White Paper From The @RolandDGA Ace of #Fails

August 22nd, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

I’m not sure how anyone could see a ‘Dynamic Digital Signage Opportunities for Sign Companies‘ white paper from the International Sign Association AND those folks at Roland DGA Corporation, who could NOT even get half of their digital signage exhibits at #2014SignExpo to work (see below), as anything other than sad.

How Good is Roland DS Sw again?

Expertise, knowledge-sharing, best practise, improving the industry .. err, yeah, who cares, this is just a brand building exercise – a brand (Roland) that has proven it knows nothing about digital signage; technology or design

ISA2014 - Roland

The International Sign Association need to get sponsors who can demonstrate that they know what they are talking about because this just makes them (both) a laughing stock.

Barix & @RonniGuggenheim Go Their Separate Ways

August 22nd, 2014

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Well, well, well. To many it will be absolutely no surprise that it didn’t even last a year, as news came in today from those he reached out to on social media earlier this week that Ronni Guggenheim is no longer with Barix,

IP audio and control specialist Barix appointed the ex-ComQi President back on October 1, 2013.

Sara-Emmanuelle Gagné To Head Zoom’s Regional Sales In Quebec City

August 22nd, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Zoom.GagneSara-Emmanuelle Gagné has been promoted to the role of sales director at Zoom Media’s Quebec City office, with responsibility for the management of regional sales, Eastern Quebec.

Gagné has been on the Quebec City sales team for over 10 years and has successfully worked as an account director, building a solid reputation while forging important working relationships with her clients.

“We are convinced that her determination, leadership, and enthusiasm will pave the way to great achievements in her new position,” says François de Gaspé Beaubien, chairman and chief coaching officer, Zoom Media. “Her creative nature and perseverance will undoubtedly contribute to Zoom Media’s continued success and progress in the media industry.”

AEG Live and NCM Bring Recording Artists And Concert Tours To NCM’s FirstLook Pre-show

August 22nd, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Cinema patrons will be able to engage and advertisers will have another possibility to promote around with AEG Live becoming the premiere music supplier to National CineMedia.

ncm.logoAEG Live will be bringing music to NCM’s FirstLook pre-show in movie theaters nationwide in a new multi-year deal with NCM, reaching moviegoers on-screen, on-site, online and on mobile devices. Through the new strategic relationship, AEG Live will be the premiere music supplier to NCM, which promotes itself as America’s #1 weekend video network

The deal has already kicked off in August with 10 second and 20 second features starring international superstars Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull promoting their upcoming 24-city AEG Live-promoted North American concert tour, launching on September 12 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Each month, a new AEG Live-affiliated artist will be featured on nearly 20,000 cinema screens periodically throughout the year in music segments interspersed throughout NCM’s FirstLook pre-show that will not only highlight upcoming concerts, but also new music releases, charitable initiatives, and other activities that the artists want to promote to NCM’s targeted audiences.

Cinema patrons will also be able to engage with all of the AEG Live music segments through their Shazam app. Shazam has more than 100 million users in the US and gives users the ability to discover and share more about the artist and their music with their friends after the movie.

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VeriFone To Expand Taxi And Media Services To Turkey and Mexico

August 21st, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

VeriFone Systems Inc. has announced plans to expand its taxi and media services to Istanbul and throughout Mexico’s Mayan Riviera, thereby providing more than 20,000 additional taxis with secure, in-taxi and mobile payments, mobile hailing and booking, and interactive multimedia content during passenger rides.

VeriFoneMediaLogo“This planned expansion can benefit taxi fleets and drivers in these regions by enabling them to provide passengers with convenient and secure methods of payment and mobile apps,”
says Amos Tamam, senior vice-president of Taxi Systems for VeriFone. “It will also increase the number of screens through which merchants and consumer brands can leverage VeriFone’s connected multimedia network to reach captive audiences and enable commerce.”

Istanbul’s 18,000 licensed taxis will use VeriFone’s full suite of taxi payment services, including Way2ride – VeriFone’s award-winning mobile taxi app – and VeriFone’s driver-facing tablets and passenger facing payment terminals that can engage consumers with relevant content through VeriFone’s multimedia network: the VeriFone Digital Network known as VNET. VeriFone expects the two-year deployment of the solutions to begin in late 2015.

In association with Mexicar, VeriFone’s taxi and media services will also be available to more than 3,000 taxis operating in Mexico’s Mayan Riviera – Cancun and Playa Del Carmen – through VeriFone’s partnership with one of the largest financial institutions in Mexico. Mexicar has been selected by the Mayan Riviera’s taxi drivers’ unions to supply member taxis with payment, advertising and media solutions, which Mexicar has agreed to obtain exclusively from VeriFone.

“Growth of our taxi and media network that we’re anticipating in these regions is a result of our ability to work well with partners that have selected VeriFone to deliver the technology and solutions they need to better serve their clients,” says Tamam. “They understand the value VeriFone brings beyond payments.”

Initially in each country, the screens will be enabled for mobile payment, but is expected that they will eventually all include entertainment and advertising geared for their particular markets through VNET. Screens will be the 7” ones like in Miami and Los Angeles. In Mexico, content delivered will be provided by TV Azteca.

Creative Realities and Wireless Ronin Technologies Announce Closing of Merger

August 21st, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Creative Realities LLC, New York, and Wireless Ronin Technologies Inc., Minneapolis, have announced the successful completion of their merger, resulting in what management claims is one of the largest and most innovative marketing technology solutions companies in the world.

Paul Price

Paul Price

Under the terms of the agreement and as previously announced, Creative Realities merged into a subsidiary of Wireless Ronin, with the sole equity holder of Creative Realities (an affiliate of Pegasus Capital Advisors) receiving approximately 59.2% of the outstanding shares of Wireless Ronin common stock, calculated on a modified fully-diluted basis, including the shares of common stock issued in connection with Wireless Ronin’s merger with Broadcast International Inc. that closed on August 1, 2014.

In the transaction, Creative Realities’ sole equity holder also received warrants to acquire an additional 1.5% of Wireless Ronin’s common stock.

The combined companies are now operating under the Creative Realities brand name but will trade on the OTCQB under the ticker symbol RNIN.

Paul Price, previously CEO of Creative Realities has been named CEO of the combined company and will also serve as a director. Scott Koller, previously CEO of Wireless Ronin has been named president of the combined company, and John Walpuck, previously CFO of Wireless Ronin has been named COO and CFO of the combined company. The combined company will be headquartered in New York, NY with operational facilities in Fairfield, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as Windsor, Ontario, in Canada.

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Canadian OOH Revenue Up 5.5% H1 2014

August 21st, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada has released figures from Nielsen showing that, during the first half of 2014, Out-of-Home revenue has increased 5.5% compared to the first six months of 2013.

logo_omac-1However, total advertising spend was only up 2.5% during the same period.

The share of total media dollars being allocated to OOH increased from 6.8% in 2013 to 7.0% in 2014. Digital OOH is a key growth area, with OMAC members experiencing double digit growth across outdoor, indoor and transit. The categories with the largest spending increases in OOH were Telecom, Financial Services, Media and Alcohol.

“The perception and use of OOH is changing,” says Rosanne Caron, president, OMAC. “OOH’s strength of quickly building mass awareness can now be leveraged with digital, mobile and social media to increase consumer interaction and create immersive brand experiences.

“There’s evidence of this change in the entries for the 2014 Cannes Creative Effectiveness. An analysis by WARC revealed 92% of the shortlisted campaigns used OOH. Only 58% of the shortlisted campaigns used TV compared to 83% in 2013.”

Digital is a ‘key growth area’ for OMAC’s member companies, with double-digit increases across its three main business lines: outdoor, place-based and transit networks. OMAC members include: Astral Out-of-Home, Pattison Outdoor, CBS Outdoor, Cogeco Métromédia, Lamar Transit Advertisiing, Zoom Media. (Associate members are Watchfire Signs, Daktronics and OutdoorLink.)

Several of the larger companies in OOH and DOOH in Canada that are not OMAC members are Cieslok Media, NEWAD Media, and Canadian Health Media Network, so whether the figures would be up or down if they were included is unknown.

While companies are converting many boards in high-traffic locations to digital, the actual conversion rate in Canada is an unknown. Expected to be hurting the growth of the industry is the sign law and a billboard tax imposed by the city of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

After several years of dancing through the courts, the out-of-home industry’s fight against the billboard tax ended in late 2012, when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal to eliminate it. That tax, which ranges from $1,000 to $24,000 per year per advertising face, is expected to cost Toronto’s out-of-home industry up to $10.4 million per year. When the tax was first broached, OMAC members said that it effectively would wipe out all their annual earnings.

However, we are seeing more digital boards going up in other cities or areas – in some cases for the first time.

Digital Caddies Planning IPO

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Digital Caddies Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona-based provider of on-course delivery of technology services and content to golfers, has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed direct public offering of its common stock and a proposed offering for resale of existing shares of its common stock held by their current shareholders.

digital_caddies_logoIn connection with this offering, Digital Caddies intends to apply for listing on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The registration statement relating to these securities has only been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective.

The company notes that this announcement, via a press release, shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any offer or sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction.

Digital Caddies currently has over 10,000 interactive screens installed on more than 142 golf courses in all major markets across the country, with more screens coming online daily. The company’s access to players comes via an interactive tablet mounted in golf cars, serving up features golfers, course operators and advertisers want.

Once a golf course is equipped with Digital Caddies’ touchscreen tablets, golfers enjoy a variety of useful applications and services including GPS-based course navigation and aerial fairway and green views with accurate yardages to landmarks. Digital Caddies’ tablets install easily on golf carts and connect wirelessly to the Web through Sprint’s nationwide 3G network, providing the golf course a broad portfolio of real-time course management tools via GPS-based cart tracking and communications.

Digital Caddies’ management is committed to ongoing innovation that will deliver valuable content to
golfers, enhance golf course operations and allow marketers to reach one of the most sought-after and lucrative demographics.

Is Glantz Dynamic Solutions Gone?

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Rumour is that all sales people from Glantz Dynamic Solutions have been pink-slipped and that any business is likely being moved over to Almo Professional AV.

If that’s the case, it’s a shame because N. Glantz was the one sign company that, after deciding to go the digital route, was really getting into it big time from what we saw at #2014SignExpo earlier this year. However, the business apparently hasn’t materialized as hoped – probably because it had traditional sign people selling as opposed to digital experts.

We haven’t been able to reach the powers-that-be at either company yet, but if this rumour is true, and we think it very likely is, it’s not going to encourage other sign companies to get into digital as the International Sign Association and the Digital Signage Federation have been promoting in the Digital Zone (or, as they call it, Dynamic Digital Park) for the past two years at the International Sign Expo events.

And, in fact, we’ve even heard that Almo – a major exhibitor in that section – is having second thoughts about returning in 2015.

Both Glantz Dynamic Solutions and Almo are Samsung distributors.

#SXSW2015 ‘Space as Theater: The Future of Digital Displays’

August 20th, 2014

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We are definitely voting for Phil Lenger, president of Show + Tell, New York, to be one of the speakers at #SXSW2015 this year – and you can can vote for him, too, here.

Phil_LengerIn fact, he’d appreciate it. Last year, there were 4,500 possible submissions, so the competition to be voted in as a speaker is strong. But with his suggested creative DOOH talk titled ‘Space as Theater: The Future of Digital Displays’, it would be great to get that topic in front of the discerning SXSW audience.

Certainly a person of such knowledge and talent as Lenger speaking on behalf of digital signage can ONLY benefit the industry.

You see, the panelists for this event are chosen by web voting, with public votes counting for 30%, while votes by the Advisory Board, a group of industry experts from around the world, count for 40%,and the votes of the SWSX staff count for 30%. The Staff votes are important because the experienced staff weighs in with feedback and works to fill any gaps in subject matter, and tries to strike a balance between new and veteran speakers.

On his topic of Space as Theater: The Future of Digital Displays, Lenger says that the practice of designing physical environments (architects, retail, interior) is becoming challenging. When walking into a new space, audiences, visitors, and communities are expecting more.

He says in his submission that the environmental design exercise is becoming more exciting and creative. New tools appear in the designers’ kit of parts. Reactive and interactive components create living spaces: ‘skinnable’ spaces or ‘dynamic environments’. These places are flexible and create infinite variations for the visitor. Interactive display technologies, in the discerning designer’s hands, will continue to transform experiences for the life of the media and owner.

Thinking about the environment’s theatrical facilities, ones that change and adapt with the ‘show’, helps designers create a new kind of sustainability and re-usability like never before. Treating visitors as an audience, and creating methods for changing the sets and shows, transforms the way designers deliver even more engaging dynamic environments.

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