Breathing Life into Community Engagement

Share Article

Scala facilitates sophisticated, flexible and relevant digital communications by The Life Channel

The combination of the flexibility, functionality and control [Scala __title__ Scala] provides has been a contributory factor to the growth of The Life Channel by enabling us to scale into new areas of the community and offer ever higher levels of local content and user interactivity to our clients

The Life Channel is Europe's largest community-based, digital out-of-home television network, delivering tailored programming to more than 4,000 education, healthcare, business and leisure venues across the UK and reaching more than 8 million viewers per month via its operating brands, Life Channel Surgery and Life Channel Schools.

Community diversity is part of The Life Channel's strategy to provide public sector and brand clients with reach, in terms of geographic area and by venue type, ensuring that either the whole community or specific audiences within that community can be reached and communicated to effectively.

This approach works. In the last four years, the channel has grown by a minimum of 120 percent annually, peaking at more than 300 percent in 2006. Many charities and healthcare brands kicked off significant initiatives in 2008, including No Smoking Day, British Heart Foundation, Sanofi Pasteur, HoMedics, Help the Aged, Learn Direct, Direct Gov, DWP, Thomas Cook, SAGA, Macmillan, Pfizer and Astra Zeneca. Currently, The Life Channel has contracts with more than 50 percent of UK healthcare bodies (Primary Care Trusts) with the balance expected to join the network during 2009.

"The combination of the flexibility, functionality and control Scala provides has been a contributory factor to the growth of The Life Channel by enabling us to scale into new areas of the community and offer ever higher levels of local content and user interactivity to our clients," said Phil Austin, CEO, The Life Channel.

To service the network's considerable content requirements, The Life Channel publishes more than 800 pieces of content every month, ranging from bespoke films, well known, relevant broadcast programs, and health and well-being messages, to national and local advertisements.

To manage its targeted content requirements, The Life Channel developed sophisticated mechanisms and methods to create different versions of the core programming strategy. It implements these versions efficiently across its portfolio of channels via the content management environment provided by Scala. A dedicated team uses a suite of Scala products to create and manage content and playlists.

New content can be created, scheduled and broadcast on the network within hours, providing clients with the opportunity to communicate urgent messages, such as emergency broadcasts, missing children notices and alerts quickly and efficiently.

These messages are usually created in Scala Designer, which can effortlessly aggregate images, video and text together using design tools and templates to enable The Life Channel team to compose engaging animated messages quickly. These tools are also available to customers who may wish to create and upload their own content to The Life Channel.

Scala also provides a wide array of content management services, from the creation and composition of playlists to the creation of "dynamic fields" that are used extensively across the healthcare and education markets. For example, every clinic can create content using items provided by The Life Channel on subjects including opening hours, doctors and staff, clinic details, nearest pharmacy and any other relevant notifications. Local news and weather information, images, text and RSS content can also simply be dropped into branded templates to give each clinic a personal feel.

Scala also allows The Life Channel to offer "all site" content that can be tailored for local markets. For example, it produced a message for Flora margarine that promoted a Healthy Heart Roadshow which ran on all screens across the network. Different end-frames directed viewers to the roadshow specific to their area.

The Life Channel also provides users with the ability to create their own content for their network, which has become an especially big hit in schools with students and educators alike.

Schools receive custom content on the curriculum, teachers, student clubs, upcoming events, awards and so forth customized to the region by The Life Channel. Schools also have the ability to create and upload their own content, perhaps as part of a message board or simply to showcase creative work.

The Life Channel provides a team of trainers to educate users on how to use the network to encourage them to fully utilize Scala's functionality. Schools can generate more than 1,000 playlists, all of which are moderated and managed through a combination of editorial control and careful playlist management courtesy of Scala.

"We have found that in providing the ability to showcase their own content, users care about what we put onto the screen, and it stimulates what they in turn wish to say to their customers, visitors, pupils and staff. Consequently, the channel begins to take on a look, feel and purpose unique to that venue as relevant, tailored programming is created, in many cases by viewers themselves, and it can't get more democratic than that," said Joy Salisbury, Director of The Life Channel.

"The upwards compatibility of Scala means that over the six years of working closely together, we have several variants of their systems operating seamlessly within our network. Together we have worked on developing new services for the benefit of our customers whether they be users, hosts or communication partners. I look forward to working closely with Scala in 2009 as we expand and engage more viewers in the community through a variety of refined and targeted channels," said Phil Austin, CEO, The Life Channel.

"In economic times dominated by a lack of financial and consumer confidence, The Life Channel stands proud as a business which has grown significantly and bucked the trend. It has developed into the largest digital out-of-home enterprise in Europe and is the product of several years of hard work developing and refining the business. I am very pleased that Scala has been part of that journey, and we continue to support The Life Channel in facilitating further developments and offering customer value in the future," said Oscar Elizaga, VP EMEA, Scala.

For more information, visit

About The Life Channel

The Life Channel was launched in 2004 and first implemented in doctors' offices throughout the UK. Today, The Life Channel network can be found in more than 4,000 fully contracted sites, including doctors' and dentists' offices, schools, colleges, pharmacies, opticians and children's activity centers. Heralded as one of the best "local community" and health-related communication platforms, The Life Channel is the largest practice-based healthcare TV network in the UK and Europe. With a unique audience of more than 8 million viewers per month, The Life Channel is a screen-based communications network that, unlike broadcast television, goes out-of-home to find its audience.

The Life Channel Schools network, launched by Tony Blair in 2007, is an in-school television network owned and managed by the Life Channel. It is currently contracted in more than 1,000 schools, with a network growing rapidly across the UK. It supports teachers specifically in the Every Child Matters five outcomes, encouraging students to live the best life they can. More information is available at

About Scala

Driving more than 200,000 screens worldwide, Scala is a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions. Scala is the world's first connected signage company, offering the leading platform for content creation, management and distribution in digital signage networks and the first unified platform for advertising management of both traditional and digital signage networks. The company's digital signage customers include Rabobank, IKEA, Burger King, T-Mobile, Virgin MegaStore, Warner Brothers, The Life Channel, Rikstoto, Repsol, NorgesGruppen and thousands more. Advertising management customers include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Magic Media, among others. Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, USA, and has subsidiaries in Canada, the Netherlands, France, Norway and Japan, as well as more than 450 partners in more than 60 countries. More information is available at

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Scala PR
610-269-2100 ext. 237
Email >

Joy Salisbury
The Life Channel
+44 (0)20 7248 9306
Email >
Visit website