Top 10 Digital Signage Trends for 2011

Jan 11, 2011 — Allan Pulga

The digital signage/digital-out-of-home (DOOH) industry has matured and moved into the mainstream, according to Keith Kelsen, CEO of 5th Screen and author of Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage. He believes digital signs reached a tipping point in 2010, becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns worldwide.

“In a 2010 Arbitron study, more consumers see DOOH in a month than have ever texted a message or have a Facebook profile or have seen an online video,” he wrote. “This is 71 million viewers per month.”

Kelsen recently listed his Top 10 Digital Signage Trends for 2011 in two parts (Dec. 28) for Digital Signage Today:

**1. Cross-media platform and technology integration. Bonin Bough, director of social media for PepsiCo, said digital will soon be more ubiquitous than TV. “The complex path to reaching the consumer will drive a technology and media integration that will bring seamless transitions from screen to screen over the next few years,” Kelsen adds. “The reality is that mobile and digital signage integration have begun to blur the lines

2. Content will remain a top priority. Content strategies and discussions became commonplace in 2010, Kelsen writes, with billions of dollars being spent on content played on digital signs. As the lines of technology blur from screen to screen, the need for cross-platform content creation will increase significantly. He expects to see more sophisticated content directed toward customer engagement and interaction in the coming year.

3. Mergers & Acquisitions. Kelsen predicts a “big shakeout” in 2011, following a record number of buyouts in the digital advertising market in 2010. He predicts more consolidation in both technology and ad networks in 2011.

4. Increased investment in DOOH advertising. “The fact remains that advertisers are trying this, and it is working. It still takes an incredible effort to sell these networks, and I believe consolidation will be the single most profound effect that will speed the channeling of ad dollars to the industry. Around the world, DOOH ad revenue is the fastest growing of all media; close to 35 percent of out-of-home spending in the U.S. (In 2011, there will be) more spending on proven networks.”

**5. Experience, engagement and interaction. “This trend is still strong, and the engagement factor had taken even more leaps in 2010. Multi-touch screens and new ways to interact with them have entered the marketplace recently, and more of these types of interactions, plus more innovation on gestural interactions, will appear this coming year. Mobile (as mentioned in trend #1 and #2) also falls heavily in this category.

6. Measurement and acceptance. “More and more networks have been spending the time and money to get the independent metrics to deliver real (digital signage) numbers to agencies,” Kelsen writes. “With metric standards in place and AVA (anonymous video analytics) on the rise, the acceptance of (digital) media will depend upon the measurements and results of these networks.”

7. Progress in content standards. More stable standards will reflect a more progressive digital signage industry, he predicts. The DPAA (Digital Place-based Advertising Association) recently accepted H.264, “but what happened to Flash?” he asks. “I predict the standard battle is not over and Flash will still be incorporated in official and unofficial standards.”

8. Large-scale 2011 projects will march forward. “The RFPs in 2010 that were not fulfilled will be given a second life as the economy improves in 2011. During any economic downturn, innovation and new businesses are created. Growth of networks in 2011 will dwarf the expansion that happened in the last four years. Look for multiple new networks built in 2011,” Kelsen writes.

9. Managed services. “Cost savings for network operations, the complexity of managing and creating content, AVA and metrics will drive a new category of services. These bundled services will save individual smaller networks money.”

**10. Retail digital world. "Similar to trend #1, retailers are changing their models to be more inclusive of different paths to purchase. It used to be easy to put an ad on TV or in the newspaper and voilà, sales went up,” Kelsen writes. “The path to purchase is now so complicated, and the technology is so incongruent, that retailers are looking for complete solutions that will help them wrap their arms around the digital world. Look for retailers to implement inclusive, integrated digital signage solutions that include social, desktop, in-store and interactive that will help (customers) buy something (immediately).” 

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Topics: Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, Retail Marketing

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