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As the world changes, so do how we market products and services. Over the years, paper signage has slowly been replaced by new-age digital signage. This new format is more engaging and allows consumers to better connect with your brand image and product. So what digital signage app is the best option for your company?
We have combed the internet and curated a list of the best digital signage apps available. These include Viewneo, Chrome sign builder, Screen Cloud, Screenly, and more. Each can help bring exposure to your brand, but also can be used to communicate information to staff and guests depending on your goal.
With so many uses for digital signage, and so many different apps available, it's a good thing we have done all the legwork and found you the best options. Now all that's left for you to do is pick which one is the best for you- so keep reading for our curated list of apps.
Digital Signage Apps: A Curated List of the Best Options
In eras past, printed advertisements like posters, pamphlets and brochures were the only way to transfer information to consumers. In 2021, we have left (most of) that behind for an easier, more accessible method: digital signage (DS). Digital signage has been proven to catch the attention of consumers and make sure they remember you.
The best part of digital signage is that it is so versatile, and can be successfully used in various industries, like:
- Conference halls
This is not an exhaustive list- digital signage is a great way to market your brand to consumers, but also can be used to transfer important information to visitors, guests, and staff members depending on the environment.
One of the best parts is digital signage doesn't produce paper waste, making it more eco-friendly than traditional signage. Printing paper requires cutting down trees, and because paper signage is frequently replaced and updated, this translates to high amounts of paper waste. Digital signage is a great alternative, as no printing is needed.
Now if you are seeking to transform your business or workplace by implementing digital signage but have never used it before, you may be asking yourself: what exactly is digital signage? How does it translate over for me?
What is Digital Signage?
To understand what digital signage is, we first need to understand what it is not. Before digital signage came on the scene, traditional signage (TS) was the preferred medium. Traditional signage constitutes anything that can be printed on paper or a similar medium. It is a static display of information for consumers, visitors, or staff.
Traditional signage can take many forms, including:
In contrast, digital signage cannot be printed but is displayed electronically on a screen. Screens can vary from televisions, computer screens, to a combination of the two. These screens, or digital signs, can be placed in high traffic areas where you would place traditional signs.
Digital ‘signs’ display information in an interactive way, with moving components, video, music, and color. Content, whether marketing or general information, is variable and can be changed in real-time. You can see now why digital signage is much more engaging and memorable than its traditional counterpart. So which is the better choice?
Traditional Signage VS. Digital Signage
If you are still unsure whether your company would benefit more from traditional or digital signage you need to consider what your priorities are. There are many benefits and downsides to each. Before you choose between the two, create a precise goal to better determine a plan of action and your best option.
When it comes to traditional signage, there are some obvious benefits, including:
- No power or technology is needed for traditional signage, meaning it is low maintenance and can be displayed indoors or outdoors, anytime.
- They are extremely reliable. Once printed your information is ready to be displayed, no questions asked.
- Low upfront and maintenance costs when compared to digital signage.
Some downsides to traditional signage include low engagement and interactivity with consumers or visitors. Static signage, no matter how well designed, will never grab the attention of the public as well as a moving image can. Traditional signage will also need to be manually changed. New images to print and install will require money and effort.
This also comes back to the eco-friendliness of DS- when information changes, or a new product is released, old signs will be scraped and new ones printed. This incurs massive amounts of paper waste over time. In this matter, DS beats TS out as changes can be made instantly to DS, requiring no paper waste to do so.
Digital signage is much more interactive, easy to update, and more eco-friendly than traditional signage. However, there are still some downsides that exist, including:
- The many technological components necessary to make digital signage function can break down unexpectedly, making them unreliable.
- There are high upfront and maintenance costs for displays, media players, and installation.
- Power is required for the functioning of the signage, meaning you are limited on-location setup.
As you can see, both options have pros and cons. Depending on your goals, one may better suit you than the other.
How Does Digital Signage Work?
If you’ve explored your options and have decided that digital signage is the best option for you, it’s time to get familiar with how it all works. Digital signage requires many moving parts to get it up and running correctly. To get started you will need the following:
- Media players.
- Signage software.
- Network infrastructure.
When it comes to choosing your displays, it is commonly recommended to go for a size of at least 43 inches or larger to maximize your viewing potential. Depending on how many you need for your business or organization, they should be arranged in high visibility and high traffic areas to increase their effectiveness.
Once you have your displays placed, it's time to install the media players. Media players need to be connected to Wi-Fi (your network infrastructure) so they can complete their jobs of transferring information and images to your displays. Now the most important part of this process will be how you display your information.
Cue your digital signage application. Your app will be what you use to create, set up and distribute your digital ‘signs’. Items that you can display on your DS include:
- Powerpoint slideshows
- Video clips
- Social media platforms, like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook
You can set your series of items on repeat so they play through continuously on a loop. The most effective signage incorporates various items and mediums, instantly capturing the attention of the public and transmitting information effectively.
With so many apps out there it may be hard to decide which is best for you-don’t worry though. We've crafted a curated list of the best options available, so all that's left for you to do is pick one.
Digital Signage Applications
The software you use to create and distribute your digital signage is key to your success. The internet is full of options, but your business or organization needs the best- and we’ve got your back. The following is a list of our favorite digital signage applications. We’ve focused on a few key factors, including:
- Ease of use.
- Design and content creation resources.
- Hardware needs.
Keeping reading for our curated list!
Viewneo is one of our top picks for many reasons, including their 30-day free trial for new customers. We think you’ll want more than 30 days when you take this application for a spin. Viewneo is accessible to both beginners and experts in the digital signage business, making it a great option for everyone.
Viewneo is cloud-based, meaning you can control all your digital signage in one simple place. You can make changes instantly to your designs or information, and have them transmit immediately to signage anywhere in your city, the country, or even around the world. The best part of cloud-based signage is that updates are simple and quick.
If you’ve tried the 30-day trial and loved it (which we think you will), pricing is reasonable. If you are a beginner, choose the ‘Viewneo professional’ package. The price per month is $18 per screen and includes:
- 250 GB of free space in the cloud.
- 200 plus design templates to choose from.
- Content designer
- User management and email support.
If you are a larger, more experienced company or organization, the ‘Viewneo enterprise’ package is probably the best for you. Starting at $240 a month per screen, the enterprise package gives access to all the resources you need to be successful, including:
- 2 TB of free space in the cloud.
- Multi-client capabilities.
- Content and playlist sharing options.
- Personal and phone support.
Viewneo is simple, intuitive and a great option for anyone looking to implement digital signage.
Chrome sign builder
Chrome sign builder is another one of our top picks, especially for those who prefer and use Google software already. All you have to do is download the free extension onto your Google Chrome browser, and you can get started implementing your custom digital signage.
Chrome Sign Builder allows you to build a schedule of items and content to display at a certain day and time. You can go back in and edit content without having to change your schedule, making it easier to update information without having to start from scratch.
Chrome Sign Builder can even run offline, so you can build your signage anytime, anywhere, before uploading it. The software collaborates great with programs you are probably already familiar with like Youtube and Google slides. Linking your web content is made easy, just copy and paste a URL into the schedule.
Though the software is better suited toward scheduling content than creating it, overall Chrome Sign Builder is a good choice: it’s a basic but reliable digital signage application that can get the job done for small or large businesses or organizations. The best part is it's free!
Another great digital signage application is Screen Cloud. We’ve chosen to add Screen Cloud to our list because of its simplicity and ease of use. This application is made for both larger and smaller organizations. It’s also cloud-based, so you can manage your content from anywhere in the world, whether the beach or your office.
The best part of Screen Cloud is that it’s so intuitive. The design of the application is crisp and simple- everything you need is a click of a button away without extra fluff. The application is extremely organized, allowing you to manage your content schedule, see all your different screens, and upload new content in just a few clicks.
Screen Cloud even has an ‘Enterprise’ option that is geared towards larger companies that need to transmit internal content to employees. The application ensures data and private information are protected by:
- Encrypting all information that you transmit.
- Allowing the manager to control exactly who can access screens.
- Keeping up to date on all compliance certifications.
Screen Cloud joins other applications in allowing you to try it out for free so you know it’s a good fit. After your free trial, prices varying according to the package you choose and are as follows:
|Basic||$60 a month for a year, or a monthly rate of $75 without attachments. This includes 3 screens, additional screens are billed at $20 a screen.|
|Teams||The monthly prices start at $450 a month, paid annually. This package includes. 15 screens in the original price. Each additional screen is $30.|
|Business||$1,000 a month, paid annually. The business package includes a whopping 25 screens, but you can still add additional screens for $40 each.|
|Enterprise Plus||The highest package available, the Enterprise Plus package is all custom-tailored to your needs. You pay for what you want and need.|
The application is tailored to a wide range of customers, demands, and environments so anyone can find what they need- and that’s why Screen Cloud has made it onto this list.
Another great one on this list is an app called Screenly. This company’s standout feature is that it offers unlimited screens to subscribers- that means as many screens as you want, wherever you want them. Besides, Screenly does not only just have a great scheduling feature, but they also offer a wide array of signage content, including:
To use Screenly you will either need to purchase a TV embedded with their company's own media player, or the individual Screenly media player for a screen you already have. You can easily buy the devices on Amazon, which come preloaded with the Screenly application software that's ready to go as soon as you plug it in.
The downside is that every screen you want to use as digital signage requires a Screenly media play. The media player retails for $99, not including the monthly subscription fee which varies according to your number of screens. For example, ten screens would cost $109 a month in subscription fees.
For the more experienced users, Screenly also offers DIY media players that allow the buyer to create and tailor their content from scratch. However, you don’t get all the benefits that come with a Screenly subscription, which includes full support and a library of premade content. Screenly caters to a broad audience, so it's a pick for us!
Reach is another one of our top picks for digital signage apps. The application is so easy to use that it promises clients to be up and running in just 30 minutes! Reach has thousands of premade templates for you to seamlessly input your content into. The application tailors to an array of industries, including:
Moreover, the application features unlimited customer support, whether you are having problems with creating or implementing content. This includes training resources, so even someone new to the digital signage scene can jump right in and get started. Training resources include:
- Live training, in person or online.
- Video tutorials.
Reach prides itself on educating their clients to be successful on their application.
Much like other applications on our list, the Reach app is cloud-based. This streamlines updating your content and discharging it immediately to all of your screens, whether 5 or 500. It’s no wonder that the application consistently receives 5-star ratings from customers.
After your free trial, prices start at just $30 a month. Though this application is one of the cheapest on the list, that does not mean you get less for your money by any means. On the contrary, Reach offers more content resources and customer support than many other digital signage applications we’ve seen. We give this app an A+ rating.
Another application that prides itself on being simple and effective is Rise Vision. Trusted by over 9,000 organizations, this application is geared towards education, hospitality, and business industries. If you don’t fit into that category, no worries! Reach has been used successfully in a wide range of other environments and caters to all industries.
Rise makes it so easy to get up and running by offering hundreds of free templates to choose from. Design features make uploading your logo and information into premade templates as easy as a few clicks. Designs are eye-catching, polished, and easy to tailor to your target audience. Template designs categories include:
Reach even has a ‘popular’ category that makes finding templates you might like even easier.
The application makes it super easy to integrate social media, like Twitter and Facebook, into your signage. Other important features to note include:
|Enterprise Features||Features include unlimited users and roles, unlimited media storage for content, and notifications if your signage goes offline so you’re always in the loop.|
|Offline Play||Offline play means even if your network crashes, your digital signage will not. Displays can work offline, giving you time to get back online without compromising your signage.|
|Scheduling||Easy-to-use scheduling allows you to pick exact days and times when specific content is displayed, and on what screens.|
|Customer Support||Reach offers amazing customer support as part of its package. Video tutorials, as well as real-time support via telephone and email, means there is always help when you need it.|
After your 2-week free trial, prices start at ten dollars per screen, per month for up to 100 screens. If you choose to pay annually there is a 10% discount applied, making the application even cheaper. We give this application a huge thumbs up.
Arreya Digital Signage Suite
Arreya is another great option. This application ensures that creating and disturbing content can be done with ease. With so many dynamic widgets to choose from, your displays will stand out from the rest and successfully influence your target audience.
Important features to note include:
- A partnership with Google Cloud to ensure secure and easy updates to all of your screens in real-time.
- Access to a bank of free images to use in your content, making unique and engaging signage simple and easy.
- Live training for new users, and customer support so you are never left guessing about application functionality.
- Use of Google Chrome devices and licenses, available for purchase through their website.
Arreya even offers touch screen digital signage options, meaning that your target audience will get a hands-on and truly interactive experience when they cross your displays. The best part is they offer bundle packages for those who need all new hardware, making Arreya your one-stop shop for all your digital needs.
Much like other applications, Arreya offers a 30-day free trial for first-time users. Then prices start at $69.50 per month, per content channel. Content channels broadcast the same information to displays with just a click of a button. This means that you can use as many screens as you want without additional fees!
Arreya is one of our top choices because of its straightforward, no hidden fees approach. Their design content is also simple and crisp, offering banks of templates and resources to create professional-grade displays. This is a solid choice for any business or organization, no matter the size.
Last, but not least, we have an application called ScreenScape. This application promises to be the easiest application to use for your digital signage needs- and they’re not lying. ScrenScape’s media management software has been consistently rated #1 for content. With hundreds of premade templates, it's easy to find something for you.
Other important features to note, include:
- Unlimited media manager accounts, so you and your staff can collaborate with ease.
- The application is cost-effective, saving you money on design, while still positively influencing engagement.
One of the best parts of ScreeScape is you can use it on screens that you already own. No need to spend tons of money upfront to replace all of your hardware. The application even offers a free version for those who simply want access to content creation resources that the application offers.
For those businesses and organizations looking for more comprehensive support, ScreenScape has made it even easier by providing their media players with some of their monthly subscription for free. After your free trial, Subscriptions vary as follows:
|Extended 36-month subscription||Customers get all the benefits of a ScreenScape subscription for their organization. This means free media players and design resources. Depending on screen count, prices may vary so you should contact the sales team for a more accurate price.|
|Monthly subscription||Starting at $40 a month, per screen, this subscription does not include hardware, which retails for $200 per screen as a one-time fee. If you have more than 11 devices, contact the sales team for more accurate pricing.|
ScreenScape is overall a fantastic option that offers professional designs, 5-star customer support, and seamless scheduling and implementation. There's not much to not like about this application, and that's why we’ve added it to our list for you to try out.
Digital signage is the new era of marketing and information technology. Not only is digital signage easier to update, control and distribute than traditional signage, but it saves trees too! Besides, digital signage has been proven to be more engaging, interactive, and effective than traditional signage by a mile.
Anyone can benefit from digital signage, whether a restaurant, university, or business- signs are versatile and can serve multiple purposes. However, with so many digital signage applications out there, it's hard to decide which one would work best for you and your company.
That's why we’ve taken all the guesswork out of it and curated this list for you to choose from. You're now just a click away from brand new signage resources, and a new future for you and your business.