For the efforts in planning, purchasing and presenting digital signage, the most important part of operating a digital display system is its content. In this respect, a media platform format to a great extent defines content. As such, a sign message on a roadside billboard is not the same message one would find inside a health care center, in a church or a mall.
Equally important is how the content is “shaped” for each type of digital display for as these message formats evolve into more disparate media platforms including electronic billboards, LED displays, cell phones and computers, so must the content conform to each platform.
The science of planning and placing content is also an art form, and the care and feeding of digital displays is a complex dance of defining who your audience is, what you want to tell them, and how to tell them your messages in the limited amount of time you have in streaming across their display screens.
Thus we enter the world of content providers who deal with “information synthesis” and its worldwide distribution on digital displays everywhere. Content comes in many forms whether it's displayed on a “ticker crawl” on the bottom of your television or on a street side wall-mounted electronic message center. To understand the nature of content development, two companies recently interviewed discussed their efforts in keeping digital screens filled with interesting and important information for a curious public 24/7/365.
One information snippet that is an important part of our daily activity is the weather report, basically is it going to be an “umbrella day” or a sports coat day? Weather reports seem to appear everywhere as we quickly glance at them, note the forecast and plan accordingly. To gain some insight in how weather ticker content is mined and managed, Mike Welch, Director of Digital Signage Sales of Accuweather discussed it process of investigating and informing the public about that big question, “What's tomorrow's weather going to be like?”
“AccuWeather.com (State College, PA) is a privately held company founded 47 years ago as a weather consultation service. Over the ensuing decades AccuWeather.com has evolved through the diversification of media into nine different business services. This includes public displays (preparing content for digital signage and web sites), and other media forms such as television, radio, newspapers, cell phones, vehicle navigation systems, and mobile internet devices. There is also an advertising strategy where advertising is sold into AccuWeather.com segments in television and radio feeds.”