I Saw the Light: Evangelizing Digital Signage

digital signage infographic3“I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night

Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light” words/music by Hank Williams

Thirteen years ago I saw the light and was instantly converted. The light did not descend down from heaven accompanied by a chorus of angels. It was a shining light that hung on a wall. A digital display.

When I first read about digital displays being used as signage… I saw dollar signs.  Ohhhh mmmyyyy godddd.  What an opportunity for the audiovisual industry.   

Since my 2003 epiphany digital signage has exploded. Originally thought of as an advertising vehicle, DS usage has grown far beyond that and is found everywhere; restaurant menus, transit stops, college campuses, supermarkets, elevators…   Even my neighborhood teriyaki joint has a display hanging on the wall

According to a report released last month by Markets and Markets, the global digital signage market was valued at $14.63 Billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $23.76 Billion by 2020.  That is 16% of the $92 billion Infocomm says is generated by the Audiovisual industry.

While some integrators see the light, many others are hesitant to pursue DS.

  • If you are an AV integrator and not installing DS systems. Why not?
  • If you are an Av integrator and not providing content management Why not?
  • If you are an AV integrator and not creating content Why not?

The appeal of DS is what every integrator searches for, the Holy Grail of AV, recurring revenue.  The real money is generated not by hanging a bunch of displays but creating and managing the content.  That is exactly what keeps many companies from making the commitment.  Digital Signage requires combining multiple disciplines.  Beyond the design and installation DS usually requires video production, graphic design and IT networking, disciplines foreign to the average AV Dweeb.  Combine that with the natural reluctance of many entrepreneurs to avoid risk.       

So think outside the display. If you lack the talent, hire more staff.  If you lack the capital to hire staff, partner with other companies. 

If you make the commitment, do the research, work hard, work smart, you will be singing the praises of Digital Signage.  If you hesitate, you are likely to end up like four of my former employers that failed to adapt to market change. Out of business.


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