Live Nation digital signage network rocking across the US

Digital signage advertising is rocking out concert venues around the country, and one man – using a combination of remote access and digital signage software solutions – is running the whole show.

Live Nation consultant and “digital wizard” Mike Anderson uses Nanonation digital signage and kiosk software and the LogMeIn remote access solution to run digital out-of-home advertising screens in close to 100 Live Nation concert venues.

Thanks to the combination of LogMeIn and Nanonation, Anderson controls everything from his home office in El Segundo, Calif., overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and is able to troubleshoot from just about anywhere.

The DOOH screens in the venues are used to show advertising and entertainment before and after concerts and during intermissions, basically creating an extended digital signage network on stages at entertainment and concert venues around the country. The video feed from Anderson’s system is used to run both local and national advertising any time there is a break in the action onstage.

“Anytime that the band is not on stage my stuff is on the screens,” Anderson said in a recent telephone interview. “Basically I am the advertisement filler between the acts, before and during intermissions.”

The system runs on a series of networked Mac mini computers using Nanonation software to run advertising and both social media and text-to-screen campaigns on the network screens.

People attending concerts at Live Nation venues, Anderson said, have the option to send a text message to be displayed on the screens (after it’s screened by “a 70-year-old Christian woman,” Anderson’s mom). The text-to-screen system also allows concertgoers to opt into receiving text messages from the company about special offers and special last-minute ticket deals – which is helping the company generate “a tremendous amount of additional sales,” he said.

And the engagement numbers are encouraging, and have been climbing steadily over the years, he said.

“I would roughly say…that we get probably 10 to 15 percent of the audience interacting with us,” which given that it’s a concert venue filled with plenty of distractions is a good engagement rate, he said.

At others it’s even higher. At a recent Jonas Brothers concert in Los Angeles, there were approximately 25,000 text messages across two shows in a venue that holds roughly 4,000 people, he said.

“What is really interesting to me is, we started this (text-to-screen) about six years ago, and we would get maybe a dozen messages a night if we were lucky,” he said. “And now six years later, the numbers have increased by an order of magnitude: We get thousands and thousands of messages per show per night now.”

And while Anderson manages everything from California, everything is actually preplanned and preprogrammed, he said.

“I avoid putting myself into situations where I have to be actively involved during shows,” he said. “The beauty of the Nanonation system is that I can get all the material I need for a given show ahead of time, preload that stuff so that it turns itself on and off at the times I need it to, and I don’t have to think about it; I don’t have to worry about it.”

The system then becomes essentially another video feed for the on-site show director to turn on when the live feed comes down, Anderson said.

“To him my system is nothing more than another video source,” he said. “When the band leaves the stage, what he does is he brings his camera down and brings my box up, and now the video signal from my box is pumping through … Once the band comes back out, he brings me down, and, bam, brings his camera back up.

“My system at that point doesn’t care,” he said. “My system never really knows whether it’s being used or not. It’s just putting out a video signal, and it is running 24/7/365. It just runs, so that anytime the director wants to access my feed, I’m there ready for him to go.”

The always-running video feed also is helpful for Live Nation salespeople, allowing them to bring in clients and show them in real-time how their advertisements could look, he said.

Still, though, there are problems with any system, and that’s where LogMeIn comes in – and has changed his life – Anderson said.

Anderson is on call 24/7/365 to troubleshoot problems on the screens, and while the Nanonation solution is “really incredibly flexible and really powerful,” there was one problem with it, he said.

The Nanonation has a remote access feature to allow him to access the screens from afar, he said, but it had a tendency to take a few minutes to even access and then to drop him out after a few minutes, requiring him to start all over again.

Now he uses the LogMeIn remote access system, and a troubleshooting fix that used to take him 20 minutes will now take him two, “and I can do it from my … iPad,” he said.

That speed and ease of access, he said, has allowed him to go back to having a social life again. At a recent Dodger game in L.A., Anderson said he was able to take a panicked phone call, pull out his iPad and fix the problem without getting out of his seat, “and I missed like two pitches!”

Source: Digital signage Today