Monday, March 31, 2014

BroadSign, Quividi team up to provide audience measurement

BroadSign International, LLC has announced that an upcoming upgrade to its cloud-based digital signage software, BroadSign X 10.3, includes integration with Quividi’s audience measurement platform. Quividi is the most deployed measurement solution in the digital signage market and is a fitting addition to BroadSign’s standardized platform that powers over 200 digital signage networks.

The BroadSign X 10.3 software upgrade was disclosed at BroadSign’s Second Annual Client Summit held in Las Vegas on February 11, 2014. The integration with Quividi will allow for the collection of audience counts and the inclusion of these impressions into proof of play reports. It will also permit the triggering of content based on gender, meaning that ad copy will react and adapt to the demographics of the audience viewing a screen in real time.

“Quividi’s camera-based audience measurement system aims to render point-of-sale and out-of-home marketing strategies as accurate and accountable as their digital counterparts,” said Olivier Duizabo, Co-founder and CEO at Quividi. “Integrating with BroadSign’s platform and having the potential to run on its vast aggregate of digital place-based networks will assist in attaining this goal.”

Already making use of the Quividi features available through BroadSign’s upgraded platform is Grandi Stazioni S.p.A. The conversion of Grandi Stazioni’s Italian transit network reaching 700 million people annually to BroadSign’s digital signage platform was publicized in January 2014. Grandi Stazioni has since activated the new audience measurement features and enrolled Dialogica, a Quividi partner, to build a complete set of traditional media metrics and innovative insight, including the calculation of net coverage, frequency and resulting GRP.

“BroadSign holds its services and products to very high standards and we expect those in our ecosystem to do the same,” said Daniel Parisien, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at BroadSign. “Quividi’s audience measurement solution is an accurate and reliable addition to BroadSign’s platform, and we look forward to our partnership’s future progressions.”

Quividi’s platform delivers a rich set of data to understand how by-passers engage with a screen, such as the number of opportunities to see, number of real viewers, attention time and dwell time, broken down by gender and age class.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Barco buys Montreal-based X2O Media

Barco, a global leader in professional visualization systems, today announces the acquisition of Montreal (Canada) based enterprise communication specialist X2O Media.

In line with Barco’s strategy to move beyond display and projection technology, this acquisition expands the portfolio with a complete solution to deliver enhanced and cross-divisional content distribution and workflow, based on advanced networking and connectivity capabilities.

X2O Media was established in 2006 as a spin-off from VertigoXmedia, a Montreal based company with strong expertise in the field of broadcast graphics automation. X2O’s innovative platform enables the connection, management and delivery of real-time data through dynamic and interactive channels, from any source to any screen, anywhere.

Better answering customers’ expectations

“X2O Media perfectly complements our offering and skills portfolio, and is an important step in our strategy to expand our portfolio beyond video and imaging,” says Eric Van Zele, CEO of Barco. “Customers’ expectations regarding workflow and content management shift to end-to-end and easy-to-use visualization systems and cloud-based solutions. X2O Media’s platform will play a crucial role in allowing Barco to tap into these new opportunities, while differentiating itself further from competition. The X2O software platform versatility, and its capability to address any display - be it fixed or mobile - will prove to be an important asset and allows Barco to link any content from any media to any device.”

Market Synergies 

 X2O’s platform establishes real-time visual communications to the right audience, at the right time, on the right device. The software is being used in demanding applications across a wide range of industries and shows a strong match with Barco’s target markets, including enterprise communications, corporate and education, retail and advertising, control rooms, broadcast and healthcare. The customer base includes major global brands and multinational corporations who use the X2O platform for visually communicating with employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

State of the art technology

The X2O software platform is using hardware agnostic standards, building on HTML-5 technology, and can address any display and all mobile devices. The platform includes plug-ins, “objects” for almost any type of data-source, from local database-systems, over collaboration sites (SharePoint, Exchange, …) up to dynamic data feeds from social media or news sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, …).

The solution can be deployed on premise or in the cloud and comes with an intuitive user interface allowing for the creation of channels and connections in the most efficient way.

Expanding beyond North America

“We are pleased to be welcomed at a major company like Barco, which will hugely expand our market reach,” says David Wilkins, President and CEO of X2O Media. “Barco is a technology company with a focus on visualization infrastructure and image quality. Adding X2O Media’s application software and workflow focused capabilities, will allow both companies to go to the market with a more comprehensive offering. At the moment, our market is limited to North America, but benefiting from Barco’s global network we will be able to grow our activities worldwide.”

A cross-divisional software knowledge center

X2O Media will be integrated in the Barco organization as a business venture, allowing it to continue the development of its platform technology, while leveraging its business growth from Barco’s worldwide sales and service presence. In addition, the X2O specific capabilities and technology will be integrated gradually in solutions for all of Barco’s markets. X2O Media posted sales of 5 million Canadian Dollars in 2013, employs about 40 people and was backed by Propulsion Ventures. The price of this acquisition is set to 21 million Canadian Dollars.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Astral Out-of-Home Unveils New Street Furniture in Montreal

Bell Media’s Astral Out-of-Home division today announced the launch of a major project in Montréal's Quartier des Spectacles, to install 14 new innovatively-designed advertising structures.

The result of a partnership with the Ville-Marie Borough, Bell Media’s OOH advertising division, and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, this project will help promote the distinctive character of the Quartier des Spectacles.

“Astral Out-of-Home is very proud to contribute more than 25 years of expertise and innovation in support of Montréal's Quartier des Spectacles by adapting the design of its structures to represent the creative spirit of this vibrant sector,” said Luc Quétel, President, Astral Out-of-Home. “As the OOH industry leader in Montréal, we are also pleased to pursue the deployment of our digital network in the city’s downtown with the addition of ten new structures. The new installations – equipped with LCD screens and NFC and QR Code technology –   are located entirely in downtown Montréal. This increases our network of advertising faces to 40.”

Unique and modern, these new columns offer advertisers their choice of locations in the heart of the vibrant Quartier des Spectacles. Astral Out-of-Home turned to renowned designer Michel Dallaire to create a model that captures the essence of the Quartier des Spectacles. Recognized for his involvement in designing BIXI, the self-serve bike system, and street furniture in Montréal's Quartier International, he also worked with Astral Out-of-Home to design the digital column located in front of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.

“I am thrilled to continue working with the Astral Out-of-Home team and contribute to the deployment of new, contemporary street furniture structures that are infused with creativity. They are an extension of the vitality of Montréal's Quartier des Spectacles,” said Michel Dallaire. “Astral Out-of-Home and its partners’ desire to achieve seamless integration of OOH structures into downtown Montréal demonstrates their genuine willingness to promote Montréal as the remarkably smart and innovative city of the 21st century.”

These structures provide advertisers the opportunity to reach a large number of festival-goers and tourists, in key sectors where 47,000 workers and 45,000 students converge daily. They also allow the city to broadcast messages that contribute directly to the promotion of Montréal's artistic and cultural vitality.

“We are very pleased that the renowned and distinctive character of the Quartier des Spectacles encouraged Astral Out-of-Home to create a design specific to its identity criteria, such as the colour red and lighting, for its OOH structures to be installed in this part of downtown Montréal,” said Jacques Primeau, President of the board, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. “We thank them for helping consolidate this brand image that we are constantly seeking to develop further.”

These new, attractive, and innovative columns blend perfectly with the aesthetics of the Quartier des Spectacles. The displays will also be equipped with control units for traffic lights, effectively reducing the number of visually-unappealing structures located in the area.