As content becomes king in digital signage, aggregation provides advantage

The digital signage industry has matured well beyond the “just having the technology” phase and is now solidly in the “content is king” phase. Customers have come to expect digital content that interests, entertains and engages them.

One company has capitalized on this trend and is helping its clients better communicate with customers. Wovenmedia recently launched its WovenContent cloud video library, which is filled with rights-cleared HD and 4K content from more than 140 provider partners, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and a number of major movie studios.

The library was a featured new product at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas.

Joellen Jacobs, vice president of Programming and Production at Wovenmedia, said this product is the newest iteration of the company’s first library, launched about seven years ago.

“We have spent a lot of time looking for a better way to do what we were already doing. We wanted content aggregation to be less manually intensive for companies, and we wanted to expand the ways we offer visually-compelling content,” she said. “This launch is an attempt to expand how we offer all kinds of content. There are literally thousands and thousands of clips and playlists available.”

The comprehensive library is also diverse, featuring movies, sports, comedy, health and wellness, bilingual clips and more. Users can create favorites and use the smart search functionality to find content relevant to them at any time. They are also notified of newly added videos to the library.

Joellen Jacobs

Joellen Jacobs

Jacobs said one goal with WovenContent is to provide the type of content seen on TVs at home, with “broadcast quality.” Another is to ensure the library includes the right kind of content for Wovenmedia’s customers. If that content doesn’t exist, Jacobs said they’ll ask their partners to create it, or they’ll look to add partners.

“Our ability to keep media partnerships that we’ve had for years has helped us provide what our clients are looking for and that is the ability to inform, entertain and, to a degree, educate,” she said.

Besides providing more efficiency for users, the new library also offers more data visibility through enhanced reporting functionality.

The process behind the development of the new library took six-plus years. Jacobs said the Wovenmedia team attended trade shows, talked to clients and “just listened to what those in the industry wanted to see and how they wanted to pull and bulk their media.”

“We wanted to find out what would help people the most. What can we do to help solve their problems?” she said. “We’re still taking feedback. It’s an evolving process, especially since digital signage is growing and changing in new ways every day.”

In fact, Jacobs said the biggest challenge is to not only find common ground for everyone, but to also try to stay ahead of what people want.

“At the end of the day, we realized the best way to do these things was to provide content aggregation on a platform that offered this unique, TV-quality content in a friendly, user-accessible way,” Jacobs said.

Bringing the WovenContent library together also provided Jacobs with a glimpse of some of the macro trends emerging in digital signage. To her, the most interesting development thus far has been witnessing more small businesses getting into digital signage.

“We’re seeing the little folks jumping in and this is great because it proves that digital signage is everywhere. You can’t go anywhere without a screen showing some type of content,” she said. “Small business owners who want to get on trend are realizing the best way to communicate with their customers is to put something on a screen. But, it has to be compelling content. People want the right content.”

At the Digital Signage Expo, for example, more people were requesting bilingual content.

“Customers don’t just want waiting room content anymore,” Jacobs said. “Customizable will always be a part of the equation. You can no longer just throw up anything on the screen and expect it to resonate. This is how we realized the more content we aggregate, the more customers we aggregate.”

Retail is Wovenmedia’s largest sector. Jacobs said health care continues to grow and there has been a “huge leap” in automotive within the past year.

“We are constantly looking at how to approach these sectors from a content perspective, and we have to work with them to understand their demographics and what content will make sense,” Jacobs said. “There are givens across the board, such as entertainment or comedy, health and fitness. However, occasionally the asks are more specific, such as a bilingual clip or a behind-the-scenes prank show. We are working hard to make sure the content in the library is fresh.”