As reported by the New York Times (and many others), the venerable WalMart TV network (warning: that's a PDF link), the granddaddy of all narrowcast networks, is getting an upgrade by owner and digital content provider PRN. For those of you who don't know or haven't seen it, the current implementation of the WalMart TV network has a single channel of content distributed to CRT televisions suspended from the ceilings throughout each WalMart store. Consequently there is no differentiation of content by store department: whether in grocery, hardware or apparel, you see the same content, if you happen to see it at all. The new network will supposedly alleviate the former problem by streaming several channels of distinct content to each location (presumably targeted by department or some other metric). The latter will be addressed via plasma displays and other large-format screens placed closer to eye-level and in more obvious spots throughout the stores.
WalMart TV is such a big deal, in fact, that The Times has graced us with yet a second article, this one on WalMart's 10 second ad format for their digital signs. This is particularly interesting (to me, anyway), because it lists the formula that we've been touting for digital signage advertising content: big, easy to read text, a clear, concise message, obvious product placement, and a call to action.
My favorite quote from the article: "'Attention deficit used to be a
disorder,' [Mark C. Mitchell, executive vice president of PRN] said.
'Now, I think it's the new order for consumers.'" That's either
an insightful comment on the human condition, or a frightning harbinger
of things to come. I haven't decided which yet.
lighter note, I'd like to point out that as of February 18th, this blog
turned one year old! As far as I know, it's the longest running
digital signage-related blog in the industry (longest running
kiosk-related blog honors must go to Tim Daw),
and in my not-so-humble opinion, the best :) So here's to another
year of exciting industry news and events, some of which will be