Ask the Board – February 27, 2017 | IAN DALLIMORE


What are some operational solutions that have helped your network effectively manage growth and control disparate display types?”

As of January 2016, there were approximately 6,400 roadside digital billboards in the United States. These displays are built by a variety of manufacturers from around the world, and are purchased and installed by a multitude of OOH companies. As a result, you could imagine keeping an eye on “all” of them at once can be a daunting task. Obviously, we all strive to provide our DOOH customers with the highest quality we can, but how do you manage all that variation?

Recently, OOH operators and display manufacturing partners from the OAAA worked together to define basic monitoring requirements for LED digital billboards. An Open Standard Web API (Application Program Interface) is now available to OAAA members to help monitor displays and provide timely information regarding performance and safe operation to OOH network operators.

Here is what a few of them had to say:

“Display manufacturers and operators came together and worked for months to arrive at an industry specification that provides basic monitoring tools for the operators and their advertisers,” said Pattabi Doraiswamy, Watchfire Signs.

Bill Ripp, Lamar Advertising Company, “These new tools will help OOH operators improve the reliability and image quality of all operating LED displays. Any service improvement that provides a more attractive, dependable display will only benefit our customers.”

Operators will use the API as necessary to build internal support tools that generate crucial notifications and/or “dashboards” showing the health of the operating displays. By using the “open standard” and flexible technologies, OOH operators will achieve a productive and consistent level of integration between multiple display manufacturers’ independent of any current or future proprietary technology they may individually possess.

  1. Todd Lathan, OUTFRONT Media, commented, “The standardized monitoring data set for digital displays will allow OOH operators to see their performance in real time. It also ensures that it can now easily be done while operating a mixed inventory of OEM displays. Reliability and rapid response is our client’s greatest desire, and this is a huge step forward.”

The objective of the standard is not to limit any display manufacturer’s ability to innovate. The API is also not intended to provide detailed trouble shooting diagnostics tools, rather a basic feature set of data points used for baseline monitoring of displays. The goal is to supplement any vendor-specific diagnostics tools by providing DOOH operators with a uniform method of receiving basic diagnostic information so that they can quickly react and respond accordingly.

Jeremy Johnson, Daktronics, said, “By creating this standard, operators can go to their customers and provide a greater sense of accountability to the performance of their assets and that this will create a more fruitful selling environment.”

“Having the ability to monitor systems and react quickly to issues will increase the perception of digital OOH,” added Jim Shimmin, Formetco.

The OAAA Digital Display Monitoring API and specifications are available for down­load here.

About Author

Vice President of Digital Growth
Lamar Advertising Company

Out-of-Home Network Council

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