Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Senators unveil Canadian Tire Centre Vision

The Ottawa Senators, along with partners Canadian Tire and Cisco, announced today the addition of Cisco StadiumVision®, which will be branded Canadian Tire Centre Vision in the venue. Canadian Tire Centre will be the first NHL venue in Canada to incorporate Cisco’s innovative digital video and content distribution system that centrally controls and delivers targeted high-definition video and highly relevant digital content to Canadian Tire Centre guests.

“It has been our commitment to provide fans with the best possible entertainment experience and the addition of these 700 high definition screens will bring our fans’ arena experience to a whole new level,” said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. “Our partnerships are paramount in bringing innovation and an increased level of engagement to our fans. Working closely with two of our major partners, Canadian Tire and Cisco, we are exceptionally proud to be the first venue in the National Hockey League to deliver this type of highly specialized multimedia experience.”

“We are thrilled to introduce Canadian Tire Centre Vision to further enhance the game day experience for hockey fans and create lifelong memories of the game,” said Landon French, vice president, sport partnerships at Canadian Tire. “Along with the Ottawa Senators and Cisco, Canadian Tire continues to solidify our commitment to sport in Canada, reinforcing this venue as a premiere sports and entertainment destination.”

In a venue that features a wide variety of events and shows, Canadian Tire Centre Vision will allow the entire venue to change content, colour and branding on a moment’s notice. The system will provide an unparalleled visual experience that will transform and amplify the intensity of any event for attendees.

Two new full colour, 234-square-foot LED screens will also be installed at the venue's Highway Marquee along Highway 417. Both the Gate 1 screen and the marquee will incorporate Cisco StadiumVision® technology, offering the same engaging content that is available throughout the venue.

“Cisco is proud to be working with innovative customers like Canadian Tire and the Ottawa Senators,” said Kim Devooght, vice president, public sector, Cisco Canada. “Both organizations understand the unique role sporting venues play in our communities and are committed to elevating the fan experience through more media-rich, personalized sports and entertainment experiences. These new digital experiences not only create a heightened sense of satisfaction and energy, but translate into significant business opportunities and new levels of business value for venues and their partners.”

The state-of-the-art technology of Canadian Tire Centre Vision will allow Canadian Tire Centre to cost-effectively deliver content such as live event video, customized fan engagement content and interactive advertising to each video monitor, specific to the unique needs and timing of each game or event. In addition to fan engagement, the system will create new revenue streams, merchandising solutions and customized venue usage opportunities for the venue and its partners.

Each of the 700+ monitors will be capable of delivering content in HD video and will be in use for all major events at Canadian Tire Centre, including Senators games and concerts. Cisco StadiumVision® technology has been installed in venues around the world including AT&T Stadium (Dallas), Barclays Center (Brooklyn), O2 (London), Santiago Bernabeu (Madrid) and Eden Park (New Zealand).

Monday, December 9, 2013

ADFLOW Networks releases gen10 of digital signage software

ADFLOW Networks Inc., has released the latest version of its cloud-based digital signage platform ADFLOW DMS 10.

One of the major advances in DMS 10 is that it helps eliminate the requirement to update content manually by providing a platform that draws upon data maintained in multiple locations to create “smart content”. Examples are content that changes based on external influences such as prices from point-of-sale data, rate plans, weather feeds and inventory levels. ADFLOW’s DMS 10 connects multiple marketing platforms to enable an automated and more relevant customer experience for any customer touch point, including passive, interactive, video wall and projection displays, and mobile devices.

ADFLOW DMS 10 now has the ability to:

  • influence content playback using data retrieved from external data sources through a collaborative work flow.
  • allow users to incorporate existing information from enterprise POS and or ERP systems into their digital signage, without the need to replicate data or maintain it in multiple locations.
  • easily scale a network from one to thousands of screens.
  • simplify campaign management with intuitive content management interfaces.
  • provide in-store music that can be synchronized to other displays and visual campaigns.
  • provide valuable analytics using audience detection technology to identify by age and gender who is looking at screens, what they are watching and for how long.

“Thirteen years ago, ADFLOW Networks introduced the first cloud-based digital signage solution to the market. Today we have introduced DMS 10 which captures all of the experience gained over the course of those years and nine previous releases. Best of all, we have incorporated it all into a platform that continues ADFLOW’s legacy of providing smarter, faster, and better solutions” said David Roscoe, ADFLOW Networks’ Founder and CEO. “DMS 10 has been deployed to all of our existing clients. It represents the largest investment in software development in our history and, judging from their feedback, our clients love it. DMS 10 gives them the ability to act on a much larger and broader scale. ADFLOW clients have thousands of screens on their networks and we continue to add functionality that automates content management and distribution.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Scala controls stunning displays at NPR’s new HQ

Washington D.C., USA - December 5, 2013. Scala today announced that its digital signage software has been installed at the new Washington D.C. headquarters of NPR, a media organization delivering breaking national and world news to 26 million listeners in the US each week. Scala Certified Partner, Imperatives, Inc., deployed the software to manage, schedule and deliver dynamic content to multiple displays within the building, including a large mosaic video wall, elevator lobby digital signage, and a digital tower and ticker screens located outside.

“There are so many impressive design aspects to this project. NPR understands the value of digital communication and how to engage and inform audiences,” said, Robyn Ellan, Sr. Director of Marketing, Scala. “They are committed to being at the forefront of digital innovation and making the latest information easily accessible. This installation is testament to the benefits of leveraging Scala’s power and flexibility, combined with NPR’s vision, to produce amazing results.”

The showpiece of the new NPR headquarters is a ‘Mosaic Media Wall’, an impressive floor-to-ceiling video wall comprising of various sized LED screens. A mixture of stunning HD images and messages including music, arts and life, and news, run on partial, single or multiple screens within the wall. Scala software enables simple grouping of items according to their classification, using text or still/moving images, with the option to have ticker information overlaid. Formatting is dynamic with words and images fading in and out, appearing from the side or scrolling in, and appearing at specific times of the day to guarantee continual visual interest.

Outside the building, Scala’s flexibility enables animations and logos of different colors to rotate around an imposing 55-foot tall ‘NPR Icon Tower’, reducing or increasing in opacity according to the prevailing light conditions to ensure constant visibility. On the exterior of the building three ticker screens continuously display NPR RSS news feeds, changing every ten minutes in synchronization with the content running on the internal Mosaic Media Wall. Back inside the building, Scala also controls a display situated outside the lobby elevator, showing the latest communications exclusively for corporate and employee information.

Different inputs including text, images and video, can be grouped and scheduled within Scala to create unique and visually exciting content on each display, running at different times of the day, for specific periods of time, and in varying creative animations and transitions. Content is provided to each individual display, whilst linking particular elements such as the RSS news feed to multiple displays for unified and synchronized communication.

“Scala is a leader in enabling the delivery of captivating content that engages whoever views it,” said Jan Metzger, President of Imperatives, Inc. “Our experience with its functionality, flexibility and ease of use made it the natural choice for NPR’s new headquarters.” Imperatives designed and implemented the necessary scripts, templates and schedules within the Scala system at the outset, training NPR staff to use, modify and create their own, providing the flexibility to become completely self-sufficient and regularly adjust content in-house.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Montreal's interactive bus shelters

Below is a quick video introduction to the interactive bus shelters setup by Quebecor Media and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). They are in the process of deploying 40 of the units around the city of Montreal featuring Manufacturing Rescources International's BoldVu 84-inch Outdoor design.


Via The Montreal Gazette.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Arsenal Media & Groupe Viva DSA Crown Awards winners

The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) announced the winners for their 2013 DSA Crown Awards, which recognizes excellence in digital out-of-home content. A couple of Quebec-based firms brought home prizes this year in three categories.

In the Point of Sale category (content budget less than $10,000), Montreal's Arsenal Media picked up Gold for the creative at Manhattan Thai restaurant Dee Daa.

Case study: The Dee Daa Digital Signage Network from ARSENAL MEDIA_DEMO ZONE on Vimeo.

Arsenal also picked up Gold in the Point of Wait ($10,000 or more) category for the Christie Headquarters lobby.

Case Study: The 64-Megapixel Video Wall from ARSENAL MEDIA_DEMO ZONE on Vimeo.

In the Point of Transit ($10,000 or more) category, Groupe Viva from Boisbriand, Quebec, picked up a Silver Crown award for the Mont-Tremblant Informational Kiosk.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Help the Philippines with Digital Signage

DOOHgood is an initiate and resource that helps digital out-of-home network operators display PSAs on their screens. If you'd like to help the typhoon Haiyan-stricken Philippines, you can download some videos here. Below are the Red Cross Canada associated ones.

Provided by Arsenal Media:

mp4 - Landscape 720p no audio English Text
mp4 - Landscape 720p no audio French Text

Provided by Cineplex:

mp4 - Landscape 1080p no Audio
wmv - Landscape 1080p no Audio

Mistaken Identity: Esprida LiveControl

Perusing the interwebs for the latest happenings in the digital signage world I happened to fall upon this ad from (or for) a certain Esprida LiveControl on DigitalSignageToday that caught my eye. The installation picture to illustrate "QSR" seemed quite familiar. With a little searching on our own site, I found the picture comes from the 5-screen digital menu board installation at Vua Sandwiches in Montreal that we wrote about back in 2010.

If you're going to promote your services, at least promote a service that you can actually perform.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Haivision Named One of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America

MONTREAL, CANADA — November 13, 2013 — Today, Haivision was named one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America and Canada by the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ and Fast 50™, marking the 5th consecutive year of being honored by the awards program.*

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 honors the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. Additionally, the Deloitte Fast 50 honors technological innovation, entrepreneurship, rapid growth and leadership. Haivision was selected based on its percentage of revenue growth over five years, with an increase in revenues of 311 percent from 2008 to 2012 ranking the company 286th in North America and 25th in Canada.

“Haivision’s strategic evolution focused on addressing our customers’ enterprise communication challenges has driven our strong growth consistently over the last five years,” said Mirko Wicha, president and CEO of Haivision. “Video is playing a critical role in business, bringing numerous efficiencies and improving communications. Haivision’s growth is fueled by our portfolio of solutions and services that power and accelerate the adoption of video in the enterprise.”

Haivision’s on-premise and cloud-based solutions empower a global channel partner network with customer deployments in multiple industries worldwide. Customers like British Petroleum, the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the European Commission, QVC, National Geographic and Northwestern University rely on Haivision’s video solutions to communicate, collaborate and broaden their audience outreach.

“Technology Fast 500 winners achieve success and strong growth as a direct result of their leadership, and commitment to innovation,” said Richard Lee, Deloitte’s National Managing Partner, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Deloitte. “They are amongst the elite who transform the technology sector.”

*Haivision was selected to the 2009 Companies to Watch awards and named to the 2010 Deloitte Fast 50, 2011 Deloitte Fast 500 and 2012 Deloitte Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists.

About Deloitte’s 2013 Technology Fast 500™Technology Fast 500, conducted by Deloitte & Touche LLP, provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies – both public and private - in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2008 to 2012.

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company's operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD or CD, and current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million USD or CD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of five years, and be headquartered within North America.

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ program is Canada’s pre-eminent technology awards program. Celebrating business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, the program features four distinct categories including the Technology Fast 50™ Ranking, Companies-to-Watch Awards (early-stage Canadian tech companies in business less than five years, with the potential to be a future Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ candidate,) Leadership Awards (companies that demonstrate technological leadership and innovation within the industry) and the Deloitte Technology Green 15™ Awards (Canada’s leading GreenTech companies that promote a more efficient use and re-use of the earth's resources in industrial production and consumption.) Program sponsors include Deloitte, Bennett Jones and OMERS Ventures. For further information, visit www.fast50.ca.

About HaivisionHaivision delivers end-to-end solutions for streaming, encoding, recording, managing, and distributing secure IP video and interactive media within the enterprise, education, medical/healthcare, and federal/military industries. Haivision is a private company based in Montreal and Chicago with regional offices in Austin, Tx; Atlanta, Ga.; Portland, Or.; Washington D.C. and Hamburg, Germany. With a global sales and support organization, Haivision distributes its products through value-added resellers, system integrators, distributors, and OEMs worldwide. More information is available at www.haivision.com.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Ayuda

Ayuda Media Systems has completed its 10th year in business. Started in 2003 by Andreas Soupliotis (CEO & Founder), Pierre-Yves Troel (Chief Software Architect), and Joe Cotugno (Senior Vice-President, Global Client Services), Ayuda has grown into a powerhouse in the Out-Of-Home industry with its flagship Ayuda Platform now consisting of multiple products spanning the entire D/OOH workflow, from sales, to operations, to accounting, and financial reporting.

From its beginnings in an Old Montreal loft, Ayuda now has four offices around the world, with more to come, and boasts over 30 team members globally. "I never imagined we would have offices in London, Sydney, and Madrid when it was just the three of us playing soccer in the open loft back in 2003," recalls Troel. Despite the worldwide growth, Ayuda still operates very much like a tech start-up. Not only is the office atmosphere reminiscent of a Silicon Valley start-up - with loads of free drinks & snacks, a gaming lounge, and quarterly team-building activities - but the corporate culture is also centered on innovation, growth, and having fun. “Having previously worked in and around some of the most innovative and trend-setting start-ups on the West Coast, we made sure to incorporate the best of our West Coast experiences into Ayuda,” explains Cotugno. “Our notoriously stringent hiring practices allow us to hire only the best engineers. Our team-building activities nurture a strong sense of loyalty and dedication. And our playful spirit makes sure everyone has fun while working hard."

Happy Birthday, Ayuda!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ADCentricity announces some new partnerships

ADCentricity has enhanced the inventory of digital media networks to include two new network partnerships, now totaling over 85 partnerships across Canada and the US.  ADCentricity has also further enhanced its online location at www.adcentricity.com while moving physical locations to Toronto’s Financial District at Bay & Adelaide.

ADCentricity’s most recent partnerships are unique categories to add to the existing inventory. These digital location-based advertising networks are MedTV Network and Vizimo Digital.

“MedTV Network has partnered with The Toronto East General Hospital to implement a digital signage solution to improve customer experience, increase brand recognition, enhance communications and demonstrate responsibility and community involvement.  Customer surveys suggest that digital screens are viewed more frequently than brochures (63% of customers view screens as opposed to less than 10% for brochure panels), helping engage customers in conversations.  Customers also perceive digital media as being modern and innovative reflecting on TEGH as one of the leaders in their industry defining customer experience”, says MedTV.  The network operates 42 screens throughout the hospital providing an average of 2, 016 daily impressions.

Vizimo Digital’s Noticeboard Condo Network is a network of digital location-based screens available in condominiums, rental properties and lofts across the GTA. The screens strategically placed in lobbies, near the elevator and in the mailrooms; high dwell and traffic areas and reaching a key demographic of adults aged 18-44. “We are excited at the opportunity to be the leading provider of internal communication for residential properties around the GTA and beyond. We are always looking to the future, and periodically we change our network, and it's content on a frequent basis to keep things fresh for our viewers” said David Perelman, Director of Business Operations at Vizimo Digital. Noticeboard Condo Network boasts approximately 150 ad plays per day with loop lengths of 7 to 10 minutes reaching 40,000 viewers per month. Noticeboard Condo Network is an elegant solution to condo communications.

As for ADCentricity online, “ADCentricity’s website updates make use of simple navigation, providing as much information on our products and services as possible while maintaining a visually engaging theme. We’ve also made the website a source of industry related information. Stats and infographics are available for download by all visitors” said marketing communications officer Curtis Champion. See it for yourself at www.adcentricity.com.

ADCentricity is excited to expand on its already robust list of venue categories, growing relationships with new and existing networks, and ultimately increasing the available inventory to further accommodate any and all client request in the DOOH world.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thirty Canadian Hyundai dealers on ScreenScape platform

We hadn't heard much from ScreenScape (compared to their previous deluge of press releases). They've just announced an important partnership with Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., that would see their platform powering video displays in Hyundai showrooms and parts and service waiting areas.

"We find video to be a very effective way to share the experience of driving and owning a Hyundai," Michael Handy, director of marketing for Hyundai Canada, said. "ScreenScape gives us the ability to deliver video directly to customers inside our dealerships. This helps us coordinate our marketing efforts with local dealers and add value to the experience of buying and owning a new Hyundai."

According to the company, ScreenScape is a software platform that helps businesses engage audiences inside real world places using Internet-enabled digital displays. Using ScreenScape, Hyundai is able to form its own place-based media network consisting of its own dealerships or any other business that is a member of the ScreenScape Community.

We're constantly looking for ways to communicate more effectively with Hyundai customers,” Handy said. “ScreenScape allows us to leverage our existing investments in online video and social media and use them in a very local context. We know that several of our key suppliers also use ScreenScape, and so this gives us another way to work together as industry partners to provide support to our dealers, and value to our customers."

There are more than 192 Hyundai dealerships in Canada. According to Handy, more than 30 dealers are operational on the ScreenScape platform today, another 70 will be added over the next six months, and more will come in 2014.

"We'd like to welcome Hyundai Canada to the ScreenScape Community," Kevin Dwyer, president & CSO of ScreenScape, said. "They join a vibrant automotive community already using ScreenScape which includes new car dealers, tire centers, quick lube operators and parts retailers. It is gratifying to see so many interesting partnerships in this industry being expressed through place-based media."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cineplex looks to buy EK3 to grow digital signage business

Cineplex Inc. announced its offer to purchase EK3 Technologies Inc. ("EK3"), a London, Ontario-based, in-store digital merchandising provider, with operations in Canada, the United States and other countries.

The initial purchase price is approximately $40 million. In 2010, Cineplex made a similar move when it purchased Digital Display & Communications Inc., an implementer of digital signage networks and associated products and services, which at that time became Cineplex Digital Solutions. 

EK3 designs, installs, manages and consults on some of the largest digital merchandising networks in North America, with networks viewed by more than 1.8 billion shoppers annually. The company has developed proprietary state-of-the-art technology and patented software, and provides creative content production, media sales and extensive network operations services, which delivers digital merchandising networks that are scalable, reliable and secure.

EK3 clients include major retailers, such as Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Walmart, Target, as well as Canadian financial institutions RBC Financial Group and BMO Financial Group.

The acquisition complements Cineplex's existing digital signage business, Cineplex Digital Media ("CDM"), whose clients include Scotiabank, CIBC, SunTrust, Rogers, Oxford Properties, Brookfield office towers and ONroute, among others.

EK3 will be renamed and operate as Cineplex Digital Networks ("CDN"), and will continue to be led by EK3 President and CEO, Nick Prigioniero.

"Cineplex's brand, resources and media sales along with EK3's proprietary technology platform, network management, award-winning creative services and digital merchandising expertise is a powerful combination," said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex Entertainment. "The strengths of CDM and CDN will make us a leader in the indoor digital signage industry and provides a platform for significant growth throughout North America."                                           

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New BroadSign customer orders 1,000 Android-based players

Digital signage software provider, BroadSign International, LLC, has announced that the first round of BroadSign Xpress smart players is in production with units available for delivery as early as September.

The company is now accepting orders for BroadSign Xpress; the first large-scale request for 1,001 units having been placed by a client who recently subscribed to the company’s Software as a Service.

BroadSign Xpress was announced in February 2013 and is BroadSign’s first step into the digital signage hardware solutions market. The fully-featured and fully-supported smart player runs on the Android operating system and was created to both eliminate the challenge of selecting a good long-term hardware solution and reduce the cost of hardware per deployment.

Following the release of BroadSign Xpress, 200 participants across the globe were given a beta player as part of the BroadSign Trailblazer Program. Recipients tested the smart player throughout the duration of the program and BroadSign incorporated resulting feedback into its final product design.

“The response to the introduction of BroadSign Xpress has been tremendous from the moment it was revealed at our First Annual Client Summit,” said BroadSign’s CEO, Brian Dusho. “Positive feedback received via the Trailblazer Program and high demand from new and existing customers attest that this initiative is the right decision for BroadSign as a provider of digital signage solutions. Inventory is limited and players are moving quickly.”

CRTC approves BCE’s bid to acquire Astral’s television and radio services

Conditions imposed will ensure the transaction benefits Canadians and the Canadian broadcasting system

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 27, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved an application by Astral Media Inc. to sell its pay and specialty television channels, conventional television stations and radio stations to BCE Inc. The CRTC’s approval comes with a number of conditions that are necessary to uphold the public interest.

“Astral’s application put forward a different approach and responded to many of our concerns” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “Yet there remained a significant risk that BCE could exert its market power to limit choice and competition. To ensure the public interest is served, we are requiring BCE to invest in new Canadian programming and sell more than a dozen services, and we are putting in place a number of competitive safeguards. This will maintain a healthy and competitive broadcasting system that offers more programming choices to Canadian consumers and citizens and more opportunities for Canadian creators.”

A healthy and competitive broadcasting system

The scale of the newly consolidated entity will facilitate the creation of diverse and high-quality Canadian programming in both languages and its distribution through conventional and digital media distribution channels. The CRTC is taking action to ensure Canadians reap the full benefits of this transaction. This includes making sure that Canadians have access to a healthy and competitive broadcasting system, in which independent broadcasters and distributors are treated fairly by large, integrated companies.

The application filed in agreement with the Competition Bureau included a proposal to sell 10 radio stations and 11 television services as well as certain restrictions, such as a prohibition on imposing restrictive bundling requirements on providers. The CRTC’s decision builds on the Competition Bureau’s assessment and includes specific measures to attenuate concerns related to competition, ownership concentration in the television and radio markets, vertical integration and the exercise of market power in the communications system.

Following the divestitures, BCE’s share of the French-language television market will be 22.6 per cent. Consumers in this market will benefit from a more competitive landscape. In the English-language market, its share will be 35.8 per cent, which required a careful examination of this transaction’s impact on the broadcasting system.

As a result, the Commission has put in place further measures to address potential anti-competitive behaviour, to maintain a dynamic marketplace and to ensure Canadian listeners and viewers will continue to have access to a diversity of voices in the market. Among other things, BCE must:
  • adhere, as a condition of licence, to certain sections of the CRTC’s code of conduct for commercial arrangements that limit potential anti-competitive behaviour and ensure fair treatment for independent programming services and distributors
  • not unduly withhold non-linear rights from competing distributors, even if BCE is not exploiting such rights itself
  • provide reasonable access to advertising opportunities on its radio stations to all competitors
  • file with the CRTC affiliation agreements with programming services and television distributors
  • enter into a CRTC-supervised dispute resolution process if an affiliation agreement is not reached 120 days before the expiry date of the existing agreement.

More choice for consumers and citizens, opportunities for creators

BCE will be required to invest $246.9 million in tangible benefits over the next seven years, which is $72 million more than it had proposed. This amount reflects the CRTC’s revised value of the transaction, as well as the size and exceptional nature of the transaction.

In particular, BCE must spend $175.4 million on initiatives related to the television sector, which is equivalent to 10 per cent of the value of Astral’s television services. These investments will notably result in the creation of original Canadian dramas, comedies, documentaries and award shows by independent producers. BCE will also support youth programming and initiatives designed to promote Canadian content on multiple platforms. A portion of programming expenditures will be reserved for official-language minority communities in each language.

Additionally, BCE will be required to support the development, production and promotion of Canadian feature films, notably through additional contributions to the Harold Greenberg Fund and Telefilm Canada, financial support of Canadian film festivals and initiatives to promote Canadian feature films.

BCE must also spend $71.5 million on initiatives related to the radio sector, which is equivalent to 7 per cent of the value of Astral’s radio stations. The company will provide funding to not-for-profit organizations that contribute to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry, help launch the careers of emerging artists and support campus and community radio stations.

This transaction will therefore enable the Canadian creative industries to innovate and contribute to the creation of more original programming for Canadian and global audiences.

Local programming

The CRTC is also ensuring that Canadians in 29 markets across the country continue to have access to local programming on television, including local news and information. BCE must keep open all of its existing local television stations, as well as the two stations it has acquired from Astral, at least until 2017. BCE must also maintain the stations’ current levels of local programming during this period.

CKGM Montréal

Finally, the CRTC is allowing BCE to operate four English-language radio stations in the Montreal market, including CKGM. Given the strong support expressed by Montreal’s English-language minority community for this station, BCE will have to maintain its current sports format for at least seven years. This decision constitutes a positive measure that will ensure the needs of the community are well served.

Corporate reorganization

The CRTC also approved two corporate reorganizations – one within Astral and the other within BCE – which are necessary to finalize the transaction.
Today’s decision follows a proceeding that included a public hearing, which was held from May 6 to 10, 2013. The CRTC received more than 800 interventions during this public proceeding, as well as two petitions totaling more than 16,000 signatures.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kernels rolling out national digital signage network

UR-Channel is pleased to announce it has been engaged to build and manage Kernels Popcorn own privately branded digital signage network and the National rollout is well under way.

The partnership between the companies began with a Pilot Program at one location that proved to quickly accomplish its objectives according to Eli Staiman, Kernels Chief Operating Officer. Kernels analysis indicated improved "capture rates" on its daily promotions by a large enough percentage in sales to see a full return on investment for the initial site early on in the 90 day Pilot period. These results triggered the outfitting of an additional 13 locations. By the end of the Pilot period, every location experienced growth and positive ROI.

In addition to the achievement of particular merchandising goals, it was important for Kernels to establish a professional working relationship with the right partner. Mr. Staiman, subsequent to the completion of the Pilot Period, commented, "I am proud to share that this initiative was a resounding success on both fronts. We quickly learned that working with the UR-Channel team was easy and fun as they reacted quickly and often had fresh ideas and perspectives for use with our branding messages. Additionally, we were able to increase our customer's reactions and interactions with our products, packaging and promotions."

UR-Channel's "Full Circle Approach" digital signage solution for Kernels includes network design, engineering, all requisite hardware, installation, UR-Show Content Management Software, content development, proactive monitoring and service, entirely managed and supported under one roof. The UR-Show CMS platform offers highly flexible degrees of control over the network from self to fully managed scenarios. In this case, Kernels management directs ad placement and programming. UR-Channel creates all the content for the network working closely with Kernel's Marketing Department to develop clips which amplify branding, promotional and merchandising strategies.                 

Halifax International Airport Authority migrates display network to Omnivex Moxie

Concord, ON - June 20, 2013 - Omnivex Corporation announced today that the Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) has migrated the first 100, of a total of 150, of its displays to the Omnivex Moxie software solution. Working with the Omnivex local Value Added Reseller, 3D datacomm, the Halifax International Airport Authority will continue to replace their existing display management system, consisting of the remaining 50 displays, over the next two months.

After a formal selection process, Omnivex Moxie was chosen as the best solution that gives the HIAA full control over the content displayed to their customers. In addition to flight, gate and baggage information, HIAA also plans to extend the system to include interactive wayfinding for travellers and internal communications to their staff.

"We are very excited about the possibilities," said Mike Maxwell, HIAA Director of Business Solutions & IT. "Omnivex Moxie allows us to realize our vision of being able to present any message on any screen at the airport, giving us unlimited possibilities to ensure the best information is being presented to the travelling public and our airport staff. We're also very happy that the best-in-breed solution we chose is all Canadian."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Montréal’s subway system adds more screens

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and COGECO Métromédia will set up Métrovision digital screens in the whole of Montréal’s subway system to provide its clientele with an increasingly better access to information. The deployment will be carried out in two phases, each covering 26 stations, from June 2013 to Summer 2014.

The screens will display useful information for passengers such as the hour and the destination of the next subway train, the status of the subway service, and instructions in case of an emergency.
There are currently 116 screens in 16 metro stations. At the end of this new initiative, 223 more screens will be installed, for a total of four screens per station – or two by platform – as well, more screens will be added at the Jean-Talon and Snowdon stations.

« The STM provides more than 900,000 commutes in its subway system. Customer satisfaction is directly linked to the quality of the information provided and to its availability. By equipping all of its subway stations with digital displays, the STM once again proves its continuing commitment to improving its own practices to better meet the needs of commuters », said Mr Michel Labrecque, Chairman of the Board.

« We have been one of the first industry players to commercialize a digital display network, stated Claude Lamoureux, Vice-President and General Manager of COGECO Métromedia. This deployment is part of the move toward digital media already in progress and will reach all of the users of Montréal’s subway system every day. Métrovision also provides a new and diversified programming that we will happily share with all of the clientele ».

The STM, the entity responsible for installing the infrastructure to accommodate the displays, is carrying out this project within the Réno-Systèmes phase 3, a program jointly funded by Transports Québec. COGECO Métromedia provides the display equipment as well as content management and system maintenance.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BroadSign International joins OAAA

BroadSign International, LLC, provider of digital signage software and services, has joined the ranks of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), a trade organization that represents over 800 member companies and more than 90 percent of the country’s OOH advertising revenue.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising revenue rose 4.2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, accounting for $6.7 billion, based on figures released by OAAA. The increase in revenue highlights the industry’s positive revenue growth for 12 consecutive quarters.

“Out-of-home continues to perform well year after year and it remains one of the fastest growing advertising media,” said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher in the OAAA member newsletter. OAAA’s revenue estimates include billboard, street furniture, transit and alternative advertising, as well as digital platforms for advertising spending.

Market studies indicate that the digital component is a primary reason for the OOH industry’s steady and rapid growth. Many experts think that it is only a matter of time before more OOH advertising assets convert to digital.

“As digital increasingly drives the success of many OAAA member companies, we feel that we can greatly benefit from the research, tools and networking opportunities within the organization,” said Brian Dusho, BroadSign’s CEO. “Since our platform already powers some of the world’s largest and most successful digital outdoor networks, we will be happy to share our vast expertise with the community,” he added. 

BroadSign has been providing software-as-a-service for digital signage networks for 10 years and now powers the largest connected aggregate of digital out-of-home screens. The company recently released its latest software platform, BroadSign X, which offers further enriched functionality, simplified workflows and greater network automation. This year also brought the introduction of the BroadSign Xpress player, a low-cost Android-based device that is an efficient tool for static signage vendors looking to venture into digital. 

BroadSign will be exhibiting at the upcoming OAAA/TAB National Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. LIVE. Convention registrants can sign up for a meeting with a BroadSign representative at the event by clicking here.

Dot2Dot Communications ignites OAAA/TAB National Convention in L.A.

Dot2Dot Communications, developer of media management software Ad Manager, and Canadian sole distributor for Scala digital signage software pulls out all-the-stops for grass roots client base—Out of Home. As a member of the OAAA for over 18 years, Dot2Dot has worked with most leading Outdoor operators gaining insight and incorporating best practices for their enterprise solution, Ad Manager. As part of this years’ Convention Dot2Dot will be showcasing an impressive line-up of new product functionality for both traditional and digital Out of Home media. They’ll also be bringing to life new ways for consumers to connect with signage via mobile devices using some of the latest outdoor screens provided by Vertigo Displays and LG. Ad Manager highlights include: • Demographic targeting for network operators to tailor media buys, • A link to TAB Out of Home Ratings data for audience measurement, • Automated proposal generation, • Detailed performance reports, • Remote lighting control that saves valuable time and money, • And, a refresh on their connected platform to generate buys for all media types using one contract with one invoice and a single source of POP. “We’re excited about this years’ OAAA/TAB National Convention, their theme ‘ignite’ plays right-in to the amount of innovative developments and momentum Dot2Dot has on the go,” said Nancy Biglow, Marketing Manager, Dot2Dot Communications. “We’re also thrilled to be a major sponsor of the event as the creators for the Official Mobile Site – IgniteOOH.mobi.” You can visit Dot2Dot at the OAAA/TAB National Convention for a hands-on look at their new product features.

Torontonians transported to the Yukon in OOH videos

In mid-April Outside the Cube, the Agency of Record for Tourism Yukon, employed a unique marketing approach to break through the advertising clutter in Toronto. “Toronto is a key market for Tourism Yukon but making an impact through all the noise can be a challenge, so rather than just telling Torontonians how great Yukon is, we wanted them to actually feel it,” said Dee Enright, Lead Strategist of the account and President and CEO of Outside the Cube. “We wanted to create an experience and have them share that experience. The kind of awe that we see when people come to visit.” The agency decided that contrasting the pristine wilderness, northern lights, midnight sun, culture and iconic drives of Yukon to the urban soundscape of Toronto was the way to go. Using projection mapping that included film and sound, Outside the Cube worked with Media Merchants to secure high profile locations and develop stunning Yukon Portals that would transport people from their regular surroundings. “We developed six videos, each of which represents a pillar of our Yukon tourism product. They were about 40 seconds each so they only provided a small taste of what we have to offer. The portals were surrounded in a display of Northern Lights and included the sounds of paddling, dog teams, First Nations drumming and silence. They were a stark contrast to the street lights and sirens of Toronto,” said Enright. “It was amazing to see people stop in their tracks, record the videos on their phones, take photos and share them. For that short time period we allowed them to feel what they could feel if they visited Yukon.” The campaign ran for three consecutive nights in such high profile locations as outside the Air Canada Center before, during and after a Leafs game, on The Esplanade on a busy Friday night when a Blue Jays game was on and bars and restaurants were overflowing, and then on Saturday at the busy corner of Young and Gould. The locations were chosen based on research that indicated where the segment that Yukon Tourism targets spends their time, and which activities they enjoy. The release of the video compilation that captured some of the reactions of passersby is being shared on their YouTube channel and on a number of platforms online. To view the video, click here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dear City Canada displays a message to your city on a billboard

If you can fit your feelings for your city in 140 characters, Pattison Onestop want to share it with the rest of Canada on a billboard as part of a new public art project.

Tweet a 140 character letter to your city using @DearCityCanada. All letters deemed acceptable will be displayed on mall screens across Canada for two weeks this June, reaching five million people a week. The best letters will be displayed on outdoor digital billboards across Canada this summer, and of course letters will be retweeted via the @DearCityCanada account. You start your tweet by indicating your city. For example “@DearCityCanada Dear [name of your city] …”

The participating billboard cities are: Vancouver, Surrey, Pitt Meadows, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, Peterborough, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, and Halifax.

Only letters to the digital billboard location cities will have a chance of being seen in those cities. Other Dear City letters will have the opportunity to be seen in malls across Canada. Letters to Quebec cities must be in french due to language laws.

Co-Produced by Pattison Onestop and Spacing Magazine, Dear City Canada is part of Art in Transit, Pattison Onestop’s ongoing arts and culture programme, presenting thought-provoking projects that enhance our shared environment and transport city-dwellers, if only momentarily, out of Canadian's daily routines.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

BroadSign celebrates 10th Birthday with major revision

Digital signage software maker BroadSign International, LLC celebrates its tenth anniversary with the release of a powerful new version of its SaaS platform. BroadSign X offers further enriched functionality combined with more simplified workflows and a greater degree of network automation.

The BroadSign X software version follows the introduction of BroadSign Xpress, the company’s first Android media player hardware. BroadSign Xpress matches the full functionality of PC playback devices at a tiny fraction of the price, thus drastically reducing the cost of network deployment. Networks that wish to use the Android player must upgrade to the BroadSign X network management platform, available to existing client networks free of charge.

Among other significant enhancements, advertisers can now spend budgets more efficiently using BroadSign X’s “campaign goal” feature, which allows for a campaign to stop automatically once the desired number of ad runs, impressions or viewer interactions have been achieved.

“We always aim to absorb the latest developments in digital signage technology and anticipate future trends,” says BroadSign CEO, Brian Dusho. “Our latest products, the BroadSign X platform and BroadSign Xpress Android player, reflect this approach. The practical outcome is that every new product of ours makes DOOH media space more accessible to advertisers,” he added.

The new BroadSign X platform also boasts features such as simple screen control, RS 232 device control API, export package check-sum, day part API and TCP triggers, as well as broadcast-like video transitions.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Drawing on a 120-foot video wall

This project by Adrià Navarro + DI Shin let three artists draw with their iPads on the 120' x 11' Laser Phosphor Display video wall at the InterActive Corps (IAC) building in New York. Here's the video:

inkscapes from Adrià Navarro on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Scotiabank MicroTiles at Yorkdale Mall

Cineplex Digital Solutions, with the help of JERW, provided a great looking and very creative video wall using Christie MicroTiles at the new flagship Scotiabank branch in Toronto's Yorkdale Mall.

The MicroTiles above the entrace of the store feature a very unique design where certain tiles are extruded from the wall and create a dynamic 3D effect.

This overview by JERW gives a nice look at how to design content for MicroTiles, especially if they're placed in a very unconventional layout like the Scotiabank installation.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Transit going digital in Edmonton

Pattison Outdoor and Edmonton Transit System (ETS) are set to launch a new Digital Transit Network, one similar to the TTC Transit Network in Toronto. This new network will provide digital messaging in 10 key LRT stations with a total of 34 digital screens and a reach of over 500,000 commuters weekly.

Pattison's SmartAD(R) technology will give advertisers and the ETS the capability to provide commuters timely and relevant information in real-time format (e.g. Next Train Arriving in 5 minutes).

"We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Pattison Outdoor a proven leader in the Digital Advertising Network. Their knowledge and understanding of the products, and in particular our customers needs, made this a natural step in our business relationship," Charles Stolte Manager, Edmonton Transit System.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Van Wagner Chooses Ayuda Platform for New York Digital Rollout

Ayuda Media Systems announced at the 2013 Digital Signage Expo today that Van Wagner Communications has selected Ayuda’s Splash™, Juice™, and Finance products to manage the entire media sales workflow for their newest digital billboards in New York.  Van Wagner is one of America’s largest, premium Outdoor Out-of-Home media operators.

Jordan Schaps, President of Van Wagner East Coast commented: “We were looking for an single platform that could handle our entire workflow which spans sales checking digital avails, generating proposals, contract management, digital scheduling, digital playback, proof of play, invoicing, leasing and financial reporting. Were it not for Ayuda, we would have had to go with three software vendors to do get this done which would have slowed us down. With their one single platform, our account executives use Juice™ to generate proposals, our schedulers use Splash™ to schedule and upload creative and get proof of play reports, and our finance team uses their Finance product to generate invoices and calculate lease payouts.” Schaps went out to especially note “And Ayuda came through for us and implemented this project within 30 days.”

The high profile digital billboards are part of Van Wagner’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) network and are seen by millions of commuters every day. The network is entirely managed by Ayuda’s platform and allows Van Wagner to propose, sell, schedule, and even invoice for these panels from a single integrated platform. Splash™ is Ayuda’s sales CRM product and includes digital avails and digital proposal generation. Splash™ is Ayuda’s digital content management system and works with Ayuda’s Splash™ Player. The Finance product from Ayuda includes functionality such as billing schedules, invoice generation, lease agreement management, lease payout calculations, and financial reporting. All of these products are part of the single, integrated Ayuda Platform.

Andreas Soupliotis, Ayuda’s CEO, enthusiastically states that “We are thrilled to be providing the unified technology that proposes, plays, and invoices ads in these high profile digital locations for Van Wagner. I respectfully challenge any of our competitors to do all of this from a single platform: manage CRM leads, sales proposals, schedule, play digital content, invoice, lease payout, and transfer to a GL. Software vendors in this space have historically come in three flavors. Some are CRM vendors, some are media workflow management vendors, while others are digital signage vendors that concentrate on technology to push content to screens. To my knowledge, we are the only vendor that does it all from one platform. And I’m especially delighted to be able to do this for a company like Van Wagner that is known for its excellence in out-of-home.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dot2Dot Communications ad system chosen to manage Montreal digital bus shelter network

Quebecor Media Inc. has chosen Dot2Dot Communications' Ad Manager to manage and maintain their  recent win for the Société de transport de Montréal's network of 1,350+ bus shelters.

Quebecor Media was chosen, following a call for proposals, to manage the installation, maintenance and advertising operations of the Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM) network of bus shelters for the next twenty years. To help it with this project, Quebecor Media retained the advisory services of Clear Channel Outdoor Canada.

Dot2Dot Communications, who is Scala's Canadian master distributor, acquired Ad Manager from Scala, and provides it as a centrally installed, remotely accessible media management system (available in French) to be used in conjunction with Scala Content Manager and 3rd party applications through an open API.

“We are very pleased and proud both to have won this highly competitive bid to provide a media management system to a company of Quebecor Media’s stature and importance and to have met the aggressive timelines of going from signature to fully implemented in less than 6 weeks,” says Andy McRae, General Manager for Dot2Dot Communications.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kal Tire runs ads based on weather on Astral Digital

Canadian weather can be harsh. The mix of cold, snow and rain can make for very unpredictable road conditions. And that’s exactly what Kal Tire is banking on.

Kal Tire is running a new winter campaign in Toronto and Vancouver on the 
Astral Out-of-Home Digital Network that keeps motorists up to date on current weather, and how roads and driving conditions are being affected. Drawing on up-to-the-minute data and forecasting, the digital displays will provide useful information and present visuals that match the current conditions. So whether rain is falling, snow is blowing or sun is shining, motorists will know what to expect from the drive ahead.

This campaign is based in the understanding that consumers are drawn to ads and visuals that reflect their current reality. The technology that powers Astral Out-of-Home’s Digital Network enables clients to make the most of this concept while also providing a useful and creative service that will get people’s attention and help get everyone to their destination safely. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Audience for Android Wins Signage Solutions Product of the Year Award

Signage Solutions, the technology and solutions magazine for digital signage, DOOH, mobile and place-based digital media, has announced the winners of its 2012 Product of the Year Awards. Winners were honored in 12 distinct categories with Audience for Android submitted by Capital Networks Limited, winning Product of the Year in the Media Player category.

The Signage Solutions Product of the Year Award recognizes the most innovative products of the year in the digital signage field. In its inaugural year, the award program is honoring the outstanding product development achievements of digital signage manufacturers whose products are considered exceptional in the advancement or development of the digital signage industry, as well as their ability to best serve end users and consumers.

Capital Networks Limited, a leading global provider of dynamic digital signage content creation and management software, announced the release of the latest addition to the Audience software platform — Audience for Android — in June 2012. Powered by the android operating system, the Audience for Android media player and software bundle provides a high performance, low cost alternative to traditional PC based digital signage deployments.

“We're very happy to receive this recognition,” said Jim Vair, Vice President of Business Development at Capital Networks. “Since bringing Audience for Android to the market in June, we've found this solution allows our customers to think on a much larger scale when it comes to planning their digital signage projects. The low cost and ease of implementation is inviting to potential users that are new to digital signage while existing customers are happy to have the ability to expand their current deployments much more economically.”

Along with the ability to take advantage of the advanced Audience content management system, some of the key features found within Audience for Android include:
  • Real time scheduling
  • Support of single and multi-zone layouts
  • Full screen H.264 video playback
  • Support of live data feeds
  • As Run Logs for content verification
  • Command and Control features for emergency messaging
“We're excited about the success of our first-annual Product of the Year contest,” said Ben Skidmore, publisher of Signage Solutions magazine. “The competition was very impressive, and we would like to thank each company that participated. This amazing group of products is proof that the digital signage industry is doing incredible things. We can't wait to see that innovation continue in 2013 and beyond.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ADCentricity reports a 20.81% uptake in "breath-­‐fresheners" product transactions due to DOOH

TORONTO, CANADA – January 15, 2013 – ADCentricity Corporation has released the results of a case study aimed at quantifying the effects of digital location based marketing on retail purchasing. The study was conducted in partnership with iSign Media (which operates the Mac’s Couche Tard in store digital network) during November and December 2012 in ten Mac’s Convenience locations in Toronto. The number of point of sale (POS) transactions were observed for a group of products in the breath fresheners category during a control period of 30 days split into three 10 day segments. A 15 second generic ad ran for a 10 day test period promoting the purchase of breath fresheners and POS transactions were observed to measure whether any lift was achieved.

Key points and findings of the study:

 • The average cost of a 15 second ad per location per day is $5.32 ℀
 • The average impressions per location per day are 1,180℀
 • A 15 second spot plays, on average 648 times per location per day on in store and POS screens
 • 20.81% lift in sales for the group of products in the breath fresheners category was observed during the 10 day test period 

Éva Pusztahegyi, Director of Network Partnerships at ADCentricity coordinated the case study and notes the importance of being able to work cooperatively with partners such as iSign to test the effectiveness of the medium and provide clients with evidence and supporting data.

ADCentricity Director of Business Development, Stephanie Mole, is delighted with the findings. “ADCentricity is very enthusiastic to report a 20.81% uptake in “breath fresheners” product transactions due to DOOH support.” Continued Mole, “ADCentricity is looking forward to proving studies for other product categories. Moving forward, ADCentricity plans to examine the effectiveness of additional location based marketing initiatives including; sku triggers, SMS, in store radio, Bluetooth, WiFi, and mobile – alone and as part of cross channel initiatives.”

About ADCentricity

Visit www.adcentricity.com

Monday, January 14, 2013

Canadian digital OOH inventory grows by over 80%

Over the past 15 months, OMAC members have grown their digital OOH inventory by over 80% from 3,700 to over 6,800 screens. OMAC member companies including Astral Out-of-Home, CBS Outdoor, Cogeco Metromedia, Lamar Transit, Newad, Pattison Outdoor, Titan 360 and Zoom Media, have invested in digital OOH nationwide.  Offerings now include large outdoor formats from traditional posters to spectaculars and landmark locations, networked screens on transit routes and ferry terminals, to indoor networks in multiple venues such as restaurants, bars, fitness clubs, malls, airports and college campuses.

Some digital networks offer static and full motion ads on an ad or ad/content loop, audio, mobile compatibility, RSS feeds and live video streaming capabilities as well as matrixed screens equipped with gesture recognition.

The growth has been driven by a number of factors including technology advancements, changing consumer behaviour and marketer demands for short lead times, creative flexibility, mobile integration and the desire to create immediate engagement with consumers.

“The expansion of OMAC member company’s digital offerings underscores the industry’s commitment to respond to the needs of the advertising community by adapting to shifting consumer trends and increasing the innovative choices available for marketers to optimize campaign results,” said Michael Reha, OMAC chairman and CEO of Newad.

To help you stay current on the rapidly expanding digital OOH inventory of members, OMAC has created a digital planning guide showing the markets, screen specs and other details by company.  Click here to access the guide.