Industry News

Barco Buys X20 Media

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Europe's Barco will buy Montreal-based X2O Media for US$18.6m or about 4X the Canadian company's 2013 revenue.

X20 logo

X2O Media will now be integrated in the Barco organization to fit in with Barco’s strategy to move beyond display and projection technology.  

This acquisition gives Barco a comprehensive solution to deliver enhanced and cross-divisional content distribution and workflow, based on advanced networking and connectivity capabilities.

Established in 2006 as a spin-off from VertigoXmedia, X2O Media benefited from its expertise in broadcast graphics automation. X2O developed an HTML5-based platform that delivers real-time content through dynamic and interactive channels, from any source to any screen, anywhere — including digital signage.


World's 2nd Fastest-Growing Ad Medium

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Chasm Crossing

Digital signage has been staring across the chasm for years…

PQ Media’s new study says digital out-of-home media may be on the verge of its long-awaited industry breakout.

After momentum in recent years through increased consumer exposure and operator revenues, digital signage is now the world's second fastest-growing ad medium—and a vital part of the transitioning media ecosystem.

PQ Media's Consumer Exposure to Digital Out-of-Home Media Worldwide 2014 reports the average global consumer was exposed to various DOOH media for 14 minutes per week in 2013, a 75% increase from only eight minutes in 2007.


Extron’s New Era for Control

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Pro Series Control System

With the new Pro Series Control System, Extron offers more than 40 Pro Series control products-- all designed to make complex systems simpler and simple systems more powerful, and backed by the Extron Quality Guarantee and S3 customer support.

“With the introduction of Extron Pro Control Series, we are entering a new era for Extron configurable control where powerful hardware and software work together to accommodate more elaborate AV system designs,” says Casey Hall, VP Sales and Marketing for Extron. “At the heart of these new systems is Global Configurator Professional, which is loaded with advanced configuration tools including conditional logic, variables, and macros.”


Scala Meets the Partners at International Conference

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Scala Conference 2013

Digital signage is almost a religion for Scala—and that explains why the company's turned a hall in the Zuiderkerk, the 17th century church at the Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt, into the temple to the industry that was its 2013 International Conference.

In attendance were 293 visitors, together with mix of exhibitors occupying a second floor.

Following a vaguely surreal opening musical act starring a gospel trio and an MC clad in priestly garb was the keynote from Scala CEO Tom Nix titled "What Was, Still Is & Will Be." Effectively an analysis of the state of the digital signage industry today, Nix repeatedly insisted of the importance of partners within vertical markets, particularly in these post-2008 market crash days.


Professional Development to Feature at ISE 2014

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ISE 2014

ISE 2014 (the 11th edition of Integrated Systems Europe) will boast a more comprehensive training and development offering than any previous ISE.

The organizers announce focal points for the new Professional Development program will include two new theater spaces on the show floor of ISE 2014 — one in Hall 7 aimed at the residential systems and another in Hall 8 with a commercial application slant.


$2.3 Billion a Year Wasted. That’s a lot of DOOH.

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How do you quantify wasted opportunity?


Digital out-of-home advertisers lose up to $2.3 billion a year because their campaigns fail to use the unique features offered by the medium, according to a study from Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO).


Clear Channel Outdoor, a leader in digital out-of-home, operates some 4700 digital screens in 18 global markets. The company says 3 out of 4 campaigns run on digital screens do not use digital features and capabilities to their full potential-- and advertisers lose billions in potential revenue as a result.


Clear Channel Outdoor sampled activity across its global network of digital screens, calculating that just 1 in 4 campaigns were maximizing the benefits offered by digital technology. With the worldwide digital out-of-home sector valued (by Kinetic) at $3 billion, this equates to $2.3 billion worth of ‘digital asset wastage.’


The issue of digital asset wastage is just one topic of CCO’s ScreenPlay study, which identifies the unique features and benefits of digital panels to advertisers and brands. The study includes research with consumers in shopping mall and rail station environments, including over 1000 shoppers and rail commuters in four French malls and in Belgium’s Brussels Centraal rail station. CCO found that consumers have very high expectations of digital out-of-home, but brands fail to make the most of the unique opportunities for creative richness, relevance, immediacy and engagement that digital screens offer over static panels.


The ScreenPlay study found that by a clear majority, digital out of home advertising is considered modern (79%) and innovative (69%), appealing (67%) and entertaining (63%), and it stands out from other forms of outdoor advertising (70%).


The research also identifies five ways in which digital creative content can unlock the full potential of digital out-of-home advertising. CCO has found that the most powerful digital ads:

  • Play with people and spaces
  • Use movement
  • Tailor executions or messages to reflect relevant consumer needs
  • Deliver real-time information and live messages
  • Build strong brand narratives
  • The study found that brands which successfully incorporate one or more of these features into their digital campaigns connect more powerfully with people, build a stronger brand identity and ultimately have greater impact.

Go Clear Channel Outdoor Study: Digital Asset Wastage

How's Your Optiportal?

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From academia comes the new word for videowall: optiportal. Calit2 invented this term during their Optiputer Project to create interconnected computing resources over high-bandwidth networks.

Calit2 is one of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation that comes from a partnership between University of California, Irvine and University of California, San Diego.

Their Optiputer Project goal is to encourage collaboration through the use of optiportals, a goal very dear to the heart of any AV integrator in the corporate world.

Education always prefers free or low cost solutions…and Calit2 researched and collected an important list of enabling software for display walls. In the link below, you can find some middleware options that are used on many optiportals… “all are either free for institutional use or completely opensource”.


JCDecaux: Now Sans JC

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Founder Jean-Claude Decaux, the 75-year-old head of JCDecaux will step into a new role as honorary chairman to the company he founded, while his youngest son and granddaughter join the executive and non-executive boards respectively.

JC Decaux

Jean-Claude Decaux told the Annual General Meeting he wanted to see the involvement of a third generation in this publicly-listed family-run company, which he founded in 1964 (and took public in 2001). His two elder sons, Jean-François and Jean-Charles, are joint chief executives of JCDecaux.

The youngest of Decaux's three sons, Jean-Sébastien Decaux, will join the executive board, subject to approval at the company’s AGM in May.

Aged 36, Jean-Sébastien has worked for JCDecaux since 1998 and is managing director for Southern Europe and Africa-Israel, as well as running the Belgian and Luxemburg subsidiaries.

Jean-Claude's granddaughter Alexia Decaux-Lefort, the eldest daughter of Jean-François, will join the non-executive board.

The 27-year-old is a graduate of the University of Warwick and she has been watch product manager at Piaget, part of luxury goods company Richemont International SA, since April 2012.

In other board-level changes, Gérard Degonse, the managing director of JCDecaux Holding, will replace Jean-Claude as non-executive chairman. Michel Bleitrach, the vice-chairman of Séchilienne Sidec, a French company producing biomass and solar energy, will also join the non-executive board.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, Jean-Charles Decaux, Chairman of the Executive Board and Co-Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux, said:

“Mr. Jean-Claude Decaux has informed us of his decision not to renew his mandate, taking the opportunity to reaffirm that JCDecaux SA, which has been listed on the markets since 2001, has always been a family business and his desire to see it passed on to the third generation that will continue to invest in its future.

I believe that I speak on behalf of everyone in expressing our admiration and gratitude to Mr. Jean-Claude Decaux who, having invented the concept of street furniture advertising, first founded our Group in 1964.

Driven by his unique vision for towns and cities, he has devoted close to 50 years to improving and transforming the day-to-day lives of millions of people through the design and development of a range of street furniture that combines public services with aesthetics and functionality, and provides a powerful medium for advertisers.”

The Supervisory Board finally appointed Mr. Jean-François Decaux as Chairman of the Executive Board and Mr. Jean-Charles Decaux as Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux SA for a term of one year.

For commercial and public representation purposes, Mr. Jean-François Decaux and Mr. Jean-Charles Decaux use the title of Co-Chief Executive Officer of JCDecaux.

Key Figures for the Group

  • 2012 revenues: €2,623m; Q1 2013 revenues: €565.7m
  • JCDecaux is listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris and is part of the Euronext 100 index
  • No.1 worldwide in street furniture (434,700 advertising panels) 
  • No.1 worldwide in transport advertising with more than 150 airports and more than 280 contracts in metros, buses, trains and tramways (358,100 advertising panels)
  • No.1 in Europe for billboards (199,600 advertising panels)
  • No.1 in outdoor advertising in the Asia-Pacific region (205,000 advertising panels)
  • No.1 worldwide for self-service bicycle hire 1,002,800 advertising panels in more than 55 countries
  • Present in 3700 cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants
  • 10,484 employees

Go JCDecaux

No, It's NOT Digital. It's Just Clever.

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The GREY agency in Spain is running a campaign on child abuse for the ANAR Foundation. They created a poster which appears differently to children than to adults.

Grey's ANAR campaign in Spain

Some observers suspect modern targeting technologies (even face recognition) might be involved but the truth is there's no digital screen.

It's a display trick created via a lenticular printing technique, a type of  solution so different that it requires no electricity or internet.

Lenticular printing is a technology in which lenticular lenses (same technology used for some 3D displays) produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or even the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

Examples of lenticular printing include prizes given in some snack boxes that showed flip and animation effects such as winking eyes. This technology was created in the 1940s but has evolved in recent years to show more motion and increased depth. Recent advances in large-format presses have allowed for oversized lenses to be used in lithographic lenticular printing.

It's worth a look at the video...

Go Grey's Campaign in Spain