Volume 8, Issue 1 — January 21, 2016
|Digital Media Outlook for 2016: The Force Pervades|
By Lyle Bunn
Strategy Architect, BUNN Co.
Leave a Comment
The Outlook: The term “robust” continues to describe digital signage application and supply. Growth at the double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) experienced over each of the past 15 years continues in every important aspect of the business. In any venture, the probability of success must exceed the risks. By this measure, the future for location-based digital signage is bright indeed.
Every end user market is beyond the “Innovators” and “Fast Followers” stage of adoption and into the “Early Majority” stage of technology-enabled process adoption. This is the stage at which industry revenues accelerate exponentially as existing installations expand and new deployments are added.
The next stage of digital signage market growth is driven by the following:
- Small-medium sized businesses looking to take advantage of low cost, on-site patron marketing and the low-cost modernizing of their location(s). Sourcing of systems of one to 10 displays, video walls and projection will continue to be served by integrators and sign providers, retailers of business technologies and through the business and professional associations whose membership is comprised of end user organizations.
- An “us too” mentality will be a primary growth driver. As retail, food services, hospitality, education and entertainment venues see the application of digital signage by their competitors, their “templates of application” are attractive and help to mitigate the risk by “fast followers” of technology application.
- Existing installations will be expanded where impact analytics provide validation of further investment. Pilots, proof of concept, experimentation and assessment projects undertaken in limited scale offer insights while improving the competencies and confidence of end users to expand their use of the medium. Most current deployments have the capacity to increase the benefits exponentially that they provide to the enterprise through the expansion of the network.
- Digital signage initiatives have typically been funded and used by a line of business, operating as a silo within the enterprise. The trend is toward digital signage as part of a media platform used for multiple applications in the organization.
- The digital experience will be made more contextual and relevant as messaging and interaction reflect data from operating applications such as point-of-sale, inventory, security, customer data and external feeds. The visualization of data that has served digital signage use in status dashboards and control centers for so long will be expanded into customer-facing application.
- Advances in technology that deliver better price/performance, functionality, reliability, atheistic appeal, ease of implementation and a lower cost of operation make the technology investment increasingly attractive. Yet, end users need not wait for next levels of innovation as commercial grade digital signage technologies deliver high value now. Mobile interface will be the greatest area of development related to digital media in 2016.
Threats to Growth and Digital Signage Success
- Poor investment validation (i.e., the “why” of using the medium), is the greatest threat to digital place-based media growth. Many end-users do not know the value of the benefits from their investment. “Rational ignorance” is being applied where benefits are not easily quantifiable (such as the impact on brand equity), or where the attribution of the digital signage to the achievement of business results is not readily credited. When benefits are not quantified, investment in operations, content, technology upgrade and expansion is minimized, resulting in benefits erosion and failure to optimize or expand the use of the medium.
- The opportunity cost of not using digital signage now exceeds its cost of use when the medium is suitably applied. The pace of initiatives moving forward can be very slow due to “analysis paralysis.” Digital signage is a knowledge-based business application but the amount of research through literature review, education sessions, site visits and supplier discussions that is perceived as required is going far beyond risk management in a majority of cases. As the organization gains insights, the true value is in applying this knowledge so that the new asset (of this knowledge) is monetized. Presenters at end user conferences (National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, etc.) commonly reflect that successful organizations experiment and learn quickly, deepening their knowledge and drawing on experience for more rapid and wider deployment.
- Supply confusion is caused by the wide range of sourcing options and the wide disparity in the quality of supply options available to an end user. In the challenge of comparing options presented to them, end user confusion in the selection of a preferred approach frustrates and stalls project progress.
- Stale or poor quality content threatens future investment. Content that does not reflect the brand or is not relevant to viewers is a significant under application of the investment. While many digital signage users appreciate this, many are under-resourcing the “content” element of operations. While the medium is well suited to visualizing data from operating applications or feeds, many take little advantage of this capability in content strategy, tactics and composition.
- The challenge of gaining advertising revenues by ad-based networks and corporate networks seeking to offset costs, continues to frustrate their growth. However, the upside of this is that networks are refining their value proposition to maximize their appeal, which betters the networks individually and this display capacity at large.
Commentary on Key Influences in the Outlook for Digital Signage
1. Serving the hierarchy of corporate needs
When Abraham Maslow defined an hierarchy of human needs in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” he described that humans seek primarily to have physiological needs such as food, water and shelter and health met, and then seek safety, followed by love and belonging. Esteem and self-actualization are pursued when other lower level needs are met.
A hierarchy of needs exists for organizations also. In the corporate hierarchy of needs, corporate valuation is the highest level of need, followed by brand equity, a defendable competitive position and the creation and monetizing of assets, supported by productivity of people, places and processes. Digital media serves all levels as is increasingly important to the corporate contributions of the Chief Executive, Operating, Financial, Marketing, Information, Facilities, Human Resources and Technology Officers.
The ability to change in response to market forces and to exploit new enabling tools and processes allows the enterprise to maximize its return on investment.
The value of a brand and is one of the most valuable assets of a company since brand equity can be increased and can increase the financial valuation of the owner of the brand. Elements of brand equity include market share, profit margins, consumer recognition of brand logos, tag lines, audio and visual elements, and consumer perception of brand attributes and value.
Brand equity has been studied from two different perspectives: cognitive psychology and information economics. According to cognitive psychology, brand equity lies in consumer’s awareness of brand features and associations, which drive attribute perceptions. According to information economics, a strong brand name works as a credible signal of product quality for buyers and generates price premiums as a form of return to branding investments. It has been empirically demonstrated that brand equity plays an important role in the determination of price structure and, in particular, firms are able to charge price premiums that derive from brand equity.
Brand equity is reflected in consumer loyalty to the product/service, the firm, the employee (as brand representative) and a specific business location.
Creating and monetizing assets is “the business of business.” On the basis that “information is power,” or more accurately “information is powerful,” data is an asset that is captured and monetized as it is aggregated and refined at its levels of abstraction including data, statistics, information, knowledge and wisdom. Productivity/Efficiency in Outcome Creation reflects the day-to-day, transaction by-transaction imperative of operations and success that is effected by and impacts upon higher-level attributes.
This base level of corporate need is where customer experience through brand engagement occurs related to place, people and processes.
- Places must merit being a destination with dwell times that suit the monetizing of assets such as product inventory or staff knowledge. As a communications utility, digital place-based media provides a highly efficient method of merchandising, branding and providing ambiance that makes places, people and processes more productive.
- People, including staff and customers must be productive in contributing to brand growth through instruction, direction, motivation toward required actions, support in decision-making, and action.
- Processes are efficient when they exploit information assets, leverage communications tools, relate to the target audience, relate to and train and develop the target audience, enroll participation and manage engagement with the brand.
Processes are the most important aspect of operations and contributor to success, as waste or efficiencies are built into how things get done.
2. “Partnered” is increased in the “Paid-Owned-Earned” media model.
Digital signage is “owned” media in the “Paid-Owned-Earned” media model. It both leverages and supports other communications devices in multi-channel and Omni channel marketing by providing its contributions to the path to purchase and the customer/viewer experience.
As organizations seek to leverage the support resources of suppliers as partners, co-investment in paid media is finding its way into owned media. Illustrations are that of Pepsi or Coca-Cola paying for product promotion on a digital menu board, or a sporting good provider paying for promotion on the digital screens of a retail store.
Where co-op or market development funds offered as reward for revenue could be applied in any way by the retailer, the advertising envelope is being accessed for specific in-store promotion, with content created for paid advertising being adapted for display on owned media. Partnered media is at the convergence of paid and owned media. Brands that use paid media are challenging their media agency to better use their owned media.
“The chief financial and marketing officers will need to ask the right questions, and the answers to these must guide design, sourcing and optimization,” says Dan Williams, senior director, client activation at Stratacache. Williams adds, “The key question is ‘when should we invest?’ The ‘why’ can be clearly defined, but the ‘when’ has to reflect elements such as brand positioning strategy, the need for messaging flexibility, equipment refresh, current costs, retailing as part of the media mix and impact to the franchisee relationships.”
The lessons of e-commerce will inform physical retail. As improved audience targeting has challenged broadcast-based advertising, the store-per-customer approach envisioned by Bezos will inspire retailers to sell more effectively to its patrons. Context, relevance and recency will increasingly define consumer communications.
Brands have concerns about using social media commentary on digital signage regarding filtering for inappropriate content as well as concern for customer and personal privacy. Curating costs and risk generally outweigh the benefits.
3. Madison Avenue is straining.
Advertising agencies continue to struggle to serve their clients in the face of continuously evolving digital media availability. As reported in the Future Trends report by DigitalSignageToday, only 50 percent of respondent agencies said they used digital signage to promote their clients, with just 21 percent of these spending on out-of-home networks, though virtually all expect their spending to increase in the next two years.
The core question answered by the marketing industrial complex is: “What do we need to say to who and how, in order to get the results we want?” Mad men (and women) life was easier when fewer messages could be widely broadcast, but have become very complex, as message delivery options and audience segmenting have significantly advanced. Consumers have more influence as they vote with their wallets and voice their opinions on social media.
Advertising-based digital out-of-home networks continue to grow in numbers and installations. BUNN counts at least 450 ad-based out-of-home networks in operation in North America.
The creative work that has moved to the background as media planning and buying for audience targeting has become so important, must now have resurgence for all the reasons that matter to brands and the agencies that serve them.
Meanwhile, a new breed of agency has emerged to serve brands. Digital experience agencies such as Shikatani Lacroix Design, MaxMedia, Razorfish and SapientNitro are leading the way in defining immersive, digitally enabled engagement.
4. Focus on customer experience increases.
“Customer serving organizations need to think like Amazon in helping serve the customer better,” has noted Chris Riegel, CEO of Stratacache referencing the 1998 statement by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon who declared: “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store, we should have 4.5 million stores.”
While the marching theme has been improved customer experience, the intention is more fundamentally “customer perception.” Presenting the features and benefits of a product or service are key to changing perception and motivating desired outcomes.
Quality of experience, memory making, value for time and money, immersion in a culture as defined by the location (sports, science, art, interests, events) become important to discerning consumes who are aware of their many options to spend time and money. Destination matters greatly to customer engagement, which is served significantly by digital place-based media in the store/branch or service counter.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, CEO of the retail experience design firm Shikatani Lacroix Design, Inc. has said, “financial service providers, retailers and brands will meet their business goals through improved customer experience (CX) in a holistic approach that includes location design, voice of the customer initiatives, improved processes, staff expertise, improved messages and interaction between the brand and those it serves.” Lacroix has predicted, “Big data will be converted to personalization and customization of the brand engagement experience.” Branches will continue to be highly relevant to relationship-building,” he said, predicting, “Disruptive competitors will become a driving competitive factor.”
5. Content is king… Still.
It is content, in context that delivers the value of digital media once the technology infrastructure is in place. Content strategy, tactics and composition have been improving but best practices diffuse slowly across industries, within industries and even within organizations.
Resourcing for content improvement is often constrained by the lack of impact analytics. But an easily applied framework for evaluation (developed by BUNN) can provide insights into areas in which the content requires improvement, reflecting that content is required to offer benefits simultaneously in the areas of branding, influence, ambiance and vitality.
The quality of content will increasingly be influenced by the following:
a) Content creators will use the SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis of the brand as a foundation for content development.
b) “Voice of the Customer” programs will become more important to corporate success because of their ability to inform marketing, communications, staffing and facilities operation, and digital signage messaging.
c) Gourmet vs. Buffet content. Energies will be focused on creating content with greater appeal, rather than generating more spots that “bloat” the playloop.
d) The use of analytics will continue to grow in this business application. Rational ignorance (as noted previously) and anecdotal evidence will give way to quantified impact analysis and value assessment.
6. Digital signage supply is changing.
New suppliers are emerging and existing ones are adapting to market demands.
Security integrators will be the next major channel, following the supply chain entry of AV/IT Integrators and static sign/digital graphics providers. At the same time, current suppliers are adding to their capabilities or partnering more closely with vendors of complementary digital media supply chain elements in order to strengthen their supply proposition, as has been underway for several years.
The SaaS model has been well developed by content management software CMS providers such as BroadSign, ComQi and others, and by media player providers that bundle a CMS such as Spinetix. As “PC on a stick” advances to serve simple deployments in either a direct to business or an integrator channel model, more small businesses and IT departments will opt for bundled media player/CMS purchase. The examples of Roku, AppleTV, WD and others in changing the at-home entertainment model through internet-delivered content, offers an indicator of the option for low cost, high value, on-location digital signage in small (one- to five-screen) deployments.
The importance of flat panel providers will increase because the display device is seen as the dominant component to purchase. Display devices with an embedded media players and bundled CMS has been successful for LG Electronics, Samsung, NEC and others for the past 10 years, and as the lines blur between consumer, prosumer and commercial grade displays, flat panel providers will exploit the USB and HDMI ports.
7. Interface of digital signage and mobile
The interface of flat panels and mobile devices including phone, tablet and wearables that are corporate or customer/staff/student owned, can be a powerful force in engagement, experience and commerce. The interface has been a challenge, as multiple steps are required to establish the electronic “handshake.” Quick Response (QR) or an “app” interface download are commonly required and an opt-in or acceptance of a TXT or SMS message seek to inspire opt-in while respecting privacy. Economies of scale have been challenging to achieve, but digital display has offered the platform for electronic interface and display messaging to play a valuable part in multi-channel communications to drive “audience-of-one” engagement.
In 2016 watch for this interface to be significantly advanced as new approaches streamline the approach to online access, mobile browsing, download and navigation. Much is happening in this area, and many announcements are expected during 2016. In summary, the outlook for digital signage is extremely positive in 2016 and beyond. The force pervades.
This column was reprinted with permission from BUNN Co.
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|Feeding the Beast: Content Strategies for Digital Signage|
By Sheldon Silverman
CEO, SmartBomb Media Group
With the explosive growth of digital signage in all business sectors, many have embraced the mantra of Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams — “If you build it, they will come.” The bigger question in this for digital signage network owners and operators is, “Will they watch?” Content for digital signage is an often overlooked, yet key cornerstone of the success of any platform.
Audience engagement is the highest order of business for all digital signage deployments. Whether customer, employee or visitor facing, you can have the best and newest technology, but if the creative and messaging of the content is not engaging, than you miss the entire point. While this often overlooked segment of strategy planning can spell disaster for a network, it provides fertile opportunity for AV professionals and system integrators to extend their service offerings and stake a claim to ongoing support for their digital signage clients.
In building our various digital signage networks, the end game was always viewer engagement, yet when we launched the first deployment, we spent months with our various AV consultants and system integrators on technical specs, hardware testing, location analysis and network operations planning. It was not until just before launch that we began to focus on the content strategy. What we found upon launch is that a digital signage network is a beast with a voracious appetite for content. This new realization led us to place much more of a strategic emphasis on the content, which in turn made us modify some of our systems such as media players, media software and content delivery services.
So, how can our experience serve as a blueprint for you in your business?
As an integral partner for any of your clients, you have the ability to help them look downstream at their deployments and place an emphasis on the content strategy from day one. This in turn will inform you on the best digital signage ecosystem to fulfill their content strategies and achieve maximum viewer engagement.
A few of the content considerations that you can bring to the table, which need to be evaluated at the very beginning of the process in order to inform all of the system choices include:
- Will they need to be able to segment content to audience by time of day? If so, then media player software that allows day parting is mandated.
- Is the digital signage network going to have disparate content running in multiple locations? If so, then player software that can handle location content logic to automate the process will be a huge win.
- Will the system need to be able to play content based upon certain situations such as weather, inventory levels or other dynamic data? If so, then software that can handle trigger-based content is a must have.
- Will there be sound with the visual content? If so, then choosing which sound systems should not be overlooked. In a small space, can the LCD speaker system be used or do you need spatial speakers that direct sound to a specific zone.
- Will the deployment involve multiple screens in one location that all play the same content, thus allowing daisy chaining of screens, or will each screen have its own content thus mandating multiple, multi screen players and zoned sound?
Another avenue for revenue growth for AV consultants and system integrators is in the actual content strategy and creation. How do your clients choose the correct content for their networks? This is an area that is ripe for business development in the space and you can have a seat at that table. Understanding the audience is a key. In some of the deployments I have spearheaded, I found that the client does not always truly understand “who” their customer or viewer is. Through data analysis we did on their customers by store and by region, we were able to determine key demographic and psychographic attributes and that informed our creation of the content. In some cases we had a high concentration of Hispanic speaking customers so language choice was key. In others we had urban AA consumer dominant locations in which the Hispanic content was not warranted. Cultural and demographic densities of the viewership lead us to build content that was delivered on a location-based segmentation tailored to the audience. This points to the need for developing relationships with third party data firms that can assist you in this key data analysis.
As experts in the digital signage space, you and your teams are perfectly situated to assist your clients in the actual creation or acquisition of content. Because of your knowledge of the digital signage ecosystem, and hopefully of the disparate software solutions available, you can drive ongoing revenue via content creation. Either on an ad hoc basis or a subscription basis, content creation can keep you connected with your digital signage clients and keep the money rolling in. Who knew “feeding the beast” could be so good for business?
Author Sheldon Silverman will be a panelist on the Digital Signage Federation’s February “Hangout” discussion entitled, “Top Content Management Trends for 2016,” on Wednesday, February 10 at 2pm EST. More information on this and other DSF events can be found on the DSF website. Both DSF members and non-members may join this or any of the DSF’s scheduled Hangout discussions for free – but registration is required and can be accessed on the DSF website here.
Sheldon Silverman is CEO of SmartBomb Media Group/iCASHtv, the largest multicultural COOH Network in Check Cashing locations and the Chairman of the Advertising and Consulting Firm Liquid Marketing. SmartBomb Media Group is a member of the Digital Signage Federation and Sheldon is also co-Chair of the Digital Signage Federation’s Network Operators sub-committee. Sheldon can be contacted via email and online here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|News Alert: Someone’s Buying Sharp, Or They’re Going Out of Business|
By Gary Kayye
One thing is clear — if Sharp doesn’t take one of the two competing offers to buy them, they won’t survive.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Taiwan’s Foxconn (known most famously for making the Microsoft Xbox and Apple’s iPhone and iPads) and Japan’s Innovation Network Corp. are in a bidding war for Sharp Corporation — most famous for making the AQUOS LCDs and IGZO ePaper and flexible displays.
Sharp is hemorrhaging money — and lots of it. In the last six months, they’ve lost over $220 million and over $1.8 billion in they fiscal year 2015. And, they owe banks over $4 billion in loans — loans that are rumored to be due in the next 90 days.
What is interesting about the two offers to buy Sharp is where they are coming from — both have some interesting issues. Foxconn isn’t a Japanese company; they’re Taiwanese and there are, no doubt, some politics in buying a Japanese company — especially a company as Japan-famous as Sharp. The other, Innovation Network Corp., is a Japanese company but their offer is lower than that of Foxconn’s. Plus, Foxconn has said, publicly, they won’t change the management structure of Sharp — something that Innovation Network Corp. won’t guarantee as they do make displays already and have a management team in place.
Also clouding the finality of this is that, according to public financial filings, Foxconn’s board chair, Terry Gou, actually already owns approximately 35 percent of Sharp’s display manufacturing company.
This will be an interesting one to follow but, one thing for sure, Sharp will have to make some major financial shifts to keep, or let itself be bought, to keep from collapsing this Spring.
Here’s the Sharp corporate site.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|One World Trade: Smart Signage|
By Scott Tiner
In November, I visited New York City. It was my first time to the city since One World Trade was completed and opened. My travel companions and I decided that we needed to go to the observatory deck. The $34 ticket was not too bad considering the view we expected and the experience of being in the building that has so much emotion around it.
Unlike other observation decks I have visited, there was more of an experience built around this trip. Much of that experience was surrounded by amazing audio visual experiences and technology. Giant video walls showed the history of the building, and listed the number of visitors, along with a map from where in the world they have visited from. You walked through a mock up of being underground as the building was being constructed. It gave a real sense of the question: How does this building stay standing?
Then, you take an elevator up to observatory. The ride up is simply an amazing experience in itself. The walls of the elevators are covered with flat panels. As the elevator climbs, you experience New York City grow from a small village to the sprawling city it is today. The experience allows you to see all of Manhattan as it grows, both out and up. You have the emotional experience of seeing the original World Trade Center appear, and sadly, disappear. Finally, at the end of the ride, it appears as though the elevator has risen directly in the final construction of One World. Then the elevator stops and the doors open. I could go in that elevator dozens of times and not be able to say I have seen the full experience, or have grown tired of the ride. For those who are faint of heart, or don’t like heights, this may not be the best experience for you. It is amazingly realistic.
However, I am writing about this experience not just because I am a technology fan and love such experiences. Rather, it struck me about what an amazing idea the entire concept was. I wanted to see the view from the observatory, that is why I paid the money for the ticket. Yet, in all honesty, by the time I stepped off the elevator I felt as though I had already got my money’s worth. Think about that for a moment from a business perspective. A customer pays for a service or good, and BEFORE they ever get that service or good, they feel as though they have received value for their purchase. This is a real example of a value add from digital signage. If you are able to take an example like this and use it with your customers to show them the value addition, you will be very successful. For sure, you can’t build the same experience as the elevators in One World, but you don’t have to. You have to have creativity and originality. In particular, think about the times that customers would typically get irritated or frustrated. The example of One World is when they are waiting in line to get up to the observatory. Standing in a long boring line makes people frustrated. One World took a potentially bad experience and turned it into a highlight of the entire experience. In your customer’s businesses what are those times? Where can they take digital signage and turn a potentially bad experience into a highlight?
Image via One World Trade ExperienceLeave a Comment
Back to Top
|rAVe’s 2015 End-of-Year VideoOne of the most anticipated videos we produce, annually, is our End-of-Year Video where we take a look at everything that shaped the year in ProAV, HomeAV and Digital Signage.
Well, without further delay, here it is – the official debut of rAVe’s 2015 End-of-Year Video. Watch it as you very-well may be in it – or certainly a lot of people, products and technology you use!
We hope you enjoy the 2015 end-of-year video and we look forward to a great 2016!
Watch it here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|AG Neovo Debuts Digital Signage Solutions at ISE 2016ISE newbie AG Neovo is partnering with VIDCO and Avenview to debut a comprehensive digital signage solution that includes videowall displays, video extenders and controllers as well as videowall mounts designed to help manage hypermedia content for 24/7 operations.
To address the flexibility of scaling and content design of videowalls for public space applications, AG Neovo’s slim bezel PM-65, PM-55, PM-43 and PM-32 displays integrate images on videowalls designed for advertising, information sharing or entertainment. In addition, AG Neovo’s VWM-01 and VWM-02 videowall mounts are modularly designed for easy fitting into a variety of customizable mounting solutions.
For traffic control authorities, broadcasters and casino or industrial site operators, pre-programmed configurations within control room videowalls can assist in the identification and containment of anomalies. AG Neovo’s PN-46 is a building block for such applications. The company’s HIP-Series and HVWIP-Series HDMI LAN videowall matrix extenders and controllers can also handle larger-scale configurations.
AG Neovo is also showing: the RX-22 and RX-32 for CCTV and HD-SDI surveillance; the LE-22 with an anti-blue light capacity; the multi-touch TX-19; and the DF-55 and PF-55H, floor displays intended for dual-sided and single-sided signage applications respectively.
Get more details here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|Barix Announces Subscription Model for SoundScape Music and Advertising PlatformBarix has added a subscription model for its SoundScape business music and advertising solution. The starter package, which includes licenses for the first 50 audio players, eliminates expensive annual contracts in favor of monthly credit card payments and a much faster return on investment, according to Barix.
The 50-player starter package allows businesses up and running at multiple locations to enhance sonic branding, with nominal fees for additional single player licenses as business needs expand. Based on Barix’s pioneering WAN-based Audio over IP approach, the package is ideally suited to systems integrators seeking a multi-site audio distribution and management system that accelerates launch, and minimizes labor and materials. SoundScape is quick to deploy thanks to its self-discovering architecture across its central management portal and remote audio players.
Barix says that SoundScape is an ideal platform to help retail, hospitality and other businesses — and the service providers that manage playlists and audio delivery — inspire shopper emotion, enhance the on-premises atmosphere, and reflect the business’ style and brand definition. Given its infinite scalability, SoundScape’s “pay as you go” pricing model allows businesses can maintain low total cost of ownership as they grow. This includes the ability to monetize the system through dynamic ad insertion, accelerating return on investment as new locations are added to SoundScape networks.
SoundScape is a fully formed software-as-a-service (SaaS) that brings together cloud-based content management, end point playout and global monitoring capabilities in a highly programmable, user-friendly package. Features include dynamic content scheduling, remote device management, system-wide reporting and monitoring, hierarchical user permissions, and options for live and scheduled streaming. Barix’s rock-solid Exstreamer SoundScape IP audio players provide high-quality multi-format playout of music and advertising.
You can learn more about SoundScape here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Scala Intros New Player for Use With Chromebox, Joins Google for Work Partner Program
Scala announced it is introducing a powerful high definition playback solution capable of supporting reliable and stable 24/7 display, Scala Enterprise Player for Chromebox. Scala’s digital signage solutions drive more than 500,000 screens worldwide, connecting networks of digital devices to deliver engaging audience experiences. To power these solutions, the new player runs on Google Chrome devices, such as Chromebox, and is ideal for driving one-to-one digital engagements across wide-ranging industries such as retail, quick-service restaurants, finance and more. This device is backed by two companies well known for innovative technology as well as world-class customer support including extensive testing, documentation and security standards. As part of this endeavor, Scala has joined the Google for Work Partner Program.
Scala’s leading content management system platform allows for complete network control while being easy to use and monitor, as well as fully scalable and extensible with an expansive set of open APIs. Scala Enterprise Player for Chromebox, which is used in conjunction with Chrome Device Management, delivers rich dynamic HTML5 content, advanced scheduling and screen zone division with independent playback in each zone and stands out from other devices by simultaneously playing multiple videos.
The app powering the display runs in Google’s self-contained environment, ensuring users that their information on these devices is secure, encrypted and unable to be accessed by other apps or users. The device connects directly to Scala Enterprise Content Manager, communicates over HTTP/HTTPS and offers maintenance statistics on status, heartbeats and diagnostic logging.
Here are the tech specs.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|PresTop to Launch Smart-II Touch Table at ISE 2016At ISE 2016, PresTop will introduce its newest touch table, the PT-GT-955-PCAP-Smart-II. Powered by the Omnitapps multi-touch software from Omnivision, the Smart-II is a fully electric height- and tilt-adjustable table with a flat, bezel-free, glass-fronted touch display suitable for unattended public use. Smart-II leverages the most advanced PCAP touch technology to provide the optimum tablet-like touch precision, response and clarity.
Smart-II is fully customizable and available in a wide range of colors and styles and PresTop has created a custom Smart-II touch table specifically for ISE 2016.
The Smart-II includes a motorized stand that can position the screen for kiosk use or even make it completely horizontal for a table-like setting. Since the table’s tempered and anti-glare glass surface is flush (no bezel) and water-resistant (IP54 rating), users don’t have to worry about spilled water or coffee. Beneath the glass is a brilliant, high-definition 55-inch LED monitor available in either full HD or 4K resolutions. There is even space inside the cabinet for a small-form-factor PC to run the system.
The Smart-II is powered by Omnivision’s Omnitapps advanced mult-itouch, multi-user software, which is perfect for creating and deploying highly captivating, interactive touchscreen experiences. With Omnitapps, customers can reinforce their brand and improve communications with multi-touch displays in public spaces such as lobbies, shopping malls, stores, trade shows, real estate centers, museums, hospitals, airports, and more. Organizations can display their product photos, videos, brochures, and even websites within a multi-touch environment. They can also place products in the spotlight with Omnitapps’ unique and interactive suite of applications including games, and much more.
PresTop will unveil the PT-GT-955-PCAP-Smart-II in stand 8-S200 at ISE 2016. You can see it here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|New Compact and Quiet Christie Q Series DebutsChristie has a new set of 1-chip DLP projectors with the new Christie DWU1052-Q and Christie DHD1052-Q, both featuring improved warping and blending.
Aimed at applications including concerts, live theater, lecture halls, conventions, hotels, public spaces and other venues where bright and precise imagery is key, end users will experience the benefits of the improved blending and warping and portrait or landscape modes whether the image is displayed on a flat or curved surface.
Operational in either single or dual-lamp mode, Christie Q Series is equipped with eClarity — image processing that delivers enhanced pictures by providing superior control over sharpness, gloss and shading, making images stand out more than ever. With built-in High Dynamic Contrast Range (HDCR), even image ‘washout’ from high ambient light conditions can be eliminated.
The new Christie Q Series models also feature a built-in automated dual color wheel to quickly select between two performance color wheels to optimize for best color or brightest light.
Christie DWU1052-Q and Christie DHD1052-Q have:
- 10,000 lumens (WU), 9,500 lumens (HD)
- Small form factor
- Reduced noise levels thanks to a unique cooling design that minimizes the number of fans
- Built-in automated dual color wheel for best color or brightest light
- e-Clarity image processing
- High Dynamic Contrast Range
- Versatile lens suite including 0.38:1 ultra-short throw
- Edge blending and warping capability and instant configuration
- Easy connectivity with 3GSDI and HDBaseT
- Built-in LCD display for status and monitoring
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Navori Labs Enhances User Experience for QL Digital Signage EngineNavori Labs is emphasizing an improved user experience for its QL Digital Signage Engine customers worldwide. At ISE 2016 (February 9-12, Amsterdam, Stand 8.N225) and Digital Signage Expo (March 16-17, Las Vegas, Stand 2218), Navori Labs will unveil a new user interface and server platform to enhance ease of use across every stage of the digital signage ecosystem.
Navori Labs has created an HTML5 version of QL Manager, the intuitive content management systems at the core of QL Professional, the company’s enterprise-grade digital signage software. The HTML5 user interface delivers a template and media preview feature to improve insight into design quality, along with a more responsive user interface to simplify content creation and management. Additionally, the migration to HTML5 will support playlist and rules-based scheduling based on meta tags, enabling more effective targeting of content delivery across out-of-home networks.
The new user interface will also extend usability across more devices due to HTML5’s compatibility with all enterprise web and mobile browsers – enabling more flexibility for users of the Microsoft Silverlight-based, previous-generation user interface, which will continue to be an option for QL customers working on Windows-based architectures.
Navori Labs will also demonstrate how its new QL Server SDK can serve as the backbone for an entire digital signage infrastructure across content management, distribution, playback and monitoring. The new QL Server SDK allows for management and control of QL Professional from custom third-party software, providing a seamless interface to ad booking, media planning and other systems and applications. This ensures flexibility across projects of any scope or complexity.
The open programmability of the QL Server SDK also ensures that systems integrators, resellers, network operators and end users can customize the QL user interface according to the customer’s requirements and profiles. The QL Server SDK is compatible with both the new HTML5 and Silverlight user interface.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Videotel Intros New HD2700 D Industrial Looping DVD PlayerVideotel Digital announced the release of their newest looping industrial dvd player, the HD2700 D. It’s a DVD player that’s used with Videotel’s IPM, IPH and interactive module options to enhance content. Allowing the user to uniquely trigger content with LED push buttons, motion, proximity and weight sensors. Now informative marketing or educational messages can be displayed easier than ever and as dynamically as possible.
Triggering multiple content files burned on a DVD, advertising or informational text, images or video content can be scheduled for play throughout the day. Specific text files can be loaded onto playlists directly on the DVD. From there they can run with an image quality of 1080p HDMI resolution with no added software required. Seamlessly repeats without the use of a remote, the DVD player thinks for itself. It buffers and stores content to an internal RAM that plays direct from memory.
Used with Videotel’s PUSH, MOVE, WAVE and ELEVATE interactive modules the HD2700 D DVD Player makes quite an impact on its audience. The PUSH interactive module systematically enhances the display with LED push buttons while MOVE incites motion sensors. Proximity sensors are signaled by the WAVE module and ELEVATE navigates weight.
Videotel Digital is here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|Digital Signage Expo 2016 Seminar to Present â€œDIY Digital Signageâ€ for SchoolsDigital Signage Expo (DSE) announced today that its 24-part Digital Signage Seminar Program at DSE 2016 designed specifically for End Users, or anyone who develops and manages content for a digital communications network, will include an hour-long session titled, “DIY Digital Signage for Higher Ed.”
Tom Ryan, director of information technology, and Timothy DiVito, associate director of information technology for Rutgers University-Camden, will co-present a solutions-based seminar that will review some of the systems and technologies used by Rutgers University-Camden to provide digital signage to every classroom on campus using basic technologies already in use in higher ed – the majority of which are already present in most IT departments for “do it yourself” application across industries.
Registration for “DIY Digital Signage for Higher Ed,” or any of the DSE 2016 educational conference seminars, which are sponsored by BroadSign International and are eligible for Digital Signage Expert Group (DSEG) certification renewal credits, is available online here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|NEC Display Intros 75-Inch X754HB Display Built for High-Brightness EnvironmentsNEC Display Solutions today announced the MultiSync X754HB display, a high-brightness display that allows for extremely clear visibility in higher ambient light environments.
The new 75-inch display is built specifically to withstand the harsh environment of direct sunlight that would otherwise ruin normal displays. With integrated thermodynamic cooling fans, a panel that can reduce the risk of isotropic liquid crystals and a screen brightness of up to 2500 cd/m2, the X754HB is designed for solutions such as in a front-facing store windows and outdoor applications when coupled with an enclosure.
The X754HB also can intelligently adapt to its surroundings utilizing an integrated ambient light sensor. When it’s on during the day, it can offer a bright, clear image allowing for full visibility in the brightest conditions. It can then dim down at night, reducing power consumption and contributing savings to the overall investment. Typical liquid crystal panels do not guarantee full visibility if the orientation of the display changes and if the person viewing the screen is wearing polarized sunglasses. NEC Display’s X754HB has a quarter-lambda polarizer integrated onto the panel that will allow for full visibility in any orientation.
Other X754HB benefits include:
- 8-bit color SPVA panel
- Direct LED backlighting and new localized dimming functionality, which allow for improved contrast ratio and lower power consumption
- A Quarter-Lambda optical film, integrated to overcome polarization of light emitted by the display. This guarantees full readability in outdoor and semi-outdoor installations for both landscape and portrait orientations when wearing polarized sunglasses
- NFC sensor, which is incorporated into the chassis and can be addressed via a matching app for Android devices. This helps reduce installation cost as several displays can be easily configured before they are mounted
- Built-in OPS (Open Pluggable Specification) option slot and expanded connectivity options, such as
- DisplayPort 1.2, which give installers flexibility and reduce overall set-up time
- Intelligent power saving and thermal management features, which not only reduce energy usage, but also ensure that the display aligns with NEC’s Green Vision for sustainability and eco-friendliness
The X754HB display ships with a three-year limited parts and labor warranty, and will be available in December 2015 at a minimum advertised price of $11,299. Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Extron XTP Fiber Optic Receiver With Vector 4K Scaling ShipsExtron is now shipping its XTP SFR HD 4K, an XTP scaling receiver for extending video, audio, bidirectional control, and Ethernet over one fiber optic cable. It accepts signals from XTP Fiber transmission products, and incorporates the Extron’s new Vector 4K scaling engine, specifically engineered for 4K applications. For streamlined integration, it features on‑screen menus, audio de‑embedding to digital S/PDIF or analog stereo audio outputs, and relays for room control. Ethernet extension along with RS‑232 and IR insertion allow LAN access and remote AV device control. Signals can be delivered up to 700 meters (2,297 feet) over OM4 multi-mode fiber optic cable and up to 10 km (6.21 miles) over singlemode cable. The XTP SFR HD 4K is ideal for XTP Systems that require long-haul distribution and scaling of 4K video.
XTP Systems offer a complete integration platform for a digital AV infrastructure that supports 4K and beyond. XTP II CrossPoint matrix switchers are the first in the Pro AV industry to offer a 50 Gbps switching backplane. They are modular and expandable up to 64×64 sizes, delivering integrated solutions for high performance signal routing between multiple local and remote sources and display devices up to and beyond 4K. They can be configured with a wide selection of local, twisted pair, and fiber optic input and output boards providing integration for a variety of signal types and formats. Twisted pair and fiber optic endpoints support long distance extension of AV, control, and Ethernet to deliver complete end-to-end system solutions.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Tripleplay Launches Low Latency Encoder HD Wi-Fi System and Network Streaming App at ISETripleplay says it will debut a new low-latency Tripleplay HD Encoder and a new Tripleplay Mobile Media App for off network video upload and streaming, as well as a Wi-Fi-enabled video streaming solution at ISE. Here is what we know so far:
- Tripleplay HD Encoder: The new Tripleplay super low latency encoder will deliver 250ms video, glass to glass, be competitively priced and will be aimed at the sports industry in particular.
- Tripleplay Mobile Media App: Tripleplay MMA is the company’s brand new mobile media application, based around the technology it uses in its existing TripleStream and TripleChoice Media Portal solutions. It allows off network video streaming, content upload, live TV recording, chat and secure encrypted download of video files for off network playback.
- Tripleplay High Density Wi-Fi Video Streaming: Tripleplay has developed a video streaming technology that Tripleplay says will allow secure and reliable delivery of media content in environments with densely packed audiences and many mobile devices trying to access rich media from the communal WiFi. Using patent pending technology, the Tripleplay HDW Video Streaming solution uses a mix of forward error correction and live reporting to deliver a smooth, quality video experience for the user.
- BART Software Platform: The Tripleplay BART software platform has brought with it a variety of new features including native 4K, Samsung SSP and interactive touchscreen support, as well as improved clustering and resilience features for corporate network environments, as well as providing improved server efficiency, load management and scalability.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Become Professionally Certified in Digital Signage at DSE2016 – All Four Certifications to be Presented LiveDigital Signage Experts Group (DSEG), the creators of the professionally recognized certifications for audio visual and signage professionals as well as others serving or invested in the digital signage industry, today announced that all four of DSEG’s digital signage industry certifications will be available for the first time to be presented live at DSE 2016.
The Digital Signage Experts Group in concert with Digital Signage Expo and the Digital Signage Federation will offer bookended live, full-day pre- and post-show seminars allowing DSE attendees to add one or two days to their conference package, as:
- Tuesday, March 15, 9am –5pm
• Digital Signage Certified Expert (DSCE)
• Digital Signage Display Expert (DSDE)
- Friday, March 18, 9am – 5pm
• Digital Content and Media Expert (DCME)
• Digital Signage Network Expert (DSNE)
DSEG certification information is available on “The Path to Digital Signage Professional Certification” page on the DSE website. Registration for the pre- or post-show certifications programs, or any of the educational programs at DSE, which are eligible for certification renewal credits, is available here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|PrimeView Launches 32″ 4K DisplayPrimeview USA has introduced a 32″ UHD LED LCD monitor to the market. The new display expands the company’s 4K UHD (3840×2160) line to under 40 inches (also going up to 98 inches diagonal) to fit a vast range of budgets and size of space in control rooms, medical environments, gaming, museums and digital signage. It’s specified as having 10-bit color.
Joining the Primeview 4K UHD line of 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 84- and 98-inch displays, the PRV324KLED boasts true 4K resolution includes HDBaseT connectivity embedded (model # PRV324KLEDHDBT) as well as HDMI 1.4 and HDMI 2.0.
The 4K UHD line and 4K HDBaseT LED LCD Lines are now available. For more information, go here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Digital Signage Expo 2016 Seminar to Present “Out-of-Home Advertising in the Connected CityDigital Signage Expo (DSE) announced today that its four-part Digital Signage Seminar Program at DSE 2016 designed specifically for digital out-of-home and place-based network operators will include an hour-long session entitled, “Out-of-Home Advertising in the Connected City.”
Panelists in this session will discuss why out-of-home advertising will be an essential contributor to the growth of the connected city and how network operators can take advantage of the opportunities that technology offers behind the Internet of Things (loT) to help create connections with consumers.
The panel, comprised of Digital Signage professionals, will include:
- David Etherington, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Titan
- Michael Cooper, President, Rapport
- Stephen Freitas, Chief Marketing Officer, Outdoor Advertising Association of America
- Ian Dallimore, Director of Innovation and Digital Strategy, Lamar Advertising Company
- Mikhail Damiani, CEO, Blue Bite
Leave a Comment
DSE Advisory Board members recently had the opportunity to comment on this timely topic and offered a variety of interesting insights, including the following:
“Given that the total expected market of Internet connected devices currently stands at just .6 percent (per Intel), we will see many new applications emerge. The digital inputs that underpin digital signage are the foundation for new uses,” says Lyle Bunn, principal and strategy architect, The BUNN Company
“Iot is still in learning mode without a killer app. In 2017, rollout will begin to evolve into larger scale deployments, and in 2018 Iot will be a basic requirement in most products,” says Bob Killmeier, founder and president, Computer Controlled Designs
“The Iot is all about connectivity. And that plays directly into the value proposition inherent in digital signage. Signage puts a lot of devices in the field. Signage is also a rare industry in which the benefits of all those connected devices can readily be apparent through dynamic data on screens, a great starting point for network operators.”
Pat Hellberg, Principal, The Preset Group
To read more about why other DSE Advisory Board members feel this to be an important topic, go here.
Registration for “Out-of-Home Advertising in the Connected City” or any of the DSE 2016 educational conference seminars, which are sponsored by Broadsign International and are eligible for Digital Signage Expert Group (DSEG) certification renewal credits, is available online here.
Back to Top
|Sharp Intros New 80″ Signage Display and 60″ AQUOS BOARD
The Sharp PN-E Series has added a new 80″ class (80″ diagonal) PN-E803 professional LCD monitor to the 70″ Class (69.5″ diagonal) PN-E703 and 60″ class (60.1″ diagonal) PN-E603 models. The PN-E803 display combines 1080p image quality and a thin profile designed for professional signage solutions for a wide range of applications. The new PN-E803 monitor replaces the PN-E802 monitor. The PN-E803 display is 3 3/4″ thick and weighs 125.7 pounds, compared to the PN-E802 display at 4 13/16″ and 174.2 pounds. The PN-E803 display boasts two HDMI inputs (versus one in the PN- E802 model), a DVI-D input and output (none in the PN-E802 model), plus a DisplayPort input and output. All the detailed specs are here.
In addition, Sharp introduced a new entry-level, 60″ Class (60.1″ diagonal) PN-C603D AQUOS BOARD interactive display system. This 1080p touchscreen monitor lets you display and manipulate a variety of information with ease and precision. The PN-C603D interactive display has all the main features of its bigger brother’s model, the 70″ class (69.5″ diagonal) PN-C703B interactive display. The PN-C603D model is priced at 41 percent less than Sharp’s 60″ class (60.1″ diagonal) PN-L603B AQUOS BOARD interactive display. Specs are here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|BrightSign Transforms GAME Retail ExperienceGAME, the UK’s leading video games retailer has equipped its 320 stores with 1,300+ BrightSign digital signage players in a transformative project that enhances the customer experience, reduces costs and will allow GAME to respond immediately to market shifts. The installation was carried out by digital signage company Freehand, and the players were supplied by BrightSign distributor Pixels.
Fred Prego, marketing and insight director at GAME says: “As a gaming specialist retailer, we are committed to delivering the best, only at GAME, omni-channel shopping experience. To serve and build our loyal community of gamers, we recognise that digital signage can play a key role as we continue to improve our ability to engage with our customers and offer the best possible experience and offer’s available. With our fast changing market leading deals, these signs play an integral part in customers’ education and discovery of both physical and digital content.”
Freehand used a mixture of BrightSign XD232 and XD1032 networked media players. The XD232 has a powerful video engine capable of dual full HD 1920×1080, 50/60p video decoding and simultaneous content playback from local, networked and streaming sources. Its abundant content support includes HTML5, 3D, and crisp upscaling of HD content to 4K. The BrightSign XD1032 offers all the capabilities of the XD232 and adds S/PDIF audio and, more importantly for GAME, extensive interactive options to captivate and engage customers with touch screen capabilities, for example.
Mike Fabian, a director at digital signage company Freehand, whose clients include other high profile retail brands such as Selfridges, managed the installation and says, “BrightSign players provide a flexible and utterly reliable solution that is low cost and easy to work with. They serve as powerful end-points for years on end without fail. BrightAuthor and the BrightSign Network make it easy to deliver new content to the players, schedule playback and update as required.”
Having installed the players, Freehand has a continuing collaborative role with GAME. GAME have a team of skilled designers and animators who create and prepare content suitable for all audiences ready to publish to its stores by Freehand, the content is then assembled as a complete play list in BrightAuthor.
Freehand has licensed the BrightSign Network Enterprise Edition (BSNEE), giving it a private network that can host all the content for the 1300 BrightSign media players owned by GAME as well as for other clients. All BrightSign players installed in GAME’s stores and connected to the BSNEE are managed and updated with media remotely by Freehand.
Throughout the project, Freehand worked with long term partner and BrightSign distributor Pixels who have sold and supported thousands of BrightSign media players and BrightSign Network subscriptions over the past several years.
“Pixels adds value to BrightSign’s products by writing program scripts for customers’ unique applications. Specifically for the GAME project, we fitted all 1,320 players with the optional wi-fi module which simplifies the installation process of all BrightSign players and removes the need for network cabling in each store.” notes Norman Garland, Managing Director of Pixels.
Following a highly successful trial project in 50 outlets, 320 GAME stores are now equipped with a total of 1,320 BrightSign players driving Samsung screens of widths varying from 40 inches to 55 inches. Each store has a minimum of four screens. A display behind the counter plays up to date video content from the latest games, exclusive products, latest events and a wide range of other products and services available through GAME while two screens positioned toward the front of the store highlight the special offers available on the PlayStation and Xbox. The fourth screen is deployed in the store window to attract footfall, display high impact visuals and offer the very latest and most up to date offers and content available. Larger, flagship stores feature perfectly synchronized BrightSign videowalls.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe DS [Digital Signage] out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
Don’t like us, then go away — unsubscribe! Just use the link below.
To send me feedback, don’t reply to this newsletter. Instead, write directly to me at email@example.com or for editorial ideas, Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at firstname.lastname@example.org
A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV-industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue, which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe [Publications] has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
Everything we publish is Opt-in — we spam NO ONE! rAVe ProAV Edition is our flagship ePublication with what we believe is a reach of virtually everyone in the ProAV market. rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA and launched in February 2004, is, by far, the largest ePub in the HomeAV market. We added rAVe Rental [and Staging] in November 2007, rAVe ED [Education] in May 2008 and then rAVe DS [Digital Signage] in January 2009. We added rAVe GHGav [Green, Healthcare & Government AV] in August 2010 and rAVe HOW [House of Worship] in July 2012. You can subscribe to any of those publication or see ALL our archives by going to: http://www.ravepubs.com
To read more about my background, our team and what we do, go to http://www.ravepubs.comBack to Top
Copyright 2016 – rAVe [Publications] – All rights reserved – All rights reserved. For reprint policies, contact rAVe [Publications], 210 Old Barn Ln. – Chapel Hill, NC 27517 – (919) 969-7501. Email: Sara@rAVePubs.com
rAVe contains the opinions of the author only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of other persons or companies or its sponsors.