From all over the web: CNet's news.com
has a story
about Clear Channel Communications'
push into the digital signage in a big way-- literally. The company will begin to offer dynamic billboards as a standard offering through their Clear Channel Outdoor
unit, which focuses on roadside billboards, airports, malls, and other venues for large format signage. CNN Money
has some additional information in this article
. I find their quotes from Clear Channel Outdoor Chief Executive Paul Meyer particularly interesting. Apparently, "he expect[s] new digital technology to boost revenue significantly", and notes that, "Instead of selling space on traditional displays, we'll be selling time slots but with incredible flexibility." It's good to see that big companies like Clear Channel are getting the message, though as a number of readers on Slashdot
note, digital billboards in big cities are nothing new. Still, Clear Channel's incredible marketing muscle will likely have a strong impact on our young market. And it is encouraging that a traditional marketer grasps the benefits of digital media assets. As Meyer notes, the digital signs will have, "a whole different pricing scheme and it should dramatically increase the aggregate revenue from any given location. We're going to make significant capital expenditures to provide that service," since they will be able to dynamically assign content to each sign, and sell time slices to advertisers. CNN notes that, "Clear Channel and other outdoor ad market players expect advertisers will turn more to billboards in coming years as other mediums like television become increasingly fragmented... Overall, spending on outdoor advertising should grow 8 percent in 2004, faster than the average for all media." It's worth noting that Clear Channel's current digital assets do not run FireCast software for digital signage
. However, with the dreaded Blue Screen of Death
(BSOD) already making appearances
on electronic billboards
and digital signs
out in the real world
, that may be subject to change.