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What Makes A Digital Signage Network Successful



Gina Cubillas

Over the last few years, Vistar Media has seen a huge increase in the number of networks that want to monetize their screens with ads. Today, our platform includes over 400,000 screens in 7 countries and we work with everyone from the biggest billboard networks to kiosk operators who never thought of themselves as media companies until they deployed Vistar’s solutions. Through our experiences we have seen what makes media owners successful and we shared our learning during the virtual Digital Signage Event.  


The State of DOOH

The digital out-of-home (DOOH) world has drastically changed over the past several years and will continue to do so. As a network operator, it can be hard to plan for the future. Eric Lamb, VP of Publisher Solutions at Vistar Media, and Tim Albright, founder of AV Nation, discussed the state of the DOOH market. In this deep dive, Lamb discusses what makes a programmatic DOOH ecosystem, the current trends of the signage market, where things are headed moving forward, and more. 

“Over the last year, even during COVID, we saw a lot of signage networks begin to incorporate signage for the first time. More and more we are seeing it’s possible for non-media companies to incorporate advertising and it’s getting easier to do. In 2021, I expect people with screens that are in high quality environments to have a huge opportunity to monetize even if they never thought of themselves as a media company or never thought to bring advertising into what they are doing the tech and demand for those eyeballs is growing and there is a big opportunity for them to bring advertising into what they are doing.”

During a panel on “The Do’s and Don’ts of DOOH,” Erin Huard, Director of Partnership Product and Operators at Topgolf, was asked how she, from a software perspective, looks ahead 5 to10 years.

“We work extremely closely with the team over at Vistar, and we are full stack with them. We are pushing them by saying here are the things we see our team needing in the next 6, 12, 18 months. It helps to shape the product roadmap, whether that's more insights into what the auction dynamics look like, what are the bid ranges or who is actually interested in this partnership. It is also beneficial to have a natural party that mediates the partners that you have and dynamically allocates them, targeting the right person at the right time, like we’ve been doing in any other format over the last decade.”


What Monetizing A Network Really Means

When we talk about monetizing a network we mean generating revenue through advertising. There are many ways to do this but before we talk about how we’re going to talk about the why.

Revenue is the obvious goal but depending on your needs, revenue can have many purposes. Perhaps you're trying to deploy a network of digital screens and you are looking to offset the costs of expensive hardware and installation. Or, maybe you offer a package of hardware, software or content to businesses but you’re looking to make the offer more attractive by offering a revenue stream. Those are just a couple of examples but the point is you don’t have to be a traditional media company to benefit from advertising. 

During the morning keynote, Eric Lamb provided deeper insight into what monetizing a network really means, how to do it and how to avoid the most common pitfalls. Watch the presentation to learn how to build a new network or how to bring advertising to an existing network. 

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To Build or To Buy? Deciding on Your Signage Network’s Operating Software

When it comes to business-critical software, this is a decision that many companies face and we see this consideration come up frequently with digital signage networks. 

Imagine that you’re in need of a new home. You have two options:

  1. You can buy a house that is already built, choosing the one that best matches your list of requirements.
  2. You can build a house from the ground up, designing every aspect from scratch to exactly fit your needs.

While the benefits of building a completely customized home may sound enticing, the strain on time, money and resources makes that impossible for most and impractical for many. The concept is similar when thinking about your digital signage.

When evaluating the decision of whether to invest in developing in-house software or partnering with an outside provider, there are a few key factors to consider – cost, control, maintenance and innovation. We talked with AV Nation to break down each factor. 


The Brains and Soul of Digital Signage

When thinking about the digital signage journey from a signage operator’s standpoint, you have many different partners — integrators, content creators, manufacturers and software providers. It’s important for media owners to understand how each partner works together and what to consider when assembling the digital signage puzzle.

The software should not be an afterthought as it’s the thing you are using every day. As a media owner or signage operator, what you want to do on the screens is primarily controlled by the software. People may see screens and think, “How hard could this be?” The surface-level experience appears simple, but on a deeper level, you can uncover the many different factors software builders consider. If you just dive in and choose your hardware provider or content provider first but you don’t consider how to put it all together, it can be very difficult. As a programmatic software company, Vistar Media is helping media owners get ads on screens in the most efficient way possible. If someone is looking for an immersive experience, we can partner with companies who are experts in these functions to put it all together.

Watch the panel to learn more about the role each provider has to make sure your network is set up for success and achieves the experience you are looking for. 

The Vistar Media team is available to help you see what’s possible when it comes to your digital signage network. If you have any questions about your network operations or monetization, contact us today!

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