Has the time yet arrived for the digital signage industry to take ride the next revenue wave that will increase subscriber penetration, add more value and bring sustainability to a still seriously-fragmented industry? I hope, but chances are still slim it will occur rapidly. A recent article in AllThingsD puts it ever so succinctly:
..it is time for the industry to refocus its energies on the fourth curve that will completely redefine the mobile industry, its players and the revenue opportunities. Several new players will start to emerge that will create new revenue from applications and services that transform every industry vertical that contributes significantly to the global GDP.
The same could easily be said of the digital signage industry. Unfortunately its sheer size pales in comparison to mobile, but the lessons and comparisons between the two are striking. There are several key takeaways that are worth noting.
1. General hardware, software and connectivity become less relevant over time.
2. New players and new applications that will prove disruptive to the current and future status quo of the industry.
3. The shift from hardware will lead to an applications and services focus which will change the model for many.
4. For the final (and the hopefully most sustaining revenue curve) Advertising and Content should prove most noteworthy
Content & Advertising.
The certainty of hardware and software commoditization in this industry can only lead to the need for high quality content, a few applications and the hopeful surge in advertising revenue into company coffers. The sluggish growth of the once touting “elephant in the room” still seems very distantly in the future, but it remains the one source of real potential growth and that final “growth peak” the industry will need to continue it forward. In fact, real-time targeted advertising is perhaps the only really sustainable opportunity for growth digital out-of-home has left.