ScreenScape is in the final stages of preparing a new application release. The latest release is set to deliver inside of the next few weeks.
What’s in the new release? Join us on September 22 for a sneak peek live webinar, online demonstration and discussion. Don’t miss this opportunity preview upcoming features and ask questions. Next Tuesday, 3PM EDT September 22nd, 2015.
Even if you can’t attend, you may still want to register; we’ll send all registered attendees a link to the recorded video. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of what we’ll be covering in the webinar.
Update September 23, 2015
Watch the recorded copy below:
What follows is a general description of the new improvements.
High Volume processing
The latest release from ScreenScape is focused on content management for our high volume users. These users typically manage dozens or hundreds of locations from a central account (we call them ‘Groups’). As we observed our Group users growing in size and success over the past months and years, it became apparent that we needed to develop tools to assist them in getting their work done as efficiently as possible. Group users often process large batches of content data at once, so we expanded our user interface to assist with making that process easier. We also upgraded the performance of our back end services, to handle the higher loads that high volume processes generate.
A single group user action of sending a new playlist to their group members, for example 10 videos to 300 locations, generates a cascade of actions in the background: 3000 playlist updates, 300 player messages, 3000 video downloads, 3000 status reports… behind the scenes it gets busy in a hurry. Our goal is to make that complex set of processes seamless, fast and transparent.
In addition to a faster service with a snappier response time, the benefits of the new release include help with keeping content organized, streamlined publishing steps, and faster member setup.
Group users have asked ScreenScape for help in organizing large content libraries. Active ScreenScape users like group managers create new content items every day. Over time their content library can grow to hundreds of items, making it a challenge to keep it all straight. This release responds by introducing the ‘Content Tag’: a flexible, user defined tool that help users organize content items into logical categories.
For example, a user might have a mix of Entertainment, Advertisements and Educational content items, which change from season to season and year to year. As their content list grows over time, keeping everything up to date and making certain that the right items are getting to the right venues can become a real challenge. Some users have solved the problem by creating their own naming conventions for content items (“Entertainment – ACME video 123”). This approach works (sort of) but is limited in its usefulness: naming conventions are inflexible, don’t scale well and are difficult to modify over time.
With the new release, group users can create personalized Content Tags that act like folders, or color-coded containers (e.g. tags for “Entertainment”, “Advertisements”, “Educational”, and more). They can create as many tags as needed, change them over time, and assign the same item to as many different tags as makes sense for their work.
The new Content Tags can also be used to perform follow-up actions like publishing, or simply to make ScreenScape content items easier to find and update.
Group users with many venues asked us for help when publishing complex lists of content items. Not only can it get complicated to keep the web of “who gets what” straight – it takes too many steps to complete even simple tasks like “these new videos go to all my venues”. We’ve responded by streamlining the publishing process. It’s now possible to create and save any number of new playlists (aka Content Tags). When you’re ready to publish, you just drag your Content Tag to as many (or as few) venues as needed, in a single step.
For example, the manager of a group with 20 members wants to publish 7 new Educational videos to all their venues.
Using the old way, the process was:
Create the 7 new content items
Drag the 7 new items to the first venue.
Drag the 7 new items to the second venue.
Drag the 7 new items to the third venue.
Repeat 17 more times (!!)
Using the new way, the steps are:
Create the 7 new content items
Create 1 new Content Tag called ‘Educational videos’
Drag the 7 new items to ‘Educational videos’
Drag ‘Educational videos’ to ‘My Group’
The new ‘tag to tag’ publishing can save an active group manager hundred of clicks a day, all while making it easier to get the right content to the right screens.
Users asked for help in preserving the order of their playlists when publishing many items at once. In many of these cases, publishing was a two step process: first publish the items, then follow-up by reordering the playlist of each of the target venues one by one. This release removes the need for the second step with the introduction of “ordered publishing”.
For example, a user wants to publish a mix of new Entertainment videos and Educational videos, but they want to alternate between the two types: 2 Educational videos shouldn’t play back to back, nor should 2 Entertainment videos play back to back.
Under the old way, the user would have to individually re-order the playlists of each venue after publishing.
Using the new Content Tags introduced with this release, the user can define a specific order for their videos within a tag. They simply drag and drop the item into a new position on the list, similar to how venues order their playlists. When the tag is published (drag the content tag to a member tag), the published order of the items in the tag is respected. The user is saved the time consuming task of reordering each individual venue playlist after publishing.
When combined with the time saving introduction of tag-to-tag publishing, ordered playlists are a huge efficiency gain for busy group managers.
Faster member setup
It’s often the case that ScreenScape group users are responsible for maintaining multiple venues at the same time. These users have asked us for help in making it easier to complete initial setup steps and everyday maintenance tasks. This release responds with new member actions that help group users maintain venue settings from within their central group account.
For example, one group manager is responsible for keeping all their member logos up to date with the latest brand standards, making sure the member default preferences are properly set, correcting a time zone assignment, or updating member names with a new naming convention.
Under the old way, the group manager would have to login to each individual member account and perform the maintenance tasks (e.g. Edit Profile->Edit Logo) one account at a time.
Using the Publish tool updated with this release, the group user can select all members and select a single Action (e.g. “Update Member Logo”) to update all members at once, without leaving their central group account.
Member actions aren’t expected to be used every day. But when they’re needed, such as during initial setup of a new group, they’re a huge time saver.
We’ve just released new templates. Now you can see a new full screen image pack in the “Get Started” collection. There’s also a new look to the weather icons, and options for Full screen image, with lower third Logo, Text, RSS and Weather.
ScreenScape is lucky to be able to work with professional, experienced industry partners like Ingage Solutions (“Ingage”) out of Oceanside, California.
Ingage is a brand of Federal Heath Sign, a visual communications company that traces its roots back to 1901. With over 110 years of full-service national sign manufacturing, project management, maintenance and re-imaging experience, our products and services offer solutions for any environment, from traditional signage to the latest in digital technology. Ingage Solutions creates collaborative end-to-end customer experiences, delivering unrivaled options for digital signage that create customer engagement.
If you are a real estate developer or manage a building, and that building has a TV, this video is for you. Digital signage is powerful, and thanks to ScreenScape Connect it’s now both easy and cost-effective. Watch this short video to learn more about this new plug & play smart device for digital signage.
Today’s most innovative marketers understand the power of storytelling. They make it a priority to create innovative and highly entertaining content, which in turn, translates into satisfied customers and new brand advocates. Branded content, or branded entertainment as it’s sometimes called, is an increasingly popular form of advertising that blurs conventional distinctions between what constitutes advertising and what constitutes entertainment or editorial content.
While an average CMO will see social channels or mobile technologies as the main distribution point for branded content, today’s more sales savvy marketing executives understand the opportunity to extend their use of branded content to real world places, applying it directly at the point-of-sale where a buying decision may be imminent. That’s where we come in. ScreenScape makes it easy for marketers to leverage their investment in branded content by bringing it right into the retail store, and sometimes into relevant venues in the community where a key audience lurks along the path-to-purchase. Request your own personalized tour of our solution right here.
From today’s announcement: “We find video to be an effective way to share the rich stories that are behind our clothes, our employees and our social responsibility practices” said Clarence Faison, Manager of Information Systems for Eileen Fisher. “Naturally, one of the most important places to do this is at stores where Eileen Fisher clothes are available for purchase. ScreenScape gives us a simple yet powerful way to execute this at retail, helping us to coordinate our marketing efforts with store managers and add value to the experience of buying Eileen Fisher”.
It’s been said if you’re not at least thinking about branded content, you’re missing out. The future of entertainment will also move the sales needle. We agree completely. So why not put that branded content to work where it matters most…..where marketing ideas meet real world customer service and where another one of your potential customers might be making a buying decision at this very moment: the places where your products and services are available for purchase.
Today we’re pleased to announce a very special offer to ScreenScape customers looking to add some compelling, professional video content to their playlist. Effective today you can request a free preview of CBC feeds and enjoy an entire month of free service before having to make a decision as to whether or not you’d like to pay monthly to continue to use these feeds to spice up your ScreenScape display. We call it the CBC Try & Buy program.
CBC feeds include dynamic, daily curated, short video clips, available in both English and French, which can be customized and delivered directly to your ScreenScape screen, in the following categories: Top News, World News, Canada News, Sports, and Arts & Entertainment. In the comprehensive category you’ll find even more selection: Business News, Health News, Politics, Regional News, and a range of individual sports feeds.
Normally, CBC feeds are priced at $10 USD per device per month for the standard package, and $20 USD per device per month for the comprehensive package. Under the terms of our new Try & Buy program you can turn on either package and enjoy free service for a month before making any decisions. How cool is that?
Ok, so now you’re probably wondering what’s the catch? While there really is no catch, there are a couple of caveats to the program. The new CBC digital news feeds available on ScreenScape do have minimum system requirements. Whether you are using a legacy Windows-based PC or the new ScreenScape Connect device, you do need to be on the latest version of our player software in order for these feeds to work….so naturally to take advantage of the CBC Try & Buy Program you must be on the latest and greatest version of our software. If you aren’t sure if you’re on the latest version of our software you can contact our support desk and we’ll help you figure that out.
The second caveat is very simple….while there is no limit to the number of screens that can use the feeds under this program, each ScreenScape customer has only one chance to activate the free preview. You can take advantage of the CBC Try & Buy program and enjoy an entire free month of service only once.
How to order
If you are an existing member of ScreenScape using the latest version of our software and you would like us to enable your account so see the new CBC templates and begin using them in your own playlist instantly please contact us NOW by completing this webform.
Today we announced that Tennis Canada, the national governing body for Tennis in Canada, has selected ScreenScape to power a nationwide place-based media network that will power screens inside Tennis clubs and related venues across Canada. It’s gratifying to see a leading sporting organization, like Tennis Canada, recognize the potential of place-based media and decide to lead the way in forming a coordinated network of Internet-connected screens. In the process they, along with partners like the Ontario Tennis Association, are becoming exemplars of our technology for Tennis clubs across the country.
Simplicity, security, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, the four attributes of our NEW approach to place-based media that our customers seem to cite time and time again as their reasons for choosing ScreenScape, are no doubt key factors here again in Tennis Canada’s decision. While those are some of the key differentiators of OUR unique approach to building place-based media networks, let’s take a step back and look at the factors that make place-based media, as a medium, attractive to an organization like Tennis Canada. Here are five (of many) ways place-based media can help a sporting organization like Tennis Canada.
Engagement. Whether it’s at the grass roots level, a local tennis club that’s looking to drive participation and increase its membership, or at a national level where an organization like Tennis Canada is trying to grow the sport of Tennis among our youth, the simple task of connecting and controlling screens inside sporting venues leads directly into the formation of a powerful communications platform for engaging the tennis community at large. All those images and videos that tennis fans and athletes are posting on social media can be directed to screens inside tennis clubs. All those event notices and registration deadlines can be posted to screens, not just in one club, but dozens of clubs, or even neighbouring venues, simultaneously. How about tournament results? Player accolades? Rule changes? Of course. It’s one thing to mail out your paper bulletins….but to engage with today’s connected customer it can certainly help to use a new and highly democratic form of communication like place-based media which not only amplifies the reach of official notices but opens up the discourse, turning passive viewers into active producers of digital content, active participants in a conversation.
Education. If you search Youtube you’ll find that hundreds of sporting organizations are using Youtube videos to inform and educate their audience with instructional videos. But how many of those organizations are actively directing those videos to the places where their core audience tends to congregate? Not enough. Using simple plug & play devices to power screens inside each club, Tennis Canada can now take an instructional video like this one, “How to Fix Your Ball Toss“, and quickly get it in front of all the young students of the game. Watching the video on premise at a Tennis club makes sense. It helps to start a timely conversation in the very place where an instructor or mentor may be on hand, where they can actually try their hand at some new exercises.
Events. Place-based media systems aren’t as complicated as the broadcasting systems of the past. ScreenScape Connect offers the Tennis Community a simple plug & play device for getting any screen connected, and easy-to-use web-based software for quickly creating and editing their content. This simplicity and ease-of-use means it’s easy to setup a screen network and easy to change programming on a timely basis, for a day or for a weekend. That permanent on-premises place-based media network you’ve set up for your Tennis club, which might be used to advance promote an upcoming event, can also be packed up and transferred. It can double as a temporary digital notice board, on location, to brand and to provide logistic support for a specific tournament or sponsor event.
Coordination. An important mandate of a national governing body is to develop close working relationships with its key stakeholders. In this case, an organization like Tennis Canada wants to foster coordination with local tennis clubs, and with regional associations such as the Ontario Tennis Association. Today’s place-based media can help significantly in this area. Individual tennis clubs can operate their own screens and feature their own specialized local programming while, at the same time, they can participate as members of any number of regional or national networks. As a central body, Tennis Canada can provide leadership and coordination through the direct dissemination of content to local tennis clubs. This helps the local and regional bodies with their programming and makes it easy for the entire collective to stay coordinated.
Sponsorship. Sporting organizations depend on the ongoing support of community and corporate sponsorships. Using monetization strategies, sporting organizations can use place-based media to offer their sponsors a new and powerful way to reach their audience. For the sporting organization this creates new opportunities to drive revenue at every level: local, regional, and national. Because individual locations can be aggregated into groups, to form large scale networks, it only takes a little bit of coordination by a regional or national body to pool hundreds of screens that collectively can reach an entire regional or national audience. In this case, by inviting hundreds of tennis clubs to join their group, Tennis Canada can add a national place-based media network to the list of marketing vehicles they can offer a major sponsor.
We congratulate Tennis Canada, as well as others like the Ontario Tennis Association, that have come before them, in pioneering this new and exciting initiative – an Internet of screens for the tennis community. We invite all sporting organizations, large and small, to follow suit and discover the power of a simple plug & play device to empower and energize their community.
We’ve just launched our self-serve e-commerce site. Now you can purchase World class hardware by Dell, with leading digital signage software by ScreenScape with a few clicks. Getting started with digital signage has never been easier. Buy your device online today!