David Keene- As you might expect from a good trade show in a rapidly growing industry, there’s as much or more marketing news than new product news causing buzz on the floor of the Digital Signage Expo this week in Las Vegas. Case in point, the Harris announcement yesterday that they are providing the content management and networking infrastructure for what will be, according to Harris, the 4th largest in-store TV network, at birth. I’m talking about the Harris- 7-11 deal. LG is providing the screens. Harris InfoCaster is the management engine. Seeing the demo yesterday at the Harris booth, the most ambitious part of this project, apart from the scale, is the fact that they are using audio messaging. They are going where few retailers have dared to tread. While directional audio is not rocket science, most, the vast majority of, digital signage in retail stores avoids audio like the plague. More power to 7-11 and the designers for being bold. This installation is huge, in scope… and it’s a first for trying to integrate audio messaging into the visual spots.
Here is the press release from Harris:
Harris Corporation Partners with Digital Display Networks to Accelerate Nationwide Deployment of 7-Eleven TV
· Will become one of nation’s largest broadcast TV networks
· 500 stores already operational, growing to 6,200
· Able to reach more than 200 million people per month
NEW YORK, N.Y./MELBOURNE, FL, February 23, 2011 — Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, and Digital Display Networks, Inc. are bringing one the largest digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising networks in the United States 7-Eleven® TV — to full nationwide deployment.
Under a 10-year agreement valued at $75 million, with additional revenue-sharing potential, Harris is providing its award-winning Digital Out-of-Home hardware and software, InfoCaster™ and Punctuate™, in addition to its Managed Services offering to Digital Display Networks, which is providing turnkey services, as well as managing content production and advertising sales for 7-Eleven TV.
Launched in 2010, 7-Eleven TV provides 24/7 programming in 7-Eleven Inc.’s convenience stores, featuring national and local entertainment, and news and weather, as well as advertising highlighting 7-Eleven proprietary brands, in-store and out-of-store brands, and special 7-Eleven promotions. 7-Eleven TV already is operating in 500 stores in some of the top DMAs and highest traffic volume 7-Eleven stores in the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. When fully deployed, it will be carried in 6,200 stores – reaching more than 200 million shoppers monthly. Based on an analysis of various Nielsen ratings data, the GRPU (gross rating point units) of 7-Eleven TV will make it the fourth largest broadcast TV network when fully deployed.
“With its rich and consumer-relevant content, huge scale, and precise measurements, 7-Eleven TV offers precisely the qualities needed for a highly effective, high-reach and high-impact digital advertising network. It’s not just a vision into the future: it’s the vanguard of how new, high-ROI advertising channels will be shaped going forward,” said Thomas L. Harrison, chairman and chief executive officer of Diversified Agency Services, Omnicom Group Inc.
7-Eleven TV delivers programming and promotional advertising tailored to specific markets, customer segments and day parts. Harris DOOH software provides the scheduling flexibility for network programming to be divided into multiple day parts, making it possible to promote specific items at times most relevant to customers. To maximize viewing, each store features two strategically placed LCD high-definition TV monitors and directional audio to attract consumers, and display promotions and products that shoppers can take advantage of in-store.
“Our aim is to offer 7-Eleven customers up-to-the-minute shopping choices at the point where they are making purchasing decisions,” said David Veckerelli, co-CEO of Digital Display Networks. “TheHarris DOOH software makes this possible by enabling content programming to be highly targeted, right down to the zip code and profile of a specific 7-Eleven store, while providing sales metrics to endemic advertisers.”
“7-Eleven TV is an incredibly powerful new medium for both 7-Eleven and its advertisers,” said Harris Morris, president, Harris Broadcast Communications. “Our integrated digital signage network solution with its rich DOOH software combined with our 24/7 managed network services — which are proven daily in the world’s most demanding production environments and live broadcast and live event venues — are driving 7-Eleven TV today, and are architected to expand with the network and support new applications, such as mobile and social media.”
Harris is building 7-Eleven TV around its InfoCaster DOOH software, which provides content creation, network management and media player monitoring with flexible proof-of-play reporting, and its Punctuate DOOH business management software for content scheduling and campaign management to facilitate advertising and scheduled distribution tuned to specific demographics, geographies, and day parts. The Harris DOOH software can manage 40,000 playlists, national and local ads, and all the software supporting transactions on a network.
Harris is supporting 7-Eleven TV with its Managed Services offering for 24/7 monitoring, data hosting and support via dedicated Network Operations Centers in Dallas, Texas, and Melbourne, Florida. These highly secure networking services are similar to those used by major enterprises, from the new Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
“With the partnership of Harris, the nationwide deployment of 7-Eleven TV will become complete, and a milestone for the DOOH industry will be reached,” said Darren Mann, co-CEO of Digital Display Networks. “This network truly signals the arrival of this advertising platform as one that can efficiently and effectively motivate purchases on a very large scale not unlike broadcast networks.”
In addition to 7-Eleven TV, Harris technologies support enterprise-class DOOH networks for McDonald’s and the Amway Center in the U.S; the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort complex in Singapore; and the Venetian Macau Resort-Hotel, among others.
In broadcast communications, Harris offers products, systems and services that provide interoperable workflow solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and out-of-home networks. The Harris ONE™ solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that enable advanced media workflows for emerging content delivery business models.
About Digital Display Networks
Digital Display Networks (www.ddninc.tv) is a digital network provider that creates and installs digital networks, produces and manages all content and administers advertising sales to provide a singular digital signage solution at point of purchase. DDN was formed by the principals of Explorer TV (www.explorer-tv.com), the nation's largest in-hotel digital visitor information TV network servicing over 150,000 hotel rooms in major cities in the U.S. and Europe, as well as cruise ships, visitor information centers and airports. Founded in 1992, Explorer TV was a pioneer in place-based media where advertisers are integrated into network content. All of Explorer TV's content is 100% advertiser supported.
About Harris Corporation
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and more than 16,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications® products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.