Annual Digital Signage Expo 'Ripe for Content Providers in 2009'

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Flyte Systems President Brian Reynolds sees three top trends emerging.

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select tech partners with caution.

Like that famous advertising axiom, "Where's the beef," organizers and attendees at last month's vendor-rich Digital Signage Expo were asking, "Where are the content providers?"

The Digital Signage (DS) market has exploded over the last several years causing this premier event to drop the industry-qualifying "Retailing" from its title. In 2005, market research giant Forrester began covering the boom in retail DS and urged retailers to take advantage of "opportunities that in-store media presents." Forrester observed that with such an abundance of solutions, retailers should "select tech partners with caution." Since 2005, the number of vendors has grown significantly with more than 170 exhibiting at Digital Signage Expo. Thanks to improvements in software capabilities, there is also an exponential growth in content. Content providers, however, were conspicuous by their absence at this year's show.

Three top trends emerged at the Digital Signage exhibition at the Las Vegas Convention Center:

  •     Pull-through demand for content providers and integrators is increasing
  •     The transportation market is the break-out industry for the future
  •     Digital Signage is spreading rapidly into new verticals

New technologies drive growth
Increasingly sophisticated digital signage software is driving rapid adoption by new markets. These advances are creating new ways providers are displaying both revenue generating and informational content. From static to interactive, signage platforms are becoming progressively more accommodating to new types of content, such as RSS and XML feeds. New releases of main applications, control programs and display are simplifying display flexibility so what used to take custom coding is now an option or a switch. Thanks to these advances, new content feeds such as live flight information, are making DS a more dynamic entity with an enhanced value-add proposition to assist planning and purchasing.

Content goes mainstream
Whether its stock quotes, current weather conditions, or real-time flight information, need-to-know, eye-catching content is driving the pull-through demand for new providers and integrators. As more end-users see the value in digital signage for building customer loyalty, repeat business and creating unique revenue generators, the need to provide more comprehensive and interactive content will increase. The advantages of one-stop service vendors offering hardware, software, installation and content has aided the recent consolidations and overall popularity of market integrators and will be a powerful driver for new adopters.

Applications at the speed of travel
From cruise lines to rail and airlines, the transportation sector is literally exploding with opportunity for DS providers. New tools emerge every day and their interactive applications are being implemented in ways that first attract and then retain viewers. Revenue generating opportunities through strategic partnerships are plentiful and obvious.

Flyte Systems recently entered into a partnership with Digital Minds at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, to provide conventioneers with current airline flight information that enables them to make more confident travel plans. Conventioneers view FlyteBoard content to check on their flight status on a split screen. Digital Minds provides revenue-generating sponsorship opportunities to companies affiliated with the convention center on the same panel with the flight information. During the International Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show last November at NYC's Javits Center, a FlyteBoard was installed in the lobby and attracted a steady stream of attendees who were grateful for the ability to verify their flight times at three major airports. The revenue opportunity was clear.

Putting customers first, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey uses FlyteBoard in its JFK AirTrain system so passengers can benefit from updated flight information before boarding their train for the airport. More than a dozen hotels in New York and New Jersey have installed digital flight information signage and an area Avis-Rent-a-Car facility also provides the service.

Elsewhere, cruise lines have already recognized the benefits of digital signage, using dynamic displays as onboard wayfinders and informational resources - coupled with marketing messages. The time is ripe for expanding these services to include need-to-know information that attracts and retains captive cruise audiences, whether shipboard or in the cruise terminal awaiting transportation to the airport. Thanks to continuing technological advances, the ability to provide relevant, targeted data is now economically feasible and as simple as connecting to the Internet.

Finding the Beef
The Digital Signage Expo is a strong draw for hardware providers and enterprise-wide systems and it is clear the show's sponsors are actively looking toward expansion opportunities in the future. Attracting greater participation from content providers will ensure a wider spectrum of new offerings at next year's show and is linked with the industry's growing presence in new markets. The consensus on the floor at this year's show was that adding new content providers to the 2009 event would generate even greater revenue opportunities for the entire industry.

About Flyte Systems
The Flyte Systems Division of Industrial Television Services (ITS), based in Chicago, Illinois, is the leading provider of airport flight information displays for the hospitality and convention center industries and related businesses. It delivers accurate, instant, airport-centric updates of flight information - not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that may omit last minute changes. Properties are able to differentiate their products and boost customer loyalty and repeat business with 'glance-and-go' content critical to a traveler's day. Flyte Systems' product suite builds upon ITS' 47-year history as the leading provider of live flight information to airports, airlines, government agencies, port authorities and other travel-based businesses. Flyte Systems was formed in 2007 to offer new Web-based travel technology and product lines. Customers include the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Touch Quest, Marriott, Days Inn, Hilton, DoubleTree, Hotel Sofitel, and Crown Plaza hotels, independent properties and municipal airports.

Contact:

Flyte Systems
Brian Reynolds, President
3515 Martens Street
Franklin Park, IL 60131
Phone: (877) 463-5983
Email: brian.reynolds(at)flytesystems.com
http://www.flytesystems.com/?campaign=PRWebExpoViewpointMarch122008

Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
Phone: (404) 256-5512
Email: julie(at)softscribeinc.com
http://www.softscribeinc.com

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Debbie Kalish
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