eyevis Going After The Broadcast Market

August 19th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The International Broadcast Convention is being held Sept. 12-14 in Amsterdam.

It is promoted as the world’s top event for the broadcast industry – err I think NAB may have issue with that, Ed, but what brought it to our attention this time around is that we noticed that the German manufacturer eyevis GmbH will be exhibiting (on stand 9.B24).

eyevis is promoting itself as offering the perfect visual solutions for broadcasters, showing off its high-quality LED modules, including its new ‘slim’ LED rear-projection cube.

It will of course be compared to MicroTiles, NanoLumens and even Prysm who have had some success in the broadcast industry already.

Creativity, The Perfect Crime

August 18th, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Having ploughed through the book ‘I am Pilgrim’ in a little over two days of pool-side reading and intent on alternating fiction with work-related reading material, I’ve also just finished reading ‘Creativity, The Perfect Crime’ by Philippe Petit.

Philippe of course is must famous for tightropes/ wire walking between the Twin Towers in New York City.

It’s a crazy book on creativity but well worth a read from any in our industry who think themselves creative and / or aspire to be more so. In fact, as we often say, there is a real lack of creativity shown across the whole spectrum of our industry; software, content, business models, screen shapes, interactivity .. you name it and we think it all lacks something, so perhaps books like this should be required reading.

It’s the second time now in less than a week when we’ve thought that we need to re-instate our Content Unconference series of events. With brains like Denys Lavigne and James Fine in Montreal we can think of no better place to hold the next one (Paris, London and Munich were the first three).

An Interview With Ken Sahlin, CEO, DOmedia

August 18th, 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.”

Big H1 Pretax Loss 4 @MoodMedia

August 16th, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Should anyone care, last Friday the joke that is now Mood Media announced that it had booked an H1 pretax loss of $40.9m … it made ONLY a loss of $7.4m a year earlier.

Revenue totalled $242.9m, from $255.4m. There was a substantial rise in net financing costs to $41.5m, from $10.5m (probably all those lawyers they have suing people).

Arrow Electronics Acquires Seneca Data

August 15th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Yet another August acquisition – the fourth this month so far – came to our attention with learning that Arrow Electronics, Englewood, Colorado, has acquired Seneca Data, Syacuse, New York.

Terms of the agreement were nor disclosed.

A Fortune 150 company with 16,500 employees worldwide, Arrow is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions, with 2013 sales of $21.4 billion.

Senaca Data is a major U.S.-based custom computer manufacturer,

On the surface of these two statements, it looks like they have little to do with digital signage. Wrong!

Seneca is already deeply embedded in the digital signage sector, offering its products through partners like Scala, Rise Vision, Navori and SignageLive. Last April, Kevin Cosbey joined Seneca as business development manager from AOpen, which signals that Seneca takes digital signage seriously.

And while Arrow has been in the industry for some time, bringing Seneca into the fold is expected to strengthen Arrow’s footprint.

Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for over 100,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 460 locations in 58 countries. Arrow brings technology solutions to a breadth of markets, including telecommunications, information systems, transportation, medical, industrial and consumer electronics.

in business for more than 35 years, Seneca has met the needs of customers in diverse industries with original and partnered technology solutions. It serves the evolving needs of business, digital signage, digital security and surveillance, and digital broadcast customers nationwide.

Daktronics to Acquire Irish Firm Data Display

August 15th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Daktronics of Brookings, South Dakota, has recently entered into an agreement to purchase Data Display, a transportation-focused display company.

Reece Kurtenbach, CEO, Daktronics

Reece Kurtenbach, CEO, Daktronics

Terms of the agreement are confidential.

Data Display has manufacturing and engineering capabilities and has served customers across the European Union and United States. It is headquartered in County Clare, Ireland, and includes a modern, ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturing facility with 60,000 square feet (5.575 square meters) of space.

Under the agreement, Daktronics will retain Data Display’s workforce of experienced sales, service, engineering and manufacturing teams. According to its website, Data Display has 120 employees at its headquarters and manufacturing facility, while another 110 employees work internationally.

With a focus in the mass transit industry for more than 30 years, Data Display specializes in providing electronic displays for real-time passenger information in bus and tram networks as well as providing customer information systems for railway networks. The company has built a strong business in Europe and brings a complementary customer base, skilled workforce and valuable experience in the mass transit sector.

Reece Kurtenbach, Daktronics CEO, says, “We believe Daktronics and Data Display complement each other well. Daktronics is active in the transportation business, mainly in the United States, and we have a global presence with offices and people in many countries, currently focused on sports, third-party advertising and video solutions. Adding the strengths of Data Display will allow our combined organizations to better serve transportation customers worldwide and broaden our leadership position on a global scale. Daktronics looks forward to further expanding its customer and market focus in Europe and surrounding areas.”

Data Display produces a range of dynamic, real-time information display systems incorporating LED and TFT/LCD technology for indoor and outdoor use in many different environments. Its product range also includes a full colour Data Vision series to display dynamic video images, animations and graphics.To drive and manage its diverse range of displays, it has developed its own suite of software products and offers a full turnkey operation. All Data Display electronic information display solutions provide the end-user with customised hardware and software to ensure easy use and compatibility.

Play Taxi Media On Target To Be ‘Everything Taxi’

August 15th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

When we were writing the article about Mad Jack this week, we realized that we hadn’t talked to Play Taxi Media in a long time, so had a chat with Christina Williams, the company’s director of sales, marketing and communications

logo playtaximediaPlay Taxi Media is a Canadian-based media company that has operated since 2008, offering interactive and measurable digital media solutions for Out-of-Home and Mobile advertising. Launched initially in Vancouver by Zac Killam, president and CEO, and Steve Lowry, CFO, with screens in 25 taxi cabs, it is now operating in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, with a total of 1,100 taxis in total.

“We are now offering screens, taxi tops, taxi wraps, a a downloadable mobile app – one taxi.ca – and our newest product is a charging bar where riders can charge their cell phones and tablets,” says Williams. “Our aim is to be ‘everything taxi’. We don’t yet offer all products everywhere, in part because of local laws. There are no wraps or taxi tops in Vancouver, for example. And the charging bars are just being installed. With an average ride of 15 minutes, riders can get a quick charge of their devices.”

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The DailyDOOH Media Summit (@ecnlive)

August 15th, 2014

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

Another great speaker at The DailyDOOH Media Summit (May 2014) was ECNlive’s Stephen Gale.

He underlined how ECNlive were attempting to create a bit of a new market – thereby sidestepping some of the issues of cannibalisation that had been discussed earlier in the day.

Stephen showed the evolution of their offer over the last few years and explained the trials and tribulations of dealing with the different mindset of building owners – the big ask was trying to convince landlords the value of their network.

Building owners have typically been extremely sceptical of an advertising platform and he suggested that the best way of getting them more involved was to demonstrate how the screens could enhance the user experience of the building – interestingly this is something that we have seen Captivate Medias new CEO Marc Kidd also explore in the US, Ed.

Note: In order to make The DailyDOOH Media Summit video highlights ‘package’ a little more digestible, during the summer we’ll be running a Friday post featuring each of the 30-minute presentations.

Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock Unveiled 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

August 15th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock, a made-in-Canada technological innovation, was unveiled last month in Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto City Hall where it will continually connect fans with the upcoming Pan Am and Parapan Am Games being held in that city in a year’s time.

14474297928_6eac044ac9_z“It will be an important landmark for local residents and visitors alike to announce that the Games are quickly approaching,”
said Nitin Kawale, president of Cisco Canada. “But this is more than just a clock. It’s a social portal, enabled by the ‘Internet of Everything.’”

The Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock, which is decorated in the colourful and dynamic sport pictograms for the TORONTO 2015 Games, features a traditional clock counting down the days and minutes to the start of the Pan Am Games on July 10, 2015, as well as the Parapan Am Games on August 7, 2015 — but that is where the similarities end.

The second component is an interactive touch-screen kiosk that provides visitors with comprehensive Games information at their fingertips. Using the kiosk’s photo app, visitors can take a shot of themselves in Nathan Phillips Square, download the photo with their smartphone, and email it or share it via social media from the clock’s photo page at ciscotoronto2015.ca. Further, the kiosk gives information about the games, and other information will gradually be added.

“For athletes, the Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock is a reminder of how close the Games are getting,” said handball goalie Ryan Homsy, a two-time Pan Am athlete and Cisco I Can Achieve ambassador. “On behalf of Cisco and as a member of the Canadian handball team, I’m proud to have been there to unveil the clock and look forward to helping my team win a medal on home soil!” Cisco is a Premier Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Games and its Official Information and Communications Technology Provider.

14655245315_b99615aa5a_zThe Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock stands 5.5 metres tall and weighs 7.3 metric tons. Its uses five kilometres of fibre optic internet cable and took 7,000 hours to build. Fully funded and constructed by Cisco and its partners, it contains similar technology to that used for Cisco’s installation of a kiosk at at Whitby Abilities Centre last May, although there is no audio at the countdown clock. Students from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and George Brown College helped erect it. It features five screens, each measuring 119 centimetres: one on the kiosk and four on the clock. The kiosk screens in easily accessible for wheel-chair-bound users, and the fonts can be lowered for easy reading of content.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors. The Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.

Peak Outdoor Advertising Assets Sold To JR Promotions and Lind Media

August 15th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Johnsen, Fretty and Company, Stamford, Connecticut , has announced the sale of the Indiana outdoor advertising assets of FC Outdoor Midwest LLC (doing business as Peak Outdoor) to JR Promotions LLC, a Columbus-based advertising company.

The sale includes over 150 billboard display faces throughout Central Indiana.

This is the second transaction in nine months that Johnsen, Fretty & Company has completed for Peak Outdoor, and an example of how Johnsen, Fretty & Company can work with its clients on a long-term, multi-transactional basis to maximize value. Johnsen, Fretty & Company completed the first of Peak Outdoor’s two transactions by advising the company on the divestiture of approximately 200 billboard display faces in Southern Ohio to Lind Media.

Johnsen, Fretty & Company is a media-focused investment bank assisting Out-of-Home, place-based, and digital media companies with a variety of business transactions. Since the firm’s founding in 1993, it has completed over 200 media transactions with deal volume over $2.0 billion. Its team of professionals offers more than 60 years of combined investment banking experience. Its representative media sectors include: Alternative Media; Digital Signage Networks; Mobile Media & Communications; Outdoor Advertising; Place-Based/In-Store Advertising; Proximity Marketing; Shopper Marketing; Sports Marketing; Street Furniture and Bus Shelter Media; and Transit Advertising.