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Looking Back: A Decade of Digital Billboards
Digital Signage Today
By Darren Friskney
November 22, 2016
A lot can happen in a decade. In 2007, the iPhone was introduced, Mad Men was the acclaimed new TV series, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 for the first time in history.

2007 also was the year that Watchfire Signs made its foray into digital billboards, and a good deal has changed in the outdoor display industry during the past 10 years.

Digital billboards are approved in nearly every state. Today 46 states have passed laws permitting digital billboards, compared to approximately 33 in 2007. As of July 1, 2016, the OAAA reports that there are approximately 6,700 digital billboards installed in the U.S., and there are now over 1,000 localities allowing digital billboards.

The Federal Highway Administration ruled digital billboards permissible in 2007. The ruling, which found that digital billboards didn't violate the Highway Beautification Act of 1968, allowed out of home companies to construct digital billboards along federal highways. Today, of the 46 states that allow billboards, only one prohibits digital billboards on "controlled highways."

Public/private partnerships are an acceptable means to build a digital signage network. In 2013, a ground-breaking agreement launched the first ever public-private partnership for a large-scale digital signage network in the United States. The City of Chicago contracted with Interstate JCDecaux to erect digital billboards at 34 locations along city-controlled expressways, with between 30 and 50 percent of advertising revenue generated going to the city.

The use of RSS feeds are making digital billboards even more dynamic. Dynamic feeds are gaining popularity on digital billboards as the lines are blurring between various digital platforms. Innovative advertisers today understand that they can capitalize on the unique capabilities of digital billboards to drive engagement in ways that static billboards cannot. Just about any kind of content can be added to digital billboards, including Twitter feeds, sports scores and news.

Digital billboards are more energy efficient. Digital billboards manufactured in the United States use about two-thirds less power than a decade ago. Higher efficacy LEDs require less energy, which results in lower operating costs.

Digital billboards have their own software to meet their unique needs.

The digital billboard industry has matured a great deal in the last decade. It's gratifying for us to look back at our very first digital billboards sold to DSW Signs in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, both of which are still operating and generating revenue today.

What changes have you seen in the digital billboard industry in the last decade?

Roseville Company gets Contract for Kings' Electronic Billboards
Sacramento Business Journal
By Ben VanDerMeer
November 18, 2016
CA-From a pack of 10, a Roseville company has secured the contract for electronic billboards owned by the Sacramento Kings.

Marquee Media is in charge of building, operating and managing the six digital Panasonic billboards, after going through a year-long request-for-proposal process.

"We show up at events and we're visible," said company president and co-founder Jeff Joaquin, explaining how his local company might have beat out large national firms such as Clear Channel and Outfront Media for the contract.

The billboards, five of which are already operating, are largely along major freeways, such as where Highway 50 and Interstate 5 meet near downtown Sacramento. Rights to establish the billboards were included in the deal between the city and the Kings to build Golden 1 Center downtown. Joaquin said his firm handles all the operations of the billboards and pays a fee to the team. Specific terms were not disclosed.

Advertisers have been interested in the billboards, which went live only recently, he said. In addition to businesses, the billboards advertise community events at the Crocker Art Museum, for example, and upcoming Golden 1 Center events. Joaquin said he also wants to use them to display breaking news.

"They are the highest resolution that's out there," Joaquin said. He added that so far, no one's complained about the billboards' brightness, and none of them shine into someone's home. "It's an exciting time for us as a company."

In a news release, Kings president Chris Granger said Marquee Media allows the team to continue highlighting the best of the region.

"We're excited to continue to grow our role promoting Sacramento to the region and the millions of travelers who pass through our city," he said.

Billboard Insider
By Staff Writer
November 26, 2016

Billboards in the Salt Lake Valley have warned the end is coming on 11.23.16. That day has come and gone, so what was the billboard talking about?
11.23.16 is the day to end car wrecks due to texting. The website, endtextwrecks.org is full of infographics to share with someone you know the next time they think of texting and driving. An ad campaign called "End Text Wrecks" aims to educate the public about the facts behind texting and driving.

For example, the United States has 220 million people and 69 percent of drivers admit to using their phones while behind the wheel.