Ask the Board – January 23, 2017 | BRAD SAVAGE

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What are some good examples of digital signage audio, and what makes them appropriate? ”


Over the years, I have seen countless Out-of-Home networks fail, simply due to poorly implemented audio.  If the network provides audio, it must be able to be heard above the ambient noise, but not be too disruptive to prove annoying. This is paramount if you have an advertising-based network. Incorporating audio into digital signage is tricky as there are a lot of variables that go into its use and effectiveness.  The two key components are dwell time and content.

Components and dwell time will dictate the success of using audio. Where there is short dwell time, such as at the gas pumps, audio is very effective in grabbing attention and keeping viewers interested in your screen.  Because an exterior environment has many distractions, audio can be very forgiving, unlike in a confined waiting area such as a doctor’s office, where sound must be modulated. In addition, when running a short content loop, the repetitiveness may turn customers off, and there is the potential for employees to lower the volume, which defeats the effectiveness of network messaging.

In interior spaces, there are any number of examples where audio has been used with great success, but the ones I have seen in the malls, both on advertising displays and wayfinding, have been hit and miss.  The key with a mall is you have different types of venues under one roof.  In the food court, where dwell time can exceed 15 to 30 minutes, audio can be a problem, unless you are providing an extended content loop or are incorporating some form of live TV.  On the other hand, in the corridors, audio can be very effective in bringing attention to your screens.

Notice dwell time similarities: both the mall corridors and the gas pumps have low dwell time and a lot of external noise.  These are the environments where audio excels on digital displays.

About Author

Vice President and Executive Director
Motor Vehicle Network

MEMBER OF THE DSE ADVISORY BOARD
Out-of-Home Network Council

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