Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Still playing live TV in your restaurant, office lobby or retail store? Think again!

Do you think it's a good idea to show live TV broadcasts in your restaurant, office lobby or retail store?

You may want to rethink that...

  • It may be easy to stick a big flat screen on a wall and punch a cable news channel but you will never have any control over the programming and advertising.
  • When that happens your audience will see content that may not be relevant or suitable to the venue.
  • Also, you can't block ads from competing businesses.

A really good lesson is this incident in which a McDonald's franchise in Switzerland decided to show a sports channel on their in-store TVs not realizing the channel switched to hardcore porn during the evening.

Another problem is audience tampering.  We've all heard of people using infrared devices to switch TV channels on public and private TV screens.  Digital TVs are not the same as professional digital signage displays that are designed for commercial or industrial use.  A pro-grade digital flat panel does not have a TV tuner so it's not possible for the audience to change what's playing.
Digital signage is not TV and it's important to remember what makes these two technologies so different.  With digital signage you control what content is shown and when it will be shown. Your audience won't see your competitor's ads and they won't be shocked or otherwise offended by the content because you're in charge of what they see.

Of course, live TV remains a great source of content for sports bars, but I would still argue that digital signage can augment this type of content by providing branding opportunities and localized advertising that can be mixed in with the broadcast TV feeds.  Many digital signage solutions support broadcast TV either in full screen mode or in multi-zone layouts so it makes sense to investigate these products and see how you can get more control over what your audience sees.

Digital signage gives you content control plus advertising and branding opportunities that you won't get from broadcast TV.  However, programming digital signage content is not a trivial matter.  It requires some time and effort but those who have tried it know the rewards are well worth the investment.

1 comment:

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