Every once in a while we ask industry experts, persons we consider knowledgeable and influential, to share their insights on various digital signage- related aspects. This time it’s Denis Gaumondie, CEO of Digital Media Village & Editor of Ooh-tv who talked about what he considers to be the industry’s main challenges and its future. So here’s the interview he kindly offered Dynamax.
1) In your opinion, what are the main challenges and opportunities facing the digital signage industry at the moment?
The main challenge for the digital signage industry is managing its transition towards interactivity. Whether this happens through the use of interactive touch screens or through the use of the mobile and social media, it still remains a key matter.
The industry must come up with more engaging, more ROI- oriented digital signage solutions and this this will happen when the technology becomes part of the larger ‘digital media village’.
2) Compared to last year, do you consider that the situation has improved or worsened?
I will only refer to the French market.
With regards to in- store digital signage deployments, 2011 was a calm year with few significant developments. The first 7 months of 2012 have unfolded in the same fashion, even if September should see the launch of a large install carried out by a major supermarket chain.
In the mean time, this year has brought a true change in the digital- out- of- home environment, as major media owners launched l more digital offers, such as JCDecaux in airports and Clear Channel Outdoor in malls.
MediaTransports is also deploying a DOOH network in train stations across France, after having already equipped the Parisian metro with more than 400 displays. CBS Outdoor too, began installing outdoor LED screens across the country.
3) How does the French digital signage market compare to the European one?
When it comes to digital signage in retail, I don’t think that France distinguishes itself in a certain manner: it’s neither lagging behind nor outpacing others. It’s in the process of learning about- and testing different digital models, combining digital signage with mobile and social media and soon with contactless payments.
Regarding the digital-out-of-home, the country makes up for its slight delay in comparison to the UK and Germany in Europe and the United States and China in the rest of the world. In 2011, the net advertising revenue generated by the French DOOH market was in value of € 25, 5 million (according to a report by Digital Media Association France we cited in March).
4) What should we expect from the digital signage and digital out of home market in 2012? Could you make a prevision for the next five years?
We will see the integration of all communication channels and digital displays into vaster communication concepts. This trend will be reflected by an increased connectivity between various location- based digital supports and services (such as mobiles, mobile services, social media, e-commerce apps etc.)
Above all, I think that in 5 years from now we will talk about neither digital signage nor digital-out-of-home but about retail, outdoor or urban communications and about connected commerce, in which the digital will play a central role.
The screens, the digital signage software solutions, the digital-out-of-home networks stricto sensu as we know them today won’t be but an element of the vaster concept of digital communications, in which the mobile, social media and contactless payments will become increasingly prominent.
In 5 years, we will see big outdoor advertising companies integrating the DOOH, the mobile and social media in their portfolios. Mergers and acquisitions are foreseeable.
The same will be true for the POS, as integrated agencies will design and deliver the overall strategy of brands across their various points of contact (store, mobile, web, OOH). It’s actually what large communications groups have already started doing in France.