REVIEW DSS EUROPE 2019: DSS THE STANDARDS PANEL – WHERE DO WE STAND?

Another topic discussed at the Digital Signage Summit Europe 2019 was the standardisation process of uniform metrics for Digital out-of-Home. What has been achieved so far?

Chaired by THE rAVe Agency’s Gary Kayye (Co-Founder & Director) and Sara Abrons (Managing Director and Co-founder), the ‘Standards Panel: Striving for Global Standards, Metrics and Measurements’ presented the challenges posed by the international standardisation of metrics for Digital-out-of-Home, and discussed the results to date.

Experts on the panel included Dr. med. Frank Goldberg, Managing Director, Digital Media Institute (DMI); Greg Jeffreys, Director, Visual Displays Limited; and Simon Jackson, Digital Signage Organisation (DSO). The panel was moderated by Florian Rotberg, Managing Director of invidis consulting.

A large task is currently being carried out by experts commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Abrons and her business partner Kayye presented the results to date for the IAB and DooH organisations. The academic world is also on board, thanks to the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas and the UNC School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina.

After initial contact with manufacturers, agencies, media owners and various industry associations, a significant amount of information has been gathered, condensed and initial standardisations made. The first version is ready for download from trade associations – ‘open source’, in Kayye’s words – and adaptable to national markets. One example described by Abrons demonstrated the level of detail involved: for example, more than 600 unclear or superfluous technical terms have been omitted from this first edition. “Now there are 470 definitions left,” she added.

In addition, Kayye believes that in the future, the vast majority of the Digital Signage market will in some way include Digital-out-of-Home – the figure mentioned in his keynote being up to 90%. Nevertheless, the commercialisation of screens is sure to increase in the future – a fact which could potentially make some existing differentiations obsolete.

Perhaps it is unsurprising to learn that, in addition to out-of-home associations, AV associations such as AVIXA are also accompanying the ongoing process. The DooH Best Practices collection has been published by five industry associations: the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA), the Digital Signage Federation (DSF), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Geopath, and the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

Some parts of the DooH Best Practices collection have to be adapted locally. They have been deliberately conceived in order to find the most internationally comprehensible lowest common denominator. When it comes to privacy and data protection, as well as the obvious differences between the USA and Europe, it is also important to pay attention to country-specific information. In addition, legal norms are also susceptible to change over time.

At the panel discussion, the entire podium was in favour of continuing work on the project, which was initiated around two years ago.

Comparable standardisation efforts at a national level also require time, as Frank Goldberg reported. In Germany, one the projects supervised by DMI took more than three years of work to produce detailed results. What’s more, the results were market research focused, with topics such as programmatic advertising added later.

To date, 40% of the DMI-supervised workload had been completed.

Speaking on behalf of AVIXA on the podium, Greg Jeffreys also shared the difficulties of bringing different parties together, who later all benefit from standards. He also stressed the necessity of encouraging constructive collaborative work to deliver best results.

Conclusion: The first results are in – but the industry is still faced with a number of tasks on a global scale. What’s more, technological changes are sure to throw a number of new challenges into the mix.