Taking the plunge into digital signage is an exciting venture for any on-site business eager to enjoy its many benefits.
But with hundreds of companies to pick from and so many factors to consider, it can be a daunting task, as choosing the wrong solution will cost you dearly in the long run.
To make things worse, many companies do their best to hide additional fees and expensive disadvantages customers can face.
This makes it difficult for business owners to determine how much of an expense their product or service would really be.
To help you make the most informed decision possible, we’ve unpacked the true costs of three aspects commonly found in digital signage solutions today.
Hidden Cost #1: The Cloud
Cloud solutions store your media and files on the servers of a third-party company.
The benefit being the convenience of updating your displays from any computer with access to an internet connection.
This type of solution is ideal for large companies which manage a large number of digital signs scattered throughout various locations.
For small businesses using only a few screens, however, the cost for this convenience often doesn’t justify the expense.
For example, some cloud-based signage companies charge as much as 288€ per year, per screen.
Now, let’s imagine you own a kebab shop.
To harness the powerful benefits of digital signage, you invest in three digital displays to stream your content.
One digital menu board facing the street to engage foot traffic, and two screens above the counter. One displaying the menu and the other featuring a promotion.
If you were to use a cloud-based signage solution, displaying your content across the three screens would cost you 864€ per year. And that excludes the yearly internet bill and initial hardware costs you’ll need to pay as well.
Now, if you compare that to a locally hosted solution using PC-based software, you can save thousands in the long term.
Take our software, Easy Multi Display for example. Using to our earlier scenario, a license will only be a once-off investment and will allow you to stream media across 24 screens.
Over the course of let’s say, five years, choosing the local solution would save you almost 4,000€!
Sure you won’t be able to change his display content from home, but do you really need that feature? It will only take a few clicks on the office computer to swap the media and you would be completely eliminating a costly overhead––for essentially the same results.
Hidden Cost #2: Additional Hardware Requirements
Another expense vendors can throw at you is the need to purchase complicated and often very costly additional hardware to stream your media.
This hardware, or “media players”, are physical devices that attach to your displays and can set you back up to 1,000€.
Not only does this further increase the project start-up costs, but it bloats your maintenance costs as well. All hardware require maintenance and will eventually malfunction. How often they need replacing will depend on how well they are cared for and the quality of the hardware.
Unless you plan to run a large network of screens (25+), investing in an expensive media player just isn’t necessary.
Using display software on your work laptop or desktop to stream media on a local network is more than sufficient.
You already operate other––more essential––equipment to run your business, and they also have maintenance costs. So why add another piece of hardware to the list of expenses, when it’s just not necessary?
Save yourself the headache and additional overhead, and simply use PC-based display software to stream content directly from your existing work computer.
Hidden Cost #3: Requiring an Internet Connection
To further bloat your expenses and dependencies, some digital signage solutions (such as cloud-based ones) require a reliable internet connection to stream content to your displays.
This poses an issue for businesses in parts of the country or particular locations suffering from bad connectivity.
Businesses suffering from slow internet speeds and frequent drop-outs make solutions which rely on broadband almost unfeasible and result in a massive waste of time.
Not to mention the additional costs involved from the internet connection itself, both upfront and ongoing.
Cable.com’s study says that in 2018 Brits spent on average £30.30 on broadband each month.
That’s £363.60 per year in additional costs, not including any excess data fees which might incur from the large media files transmitted to your screens.
The right solution depends on what you need.
And for most small businesses, digital signage solutions don’t need to be complicated.
If all you need is a simple way to display content, then the expensive media players and cloud-based conveniences just might not be necessary.
A lot of the time, companies will advertise a host of features which sound great, but in reality, their benefits will make a minor impact on your business.
So when considering your digital signage solution, look out for these three aspects mentioned in this blog and ask yourself:
Are they really worth the extra costs and headaches?
Set up digital screens today with a FREE 30-day trial of Easy Multi Display
Easy Multi Display is the most affordable digital display software on the market. We’ve designed it to be so simple anyone can have their media displayed in just 3 easy steps.
All you need is a desktop or laptop, a cable and a display to start streaming your media immediately.
No additional hardware or internet connection required.
Download your FREE 30 day trial of Easy Multi Display to get started or get in touch with us here.