Ad-embedded Codes on Digital Screens

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

This is a very interesting initiative from Broadsign and Arbitron. What I really want to see is the results good OR bad, an honest appraisal of its applicability elsewhere and some thoughs from the media planners and buyers as to its usefulness to them.

Still a lot to do but a great start!


The First in a Number of Planned Tests Succeeds in Detecting Ad-embedded Codes on Screens, Making it Possible to Audit Playback Compliance in a Hi-Tech Manner

MINNETONKA, MN., NEW YORK, NY – January 14, 2008 –BroadSign International Inc., a leading worldwide provider of hosted software for managing digital signage networks, today announced that Arbitron, Inc. (NYSE: ARB) has launched a series of tests aimed at enabling third-party audits of BroadSign’s proof of play reports, using Arbitron’s PPM technology.

The goal of the first test, conducted in December 2007, was to verify whether the PPM devices could accurately detect Arbitron’s inaudible code embedded in the loop of media files played on screens in a real store environment. The test was carried out in two convenience stores in Vermont. Both stores are part of the digital signage network operated by Digital Promo Network with the help of BroadSign’s hosted software solution BroadSign™ Suite.

According to Arbitron, the PPMs accurately detected the embedded code and the PPM’s times of code detection precisely matched the media file play times as shown in the BroadSign proof of play reports. This high level of matching indicates that the programming loop and all its components played as scheduled during the test period.

“Arbitron is excited to work with BroadSign on identifying alternative applications for leveraging the PPM technology,” said Pierre Bouvard, president of sales & marketing for Arbitron. “The place-based media space is a growing opportunity which needs trusted third-party measurement in order to maintain credibility with the advertising community.”

“This is the first step in what we foresee as a major breakthrough in resolving the difficult issue of accountability of digital signage advertising,” said Brian Dusho, chief strategy officer of BroadSign International. “Third-party audits of proof play reports will eliminate a lot of questions from advertisers and will help justify the billing and facilitate make goods. Audited proof of play reports will also add validity to impression counts and sales conversion numbers in retail.”

The success of the first test opens the way to a series of additional tests before Arbitron’s proof of play audits can become a commercialized service that can be used by any network run on BroadSign’s software.

About BroadSign International Inc.

BroadSign International is a leading worldwide provider of hosted software for managing digital signage networks. The BroadSign™ Suite resolves the challenges facing operators of digital signage networks: the need for full campaign execution functionality, accountability and true scalability. The software enables operators to target out-of-home audiences, sell network airtime, reliably play back scheduled content on each screen and account for campaign performance. The enterprise-scale software makes it easy to manage media space inventory, view avails, as well as target campaigns by demographic and geographic criteria. BroadSign combines extensive expertise in digital signage software, media, advertising, and information technology and is a member company of the Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau (OVAB), OAAA, POPAI, In-Store Marketing Institute and The Screen Association. The BroadSign™ Suite is used by digital signage networks in 25 countries around the world. The company’s corporate office is located in Minnetonka, Minn., USA.

About Arbitron

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media – radio, television, cable, online radio and out-of-home – as well as advertisers and advertising agencies in the United States and Europe. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The company has developed the Portable People MeterTM, a new technology for media and marketing research. Arbitron’s marketing and business units are supported by a world-renowned research and technology organization located in Columbia, Maryland. Arbitron has approximately 2,100 employees; its executive offices are located in New York City. Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with The Nielsen Company, Arbitron provides additional media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, newspaper and online industries.

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