Nanonation Integrates Text Platform To Its Digital Signage Software

June 18, 2008

technology & production


17 Jun 2008
US-based digital signage software specialist, Nanonation has linked up with Impact Mobile to supply an integrated content delivery platfrom and mobile media solution for the hospitality and retail markets.

The deal enables Nanonation to offer their customers the ability to offer interaction with their digital screens via standard text messaging.


The addition of added-value applications to digital signage software platforms has been the name of the game in 2008. First it was adding content systems such as weather, then it was audience measurement systems, then media sales aggregation software, and now the latest thing is mobile and text-to-screen applications.

The newswires have been awash with the software companies getting into this next round of ‘must-have’ functionality. Interactive applications are seen as offering advertisers and brands new and engaging customer experiences.


Nanonation expands mobile media solutions

Source Article

• 17 Jun 2008


LINCOLN, Neb. — Nanonation has announced a partnership with Impact Mobile to deliver a variety of mobile media solutions to the hospitality and retail markets.

The partnership enables Nanonation to integrate a variety of mobile applications into digital signage and kiosk networks. The applications enable consumers to interact with digital screens via standard text messaging to create new and engaging customer experiences.

The solution leverages Nanonation’s award-winning enterprise software platform for the content delivery, management and measurement of the screens with Impact Mobile’s mobile media technology and applications.

Eliminating the paper trail

June 17, 2008

Jun 13, 2008 1:49 PM, By Sarah Reedy

Mobile ticketing goes from trials to commercial deployment

The mobile handset may become the mainstream ticket of choice within the next three years, according to Juniper Resesarch. In a report released this week, the analyst firm found that transport-based mobile ticketing will grow from 37.4 million transactions in 2007 to more than 1.8 billion by 2011, with the Far East and China making up 73% of the total transactions worldwide. To date, the most activity has come from the mobile ticketing transport sector, especially in rail and air travel.

Operator trials and deployments in the travel industry in North America, Western Europe, the Far East and China regions have begun to move into real commercial deployments by the ticketing and coupon owners, including Ticketmaster and International Air Travel Association. The report found that key drivers for the market include a need to reduce operating costs of the transport providers by reducing staff and building space, as well as the consumers’ desire to cut the line. Mobile ticketing gives consumers the freedom to purchase and receive a ticket with little advance planning and often means skipping long check-in lines. According to the report, by migrating to mobile boarding passes, the airline industry can save $500 million each year.

The market for mobile ticketing is still fraught with hurtles in consumer acceptance, mobile handset’s limited real estate and technology issues. However, the technology challenges with respect to delivering and redeeming mobile barcodes are slowly being overcome with the emergence of near-field communications (NFC), a short-range high-frequency wireless communication technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about four inches of distance.

The boon in mobile ticketing also comes as the wireless industry has been actively pursuing green strategies and looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint. Eliminating the paper trial is a step in the right direction. Juniper also found that mobile tickets can actually fight fraud by electronically verifying users’ identity and purchasing history.
The mobile ticketing space involves a number of players, entering the market from different angles. While the early adopters have been the major organizations that control the issuance of tickets, including Ticketmaster, British Airways and, key operators and technology providers such as O2, NTT, DoCoMo, Vodafone, Nokia and Samsung are getting on board and forming partnerships with the ticket holders. More third-party vendors are starting to emerge as well, connecting consumers, operators and organizations for events, movies and promotional activites tied to ticketing.

In the United States, mobile ticketing company Stubhub is focused on enabling direct peer-to-peer transactions for people who have tickets to sale and people who want to sell them. The tickets can be purchased directly from the phone and delivered straight to the handset, independent of the venue. Based on sales volume, Stubhub is one of the largest ticket marketplaces in the world. Its global competitors include companies like Trinity Mobile, Mobiqua and Impact mobile, although most are focused outside of the U.S. where the market has seen more traction.

Michael Mak, founder and CEO of mobile marketing and ticketing company bCode, said that his company has a different focus in the U.S. market than it does internationally, based largely on the different market demands. In the U.S., the focus is on marketing – clients like Ikea and Harrahs use bCode to send out coupons that can be scanned and redeemed in-store. This is ideal for real-time, location sensitive offers that paper would be inadequate for. Whereas originally, he thought ticketing seemed the intuitive place to start, companies were placing their bets elsewhere.

“Initially, we thought ticketing was the killer app first and we’d do marketing later,” Mak said. “Turns out for U.S., the marketing is a lot more interesting. Every year, people are looking for new ways to relate to the customer. Mobile is the new thing. Ticketing, while it is cool, the ticketing companies don’t really have an urgency to bring new ticketing technology to the customers. We are competing with other operational budgets. For the marketing, we have become a higher priority.”

Mobile transaction and marketing company Mobile Box Office (MBO), which came onto the scene in January of 2006 with a focus on doing mobile ticketing for movie theatre chains, Emagine and Landmark Theatres, is hoping the opposite is true. The company has a patent on the intellectual property for an RF device that allows consumers to verify their ticket with a wave of the phone, but MBO executive Anthony Vaness said he doesn’t think consumers are ready for this yet. Concerns over identity theft are still too great. For now, the company is focused on barcodes – an area it has seen a lot of success in.

“We’ve pushed the barcodes because it is more tangible,” Vaness said. “If you go to concerts or sporting events, it is common to take your paper ticket and they scan the barcode, so it is an easy evolution to making the phone-top your ticket.”

While MBO is focused on the movie scene right now, Vaness said its platform allows them to do anything related to mobile marketing or transactions, such as coupons, transactions or gift cards that can be used for payment and recharged on the mobile handset.

“When you look at phones, they are just now evolving to the one-work device,” Vaness said. “Your mobile device now is really becoming your laptop. The iPhone has absolutely accelerated that emotional conception as your phone being the business tool. It is real easy to open up a spreadsheet or document to drag it across the screen. Now I think the rubber is going to start to meet the road for us because basically when you look at the iPhone and other cellular devices that are coming into the market, people are ready to leave the laptop behind and truly have a one-work device.”

Arena Marketing Turns To New Technology

June 11, 2008

Arena Marketing Turns To New Technology

June 07, 2008



Traditional forms of advertising still play a crucial role in marketing upcoming concerts and tours, but as the world continues to transition into digital and mobile methods of communication, new technologies will be a key topic of discussion at the Event and Arena Marketing Conference June 4-10 in Washington, D.C. “We’ve probably scaled more toward the digital aspect more and more each year,” says Kevin Preast, senior director of marketing and business development at Atlanta’s Philips Arena. “Our mass-media buying has probably dropped off 25%-35%, depending on the show.”


Indeed, the Internet and cell phones have presented new opportunities to concert promoters and arena officials, be it text-message alerts and e-mail blasts, social networking sites, banner ads, widgets, music-focused blogs and Web sites or beefing up a venue’s Web site with artist video and photo content. And while concertgoers still turn to newspapers, magazines, TV, billboards and radio to get updates on their favorite artists, mobile devices and the Internet have become the primary source for concert and tour information, according to many who work in the live entertainment space.


“One reason people don’t go to shows is because they didn’t know about it,” AEG Live senior director of interactive marketing Joyce Szudzik says. “The one reason they find out about shows is because they receive an e-mail. The Web is No. 2.”


As such, Los Angeles-based AEG Live, the second-largest concert promoter next to Live Nation, has a staff dedicated to mobile and digital initiatives. Overseen by Szudzik, the group builds Web sites for tours, festivals and venues under the AEG Live banner. As opposed to several years ago, artist managers and record labels now understand the importance of digital and mobile campaigns in relation to marketing concerts and tours, Szudzik says. “The budgets are starting to swing over there,” she says. “We’re starting to get a more equal proportion to radio, TV and print.”


Szudzik’s staff also provides arenas with artist photos, audio and video to promote on their in-house Web sites. For Bon Jovi’s recent North American trek, “we’ve been giving the arenas a tremendous amount of content, because in the online space it’s all about content these days,” she says. “We have 30-second videos and minutelong videos. If they can run video on their Web site, we give it to them. People love video.”


Philips Arena’s Preast says the 18,000-capacity facility works in tandem with concert promoters for marketing campaigns, but also independently uses Web sites like MySpace, Facebook and YouTube to “create buzz” around concerts and upcoming events. Szudzik says, “Having a Facebook page for your venue is a good idea, so you can grow a community and talk about upcoming events. You can run contests in there that encourage them to go out on their own pages and talk about the show.”


New York’s Madison Square Garden is planning to take it a step further by building its own social-networking site. “We want to launch a social networking platform against our venues in general,” MSG Interactive senior VP/GM Scott Richman says. Along with the 20,000-seat Garden, venues under MSG Entertainment’s banner include Radio City Music Hall, Beacon Theatre, WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden and the recently added Chicago Theatre.


The basic concept of MSG Entertainment’s social-networking site would be to allow concertgoers to “communicate with each other in advance to the event, during the event and post the event,” Richman says. “They’re sharing with each other the steps that lead to getting the ticket, where to meet before the show and where they’re sitting . . . to photos and thoughts after the show.” Richman hopes the site will launch by year’s end.


Last September, MSG Entertainment redesigned the Web sites for all its venues. The overhauled sites now include expanded artist content and event information, music videoclips, a new blog, photos, virtual venue tours and merchandise for select events. The Web sites are also linked to MSG’s blog, Check the Monitor, which offers entertainment news and event updates throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “It gives us an opportunity to create richer and more opinion-based content,” Richman says.


On a mobile level, Ticketmaster helps move tickets at arenas by sending concertgoers short message service alerts with information about ticket on-sales, Ticketmaster senior VP of music David Marcus says. “A mobile alert that’s delivered an hour before the on-sale is a useful way to provide that notice,” he says.


Text-to-screen programs during arena concerts have also been effective, according to James Cannella, VP of entertainment development at Impact Mobile, which helps power mobile activities for approximately 80 venues. During a show, fans can type a message on their mobile phone, then send it to screens on either side of the stage.


During last summer’s Gwen Stefani tour, “about 15% of that audience was participating in text-to-screen campaigns,” Cannella says. “We were then able to use [the data] to market to Gwen’s fans when she routed a second leg of the tour. We knew who her fans were and were able to give them an offer to come back and see her again.”


In Atlanta, the Philips Arena marketing staff has been focusing heavily on mobile alerts for ticket on-sales.


“If you’ve got a Saturday 10 a.m. presale and you get a text message saying, ‘George Michael is getting ready to go on sale in 15 minutes,’ it becomes timely and people don’t have to be standing by their computer, a phone or going to an outlet to get the best seats possible,” Preast says. “They can do it right there from the sideline of a soccer game or the grocery store.”


Although concert venues have made great strides in reaching audiences via digital and mobile technology, there’s still more work to be done.


“I spend a lot of time educating our clients and potential clients on the opportunities that are out there,” says Kristin Tanguay, VP of business development at Los Angeles-based marketing and research company Fanscape.


“We would never say, ‘Shift all of your dollars into the online space,’ but it’s really important that they understand the reach their dollars can have by going into a more integrated online campaign.”