“What are the keys to effectively delegating local management of content in large digital signage networks?”
Content management for large digital signage networks poses several challenges even when done in a centralized fashion. Add the complexity of a distributed management system, and there are a few key items that will need to be top of mind. While this write-up does not provide a silver bullet answer to the question, it instead attempts to provide a framework to be effective in a distributed content management network.
First and foremost, some fundamental strategic decisions need to be made. Some of them relate to:
a) Will the content be 100 percent locally managed? Or, is it a time/screen spliced content strategy?
b) Does the autonomy of content creation/selection provide the right amount of “network value” to the client as well as the audience?
Given the strategic decisions above, there are some areas of the network that need some additional thoughts:
What technology is available to be able to manage content locally and be effective in pushing it to the devices without disrupting the central content that may also be concurrently trying to play. Thought has to be given to splicing playlists and templating content presentation before we allow local content management. Mismanagement in technology can lead to overlapping content and/or mis-formatted content that will spoil the overall delivery experience. Coordinating between local and central content to keep it relevant is yet another consideration.
What regulations exist at the point of display? For a network that is primarily in healthcare settings, there may be content that needs to be regulated by the FDA or some other regulatory body. Who owns the responsibility for content compliance to the applicable regulations needs to be established.
Who will manage analytics and ROI calculations? Depending on whether the strategy is to do a mix of local and central content, there needs to be a shared analytics burden between the parties.
Apart from regulations (covered above), there may also be content that is NOT appropriate for a certain device location. An example would be showing a Viagra ad at a pediatric clinic network. The clear owner for this ethical responsibility of curation of content needs to be defined. Another aspect of curation is as it relates to content format and aspect ratio (technology can help here).