What is Digital Signage software?
Digital signage software is a computer-based program that lets users create, schedule, and distribute information via digital multimedia signs. Generally, the software is used to remotely prepare and manage the content that is displayed on digital signage.
But what is digital signage? Put simply, digital signage is any size screen that uses technologies such as LCD, LED and Projection to display content such as digital images, video, streaming media, and information.
Digital signage has become popular as of late because it engages with the audience in a much more effective way than static signage. Moving images, visually striking graphics and the ability to refresh and change the message instantly ensures that all signage screens look exciting, up-to-date and relevant.
Types of Digital Signage software
There are generally five main components to a digital signage solution: 1) media player software; 2) content management/distribution software; 3) device management software; 4) content creation software and 5) audience analytics software.
1.Digital signage media player software:
Media player software for digital signage allows users to play back content. The software plays back media files, utilizing both the CPU and GPU on the computer the software resides on. There are many types of media player software available on the market but typically, most of them can work online and offline and support different types of media. Furthermore, additional features of a media player software include:
- Reporting on each individual media through proof of play
- Reporting of the health and status of the media player itself
- The ability to interrupt what’s playing on the screen for applications such as emergency messaging, mobile interactivity, etc.
- The ability to synchronize content across different media players, to create large, spectacular experiences
2. Digital signage content management systems and distribution software:
Content management systems (CMS) allows users to upload and organize content, organize the content into playlists for playback, create rules and conditions around playback, and distribute the content to a media player or groups of media players.
Content management software can be cloud-based or hosted. The cloud-based software eliminates the need for onsite server hardware and is easily scalable and offers the benefits of remote management of the signage network from anywhere.
Hosted software (also referred to as on-premise or LAN-based) allows users to have physical control over their server and keeps critical data in-house. This option does, however, require a large capital investment in hardware and infrastructure.
3. Digital signage device management software
Device management software is important to digital signage network deployed in more than one location. The best device management platforms can collect information on the devices, report that data and are also able to take action.The best platforms will:
- Reboot devices and screens from a remote location
- Check and provide snapshots of the content playing on screens driven by media players
- Compile playback data from the media player software
- Report on the memory usage, temperature, network status, etc. of the players
- Deploy software and firmware updates for media players and screens
- Send automated notifications via email about the network status
4. Digital signage content creation software
Content creation software allows for the creation of both static and dynamic content. The right content creation software will act as a valuable design tool that will allow users to convey a clear message, and utilize graphics and text within your design. Some will have content creation tools native to it. These allow the user to create and display both static and dynamic software without logging in to another tool.
5. Digital signage audience analytics software
The best way to measure the effectiveness of messages displayed on digital signage networks is by using audience analytics. Audience analytics software analyzes information collected from a camera feed and detects, as well as process, relevant actions. Questions such as “Exactly how effective is my digital display? How many people did my message reach? Of those people, how many were in my target audience?” can be answered by using Face Analysis software. The information that is captured and analyzed includes headcount, facial expressions, age, gender, dwell time and time of day.
Digital Signage for businesses
Companies thinking about taking advantage of the benefits of using digital signage need to carefully lay the groundwork, and this chiefly consists of asking strategic questions such as, “Why do we want to do this? What do we want the screens to accomplish? How will we judge whether they are working?”.
The unique benefits/ features of digital signage networks include the following:
- Place is known: the location of the display(s) is known.
- Time is known: digital signage network is controlled by a networked content manager, content is “served” as a function of time of day.
- Events are known: information related to the fusion of time and place also can be known.
- Audience is known: the time and place are known, audience demographic and psychographic information can be well specified.
- Content is dynamic: dynamic digital content has numerous advantages over other forms of advertising.