The digital signage has no shortage of leaders. If it did, the year-over-year expansion the industry has enjoyed wouldn’t have occurred. Already, especially as economic signs are trending better, 2010 is shaping up to be an action-packed year. As we head into it, here’s a quick look at five execs poised to make much of that action happen.
Keith Kelsen, CEO, The 5th Screen
Not only has the former chairman of MediaTile launched a new company, called The 5th Screen, he will release “Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage: Content Strategies for the 5th Screen,” a book to be published by Focal Press. I was able to preview a few chapters recently, and can say the book is unique in that it’s the first to focus strictly on digital signage content and usage strategies. An accompanying Web site allows users to see video examples of content discussed in the book. It will be interesting to see how the book is received and what Kelsen does with the 5th Screen company. Kelsen’s still not saying.
Pierre Richer, president, NEC Display Solutions
All eyes in the digital out-of-home world will be on NEC and company president Pierre Richer, at least for the first part of 2010. In November the company launched its VUKUNET video ad distribution platform, which was touted as a way to unify the 300-plus ad-based digital signage networks already in existence. This, of course, will require VUKUNET to “sign up” enough of those networks to gain critical mass sufficient to make the tool beneficial to its users. In other words, will it achieve the “universal” status it’s going for?
Lou Giacalone Jr., CoolSign
Giacalone might be one of the most passionate digital signage advocates around when it comes to the overall well-being of the industry. He has said boldly that the industry needs to make a lot of changes if it is going to “get out of the playground,” and says that 2010 is a “year for the industry to get back on track.” Giacalone said he is going to work through several organizations in order to bring more education and cohesion to the industry in 2010, including the POPAI Technical Standards Committee and the Digital Signage Association, in which he plans to submit his name for presidency.
Brad Gleeson, president and CEO, Vertigo Digital Displays
Brad Gleeson is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. Like Giacalone, he’s a long-time industry veteran, having started the first digital signage-specific distributor, ActiveLight. Based on his previous successes, it will be interesting to see where he takes Vertigo Digital Displays, his newest endeavor. Gleeson and partner Scott Hix, along with help from Chilin Technology, purchased the outdoor digital signage company in October 2009. http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/article.php?id=23177
Jason Cremins, CEO, signagelive
One of the bigger names in digital signage software in the U.K. is signagelive, a product of Essex–based Remote Media. There, CEO Jason Cremins has built the small company into an innovative and successful SaaS-based platform. Cremins has solidified all kinds of strategic partnerships for the company, as well as experimented and implemented emerging digital signage software technologies such as Twitter content feeds, mobile integration and triggered retailing. Look for Remote Media to land more content and distribution deals in the next year.