure where they can possibly get another 7k from? (perhaps they have a Frost & Sullivan industry analyst totaling up the number of licenses in use).
  2. ‘BroadSign Open’ is interesting. It’s basically BroadSign jumping on the ‘ad aggregation’ bandwagon however it’s a very risky strategy as it means that they end up competing directly with some of their customers, like Neo Advertising of course. And that will be Neo and its geographically dispersed networks as well as Neo’s new BookingDOOH platform to be launched Jan 2009
  3. Neo Advertising, by sticking with the BroadSign platform over the last few months, have very much been keeping BroadSign afloat as a vendor. Now though, it seems, they are actively funding a competitor
  4. Several BroadSign customers have told us that the Reporting for Proof of Play is broken and has been for some time so we are surprised to see their claim of ‘99.8% proof-of-play reporting accuracy’
  5. Eugene Cuyler, their sole European sales guy left them in early November so it’s good to see that they are hiring in Europe again – the press release makes mention of new sales execs in both the UK and the Netherlands in 2009. The UK hire is ex-AMX and the Netherlands hire is likely ex-KPN

There is no mention of course of the recent round of layoffs, of their customers looking elsewhere to hedge their bets in case BroadSign goes under, the IPO that never happened and of course the alleged massive fraud perpetrated by their largest shareholder which has caused them so much financial grief of late.

Talking of ‘financial grief’, it may be that BroadSign have bought themselves a bit of a reprieve – especially if the rumours we hear are true, either some new funding for them having come in, from of all places, Lithuania or more likely a short term loan from a current investor to tide them over until Jan / Feb 2009.

I think we can expect a constant trickle of (attempted) upbeat statements from them in the New Year, as well as a desperate PR battle in both a bid to try and keep the largest of their current customers from defecting and to try and increase visibility in order to raise capital.

We live in interesting times…

BroadSign Reports Strong Growth in 2008, Introduces Strategic New Products for Digital Signage Networks and Ad Brokers

08:03 EST Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As of December 2008, the Digital Signage Software Provider Hosts the Largest Connected Aggregate of Digital Signage Networks in the World

MONTREAL, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ — BroadSign International, a leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for managing digital out-of-home networks, announced that, with over 15-thousand software licenses registered in 2008, it hosts the largest aggregate of digital signage networks connected by the same shared infrastructure. The shared SaaS infrastructure means that any network acquisitions, expansions, cross-network migration and large-scale ad sales can be performed seamlessly within the BroadSign-powered universe.

Aggregators and media sellers will be able to view advertising space inventory across multiple networks in the BroadSign-powered universe in real time using a new product, BroadSign Open. A beta version of BroadSign Open platform was released in June 2008 for private testing by several client networks and ad space brokers. BroadSign Open enables cross-network media buys, thus opening a way for individual networks to maximize their revenue by participating in national media campaigns.

BroadSign’s internal financial reports and third-party audits show a 300-percent increase in sales revenues in 2008, compared to the previous year, and project continued increases in license subscriptions for 2009. The company’s client base (the number of software licenses) grew by 275%, through winning new networks and enlarging existing client networks.

Thanks to the restructuring and cost-cutting measures undertaken in September 2008, the management team was able to regroup resources, reinforce the focus on core revenue streams such as software sales and client services, and adjust the market expansion strategies for 2008-2009, in view of the imminent economic slowdown.

In the spring of 2008, a new VP of sales was hired to reorganize the company’s sales force, which resulted in an accelerated build-up of the volume of subscription licenses. Two new sales executives in Europe, one in the UK and one in the Netherlands are signed up to start working for BroadSign in January 2009. A new, more efficient market strategy for Asia was conceived and will be executed in 2009.

A new service package, Managed Services, was launched in early 2008. In addition to the cost-efficiency of the SaaS platform, BroadSign’s optional Managed Services module further reduces network operators’ overhead and allows them to focus entirely on the media aspect of their business. The new division started contributing to the sales revenues in May 2008 and is expected to be a significant revenue source in 2009.

BroadSign Creator, an online content creation and distribution tool for quick template-based messaging, was released in December 2008, allowing venue owners within larger networks to be more flexible in implementing their local promotion and branding campaigns.

The capacity, security and reliability of BroadSign’s data center and server clusters have been further enhanced, with a stable “five nines” (99.999%) network uptime and 97.5 – 99.8% proof-of-play reporting accuracy. The volume of daily media spot delivery has exceeded a record 17.5 million spot playbacks per day in December 2008.

One Response to “BroadSign To Compete Directly With Neo?”

  1. PhilG Says:

    Disclaimer : I have worked at BroadSign but was never involved with the NEO account.

    About BookingDOOH versus BroadSign Open, one possibility would be that BookingDOOH will be built on BroadSign Open. BroadSign Open, if nothing has changed, has never been designed as a front-end tool but to provide the building blocks of such Booking and plannning tool developed by SeeSaw, adCentricity, Neo and such.

    My 2 cents in a topic that will get very interesting as the networks grow and the booking tools evolve.

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