Digital signage is a communication platform that can be used as an audio or visual medium depending on the device or hardware you are using. Digital signage can be used for many different purposes; a large variety of message types are available, but the most common are promos, weather, traffic reports, and news updates. It’s no mystery that more and more organizations are now using digital signage following digital signage best practices, mainly for the purpose of communication and engagement. It’s become a ‘must have’ for business communication but one of the significant barriers to that success has been the cost of digital signage for this technology. The problem is, as, with all technology, not everyone understands the cost of any specific product. Let’s see a few metrics that need to be considered in order to get cost-effective digital signage
For digital signages, the cost really depends on the digital signage display technology. You may go insanely high if you decide to have projectors, but you may also go with LG 4K UHD TVs starting as low as $425 or even with a 40” TCL 3 Series Android TV for $300 if you want to go with the cheapest option, adopting Smart TVs (especially as indoor digital signage displays) is one of the recent digital signage trends. Please note that you may even pick a tablet for your digital signage project at the start.
In order to stream your content on your display, you will also need a media player. Some digital signage displays include the player however others require a media box or a plug and play stick. Media boxes are better than the plug and play sticks in terms of storage and processing power but plug and play sticks are much cheaper. The prices of digital signage players can vary widely; ASUS Chromebox 4 media box is a good start with 32GB builtin storage for $350 or you may go with a Fire TV Stick Lite starting as low as $30.
Mounting and Installation
Mounting costs vary widely, you may have to spend a considerable amount of time measuring, bidding, planning, and designing the digital signage hardware required. Often, companies underestimate this cost; in some cases, the hardware cost is out of the price range of small-business owners, and many businesses stick to off-the-shelf options. Think about installing your digital signage software yourself if it’s not a large-scale project.
Of course, a business will want to spend as little as possible on licensing but licensing cost is also a major factor that needs to be considered. The number of store locations and number of displays are the key metrics that will affect your license cost, you should pick solutions that can be scalable with feasible license fees. In addition to that, you may also need to subscribe to other services like digital content libraries, templates or widgets in order to enhance your communication with your customers.
It takes a significant amount of software license costs and IT staff support to successfully implement and manage digital signage in your organization. It’s usually easy to find someone who can do the installation of software, but getting someone to service and support your software may cost a small fortune.
It’s generally difficult to estimate these costs when you do not know the exact project plan for your signage infrastructure. We, therefore, encourage you to hire an expert team to provide help in the planning, implementation, and operation of digital signage in your organization as it may not be feasible to hire full-time IT personnel for the maintenance of your infrastructure.
A Cost-Effective Alternative: Cloud-based signage
Cloud-based digital signage solutions for small to medium businesses are comparatively less expensive than their traditionally manufactured counterparts. Benefits of cloud signage are innumerable and in recent years, cloud-based digital signage has slowly taken over traditional solutions in the public sphere, and there seems to be a shift towards cloud-based solutions. It does not require high-cost media players, and you just need a smart TV and a cloud-based subscription where you will pay monthly or annual fees which will have a reduced upfront cost.
Cloud-based digital signage comes in the form of services that allow you to host your digital signage systems remotely and then digitally distribute content. The data center hosts the content server in a cloud-based solution, which the end-user accesses and displays through a browser or an app. Content management, content distribution, and maintenance are all provided with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. All stakeholders – the business and the employees can access these services through one unified website or application and this makes cloud-based signage a sought-after component. Hence, cloud-based signage is really a good alternative as it does not require costly charges.