In just a few decades, digital media has all but replaced the old analogue world. First, it was the vinyl LP that disappeared in favour of CDs and then digital downloads. Next, video tapes vanished as DVDs and digital on demand service replaced them. Then the film camera, and now, thanks to devices such as the iPad and Kindle Reader, the eBook is slowly replacing the traditional hardback and paperback.
Out of home digital advertising such as displayed on digital signage screens is part of this continuous move from traditional media to print. Increasingly, digital advertising screens are replacing traditional, static printed signs and the eventuality is that printed media will eventually go the way of the VCR or LP.
Britain’s shopping mall owner Westfield, for instance are currently in the process of replacing all their printed in-mall signage with digital advertising screens. The company have hired a leading digital signage advertiser to replace completely their advertising estate in all six of their shopping malls.
And it’s not just in shopping malls where printed media is disappearing. Many airports too are nearly all digital now, and even outdoors, the growth of outdoor digital signage is pushing printed media out of the way.
In the UK, outdoor digital signage now makes up a seventh of all outdoor adverts, and digital media is growing year on year, while at the same time printed media is shrinking.
How long it takes for print media to become the rarity that vinyl albums have become is difficult to predict, but one thing is clear, printed media’s days are definitely numbered.
Many traditional sign manufacturers and out of home advertisers are now finding themselves having to expand their portfolios to include digital signage, as more and more of their customers request digital media rather than traditional, static signage.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for advertisers, both indoors and out. From digital posters and standalone units that are simple turnkey solutions, to more complex and bespoke systems.
Digital advertising doesn’t have to be complicated in outdoors areas, either. LCD enclosures are a cost effective and simple method of employing outdoor digital signage without the high costs of bespoke systems.
As the cost of digital advertising screens continues to fall and s simple digital signage and outdoor digital signage systems become readily available, printed media is going to disappear rapidly, leaving the poster and printed consigned to the historical dustbin along with film cameras, LPs and video tapes.