It pays to buy professional content


plan your content well

Ever wonder why it pays to spend money on professional content?  Read on…

There are lots of folks out there investing time and money on digital signage.  Many won’t think twice about spending on displays, software, network cabling…  all the bits and pieces needed to get screens in front of people.  You’d think content would be at the top of that list, but in many cases you would be wrong.

People hate paying for content.  Any content.  They just flat out hate it.  I know, I hear it all the time.

Content is at the heart of digital signage, yet few people want to spend money on it.  It’s like pictures will magically appear on the screens after you turn them on.  Mission accomplished!

Well, if you’re budgeting for a digital project and you don’t factor in the cost of content, you’re doing it wrong.  If you only cost-out the software to run your screens and schedule your content, you’re missing the point.  Unless you have staff who are ready to feed your new screens with high quality content, and update the content regularly, you won’t have anything good to show on your screens.  The audience will keep looking at their smartphones as they walk by your shiny new TVs.  #Sad.

You may think you can google search your way to “free” content.  You may think you can grab a few  RSS feeds from various news outlets.  Read the fine print.  Unless the content is covered under a Creative Commons licence authorizing free use, you can’t use it without written authorization from the copyright holder.  It’s about as legal as copying a Hollywood blockbuster on a DVD.

Here’s another way to look at it.  You buy a car, you expect to pay for the gas needed to run it.  Think of paid content as the “gas” for your screens.  It’s what makes them run.

There are plenty of ways to acquire professional, curated content legally and it usually involves some form of subscription.  So if you’re thinking you can get away with a $20 or $30 monthly Cloud CMS player software fee, you’re probably $5 or $10 short.

Paying for content is smart.

  • You get professional content that is licensed for redistribution.
  • You get content that is updated periodically (sometimes even daily) so all the work is done for you.
  • The content is well written.  The graphics and videos are at the correct resolution.  It’s high-quality and professional content.
  • The content provider is responsible for ensuring the content is always available and refreshed.
  • You usually pay a fee per player, per month so it’s easy to calculate your costs and scale as you grow your network.
  • Your audience is engaged and entertained.

There are many sources for professional, paid content.  You can get news, sport scores, trivia, weather…

Here are a few suggestions:

Digital signage screens are only as effective as the content you play on them.  If you rely on information scraped from around the web you will get poor results.  It doesn’t matter if you are deploying one screen or a thousand.  It pays to have someone else do the work for you.  There is a cost for this service, but the return is well worth it.

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