The best digital signage software makes getting attention a snap.
In a California study of the effectiveness of billboards, digital signage is the clear winner. The study tracked attention—particularly long glances—drivers devoted to different billboards along a highway.
Only 1/5 of the billboards were active signs that displayed scrolling text. Yet, these signs captured 42% of the drivers’ total attention.
Likewise, only 8% of the billboards displayed video or motion graphics. Nevertheless, those signs captured over 31% of drivers’ “long glances.”
And billboards aren’t the only places where digital signage solutions are making waves. Today, digital signage is a $23.12 billion global industry. From Times Square to hospital campuses, this eye-catching technology gets the message across.
If you want to implement digital signage on your campus—or, even just in your storefront—you’ll need software that lets you run and manage your signs and content effectively. There are hundreds of software applications to choose from.
Fortunately, we can help you cut through the noise. Read on to learn what to look for in digital signage software. Then, discover our top picks for the best digital signage software companies of 2022.
What is Digital Signage?
Digital signage is a display of visual content, like slides, images, or videos. These displays are large. They can be as small as a smart tv, or as large as the side of a multi-story building.
Digital marketers sometimes call digital signage the “fifth screen.” The first four screens are mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and televisions. Advertisers create creatives (asset files) for digital ad campaigns that can adapt to all screens.
Most digital displays are LCD or LED screens. Some are projections. And, some digital signage utilizes touch screen technology.
These displays often display information, entertainment, or ads in stores or malls, airports, campuses, or outdoor festivals.
How to Elevate Digital Signage Content
One of the best ways to take digital signage to the next level is to make it interactive. Passersby can interact with digital displays if the display uses a touch screen or motion-tracking technology.
Audio and animation make digital displays particularly noticeable. Some digital displays encourage engagement with mobile connectivity. Or, they display social media connections.
Best Digital Signage Software: Overview
As you explore different digital signage software options, keep in mind what features can make or break your experience. Some features are better suited to information functions. Others adapt well to entertainment.
Choosing digital signage software means knowing what specifications you need.
The location and size of your intended display(s) should drive your specification requirements. Consider how different software programs handle:
- Aspect ratios
- High-resolution content
- Speed/connectivity challenges
- Hardware solutions
Different software programs can pose different solutions to a single problem. For example, content caching can improve a display’s loading speed. This prevents the screen from going blank while it receives information.
Local messaging tools can also increase a screen’s loading speed. This lets local teams modify messaging, then transmit it to screens directly. The information doesn’t have to travel over a long distance to get to each display.
Deployment tells you what type of computer is sending out the signal with the content to the displays.
You may not need every feature digital signage software has to offer. Prioritize the features that have the most impact. Keep your budget—and the specs of the system running the software—in mind.
Audit Trail, Data Capture Options
Data capture features automatically gather information about the level of engagement—and the nature of the engagement—at each display. The most straightforward is proof of play.
Proof of play shows you how often a given display is played in a given period. This may be a display that’s triggered by interaction, or it may be on a loop.
With enough data, you can create an audit trail and map out people’s engagement with your signs.
Multimedia Format Support
Digital signage software should support a wide range of media formats. The most popular formats for dynamic displays are HTML5 and MP4 files.
Software may also support interactive functionality, dynamic content, and playback.
Content Creation, Customization Features
Digital signage software often includes features that help you streamline content creation.
Features can also help you customize content to appeal to audiences in different locations. Popular content creation and customization features include:
- Media library
- Layout and design options
- Playlist design features
- Visual editor
- Local messaging tools
- Content targeting features
- Emergency messaging tools
Content Management, Integration Tools
Premium digital signage software has a broad capacity for integration. Integration with other management tools can make content management run smoother. Look for management features and integration features, including:
- CRM software integration
- Automated content scheduling and delivery tools
- Yield optimization and automatic rebalancing functionality
- Remote monitoring
- Hyper-local content targeting
- Easy integration of multiple content sources
- Automated, streamlined content scheduling tools
- Playlist management features
- Remote display management
Yield optimization streamlines ad inventory management. If you sell advertising, yield optimization and rebalancing help sell inventory.
Control, Security Features
Security features prevent hackers from taking over your displays. They also protect against bugs that could crash your system. Key security features include:
- Advanced user management settings
- Two-factor authentication
- Secure user interface (password protected)
- Restrict IP address connection
- Manual access controls and permissions
- SOC II compliance
- Encrypted data transport
- Secure protocols
- SSL certification
- Disabled listening on ports
It’s important to note that the software application is only one aspect of your network. Run a security audit to ensure physical network components, like cables, are not vulnerable to hackers.
Look for features that future-proof your digital signage software. Included tools can maintain uptime and prevent crashes. These features include:
- Uptime monitoring
- IT team alerts
- Media player monitoring, integration
Scalability lets your network grow.
A business that initially advertised on a single display may eventually expand, then choose to advertise throughout a large even space. To scale your display network, look for digital signage software that:
- Supports network growth
- Offers multi-screen support
- Enables multi-screen synchronization
- Includes programmatic support
Consider scalability when you look at pricing. Flat fees, monthly fees, and per-display rates are more tenable at different points in the life of a business.
Digital Signage Software 2022: Our Picks
Which digital signage software works for your team? Software ranges from free to $3500/month. Explore our picks for the best digital signage software of 2022.
Best Overall: TelemetryTV
Educators, advertisers, and campus communications managers have all praised TelemetryTV. This cloud-based digital signage software offers advanced features. Yet, it doesn’t sacrifice ease of use.
Users particularly appreciate TelemetryTV’s library of over 70 turnkey apps, which makes it easy to curate and customize messaging playlists. Other highlights include:
- Content design and curation options
- Automated, precision scheduling
- SOCII-Compliant security package
- Remote device management
- Video file storage
Categories like “Internal Communications” and “Social” make it intuitive to tailor displays to your enterprise’s needs. And, it’s simple to create and display content for touch-screen-enabled signage with interactivity settings.
Business plans range from $54-$700/month. Enterprise plans start at $3,500/month. Premium and enterprise plans include automatic device provisioning and programmatic API.
Best Value: Yodeck
Users praise Yodeck as the easiest-to-use digital signage software on the market. It’s plug-and-play ready, and it works with Wi-Fi.
It’s also one of the most affordable, at least for smaller networks. Plans start at $8/month, per screen. Enterprise plans run $13/month, per screen.
Yodeck supports a decent range of media formats, including live web pages. It also supports high-definition and high-resolution screens.
The platform’s interoperability is decent, and its content editing and scheduling capabilities are good for the price. Other features include:
- Total remote screen management
- Gallery of free customizable widgets
- Security, including two-factor authentication and restricted access options
- Tag-based playlists
- Unlimited cloud storage and bandwidth
- Advanced monitoring options
Yodeck has two main drawbacks. First, its layout management and customization features are limited and non-intuitive. Second, the playlist and scheduling functions are complicated.
Best Unlimited Screens: Raydiant
If you’re growing big, go with Raydiant. Raydiant is the only digital signage software that enables brands to display content across unlimited screens.
Pricing is customized, but the Standard plan starts at $59/month.
The Raydiant platform supports interactive kiosk applications and video conferencing. The Raydiant app marketplace offers customized options for schools, entertainment, retail, and the workplace. Premium features include:
- Audit trail options
- Automatic updates
- Content scheduling
- Remote display management
Unfortunately, Raydiant does not offer user management features. Nor does it enable mobile access. If these features are critical for your operations, consider TelemetryTV or Yodeck instead.
Best Free: Screenly OSE
Screenly: Open Source Edition is the best free digital signage software application on the market. If you’re new to digital signage, it’s a good program for getting a feel for managing digital signage.
Screenly OSE is pretty minimalist. It’s easy to use, and it offers basic features, including:
- Content scheduling
- Remote media management
- Automatic update
Screenly OSE does not include a content or layout editor. If you upgrade to a paid subscription, you get access to cloud-based management tools.
Best Content Customization: Play Digital Signage
Content is king with Play Digital Signage. Play Digital Signage is the only software application with a perfect features score on Capterra.
Users appreciate the degree of customization the program enables. Applications help you tailor messaging for display on public transportation, touch-screen menus, and campuses. Features include:
- Mobile access
- Media and template library
- Advanced content, playlist customization
- File conversion
- Audit trail, monitoring
- Proof-of-play analytics
- Security features (including user and access permissions)
- Storage and offline playback
- Plugin integration
- Compatible with most players
Plans are $18 per screen, per month.
Responsive Design, Development, and Beyond
What makes a website look great on a 50-foot wall? How can you catch the attention of pedestrians, travelers, or professionals?
How can you turn a bold vision into reality?
At Techie Techniques, we empower brands like yours to make an impact.
Maybe you need to know the best digital signage software to make your content stand out in real life. Or, maybe you want to make a message memorable on every screen.
No matter what design challenges you face, we’re ready to take them on. Contact us today, and schedule a free consultation. Let’s talk about your brand.