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Digital Signage Asia 2008: How to maximise revenues?

By Sapna Nair , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | October 06, 2008
Paul Vitali of The Life Channel emphasised the need to build a local and regional model to maximise gains

At the & #BANNER1 & # Digital Signage Asia event held in Mumbai, Paul Vitali, director, The Life Channel, shared his mantra to maximise revenue and scope for growth. The Life Channel is an independent division of CAN Media, a UK based group working in the health sector. It owns and operates a health and community TV network spread across 1,600 sites and a school network across 650 schools and colleges.

Vitali began by saying that everyone in the business was focusing on technology, when there is an abundance of good equipment around. He elaborated that revenue streams should dictate what builds the network. "If you cannot identify those revenue streams before you start, then you do not have a business," he said. In the current scenario, a technology driven approach is not required. Instead, 'where is the revenue going to come from?' is the big question to ask.

Paul Vitali
Speaking about revenue streams, he said that if a company's only source of revenue is the national media, then it makes sense to employ entry level basic technology as the company will be playing the same content back to back. In such a case, there is no reason to build a sophisticated network costing fortunes. "If you only have one revenue stream, you will probably struggle commercially, so spend less on infrastructure," he advised.

The answer to maximising revenue streams, according to Vitali, is to expand to regional and local media. While national media is easy to deliver technically, regional and local media need progressively increasing levels of sophisticated software. Both need high-end technology as content is to be created for a particular audience at a specific site. Thus, 1,000 sites mean 1,000 different play lists.

A national media network should enable multicasting of national content through transport and scheduling software. Again, a regional media network must have the ability to manage and play back regional content to target groups with regional messages and sponsorships. The local media, on the other hand, must have the ability to show site specific content, target hotspots and requires individual play lists for each site.

Vitali also said that one must look at news, weather and traffic sponsorships. For this, the technology needs to have the ability to convert RSS feeds into attractive content automatically. "Attract eyeballs through sponsorship and you have an audience to sell advertising," he stated. He shared the example of Thomas Cook Holidays, which sponsors the weather updates, 'It's all about great weather'.

Having content with dynamic fields such as price and product description and integrating content creation with online proofing, automated update and simple methodologies for making changes goes a long way in delivering the message effectively.

About India, Vitali said that the country has a dynamic industry, currently 'exploding' in the digital signage arena, driven by great ideas and concepts. He summed up his talk by laying out the basic rules of building sustainability.

"Identify your revenue streams, build your sales force, create your channel around the production values and content which enable the business to react to the positive indicators of revenue streams, and finally, choose the technology that allows all of the above to come together - but most of all, generate revenue from all aspects of the channel," he concluded.

Digital Signage Asia 2008 is presented by Scala. The associate sponsor is Vu Technologies, with network partner Business Q. Media partners include Point-of-Purchase, Outdoor Advertising, DailyDOOH.com, DSW, The Brand Reporter and afaqs!.

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