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Digital Signage Software 2021: A Comprehensive Guide

Digital Signage software enables the control of content which is displayed on a digital screen. It can be graphics, videos or text content. Digital Signage software connects the content to be displayed, with the devices on which the content needs to appear. It operates as a central platform for managing and deploying content across screens, regardless of whether they are mere digital signboards, or advanced touchscreen and interactive displays. Learn what is Digital Signage and how to choose the right Digital Signage software.

Last updated: Apr 14, 2021

Digital Signage Software 2021: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Digital Signage?

Digital Signage has become all-pervasive. It is a key part of the digital transformation strategy for Marketing and Advertising. A number of industries use digital signage for Advertising and Communication. From the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia to iconic Piccadilly Lights and Times Square, one can see the use of digital signage displays. The market for such displays is expected to be $33B by 2023.

The use of digital technology to publicly display content and messages is known as digital signage. Technologies can include monitors that work with LCD, LED, or projectors, and the content can include everything from images to video, to live streaming media, and important notices or information.

Digital Signage can be used both indoors in places such as malls, restaurants, office lobbies, movie theatres, etc., and outdoors - sports stadiums, railway and bus terminals, and billboards.

What is Digital Signage Software?

Digital Signage software allows for graphics, video, or text to be shown in the form of an electronic display and delivered through devices including computer monitors and televisions.

The software that enables the control of content which is displayed on a digital screen is known as Digital Signage software. Digital Signage software connects the content to be displayed, with the devices on which the content needs to appear. It operates as a central platform for managing and deploying content across screens, regardless of whether they are mere digital signboards, or advanced touchscreen and interactive displays.

What are the Key Benefits of Using Digital Signage Software?

Digital Signage software enables users to schedule and manage content for distribution across digital screens. Let us look at some of the specific business benefits:

Remote Management

Using Digital Signage software, managers can centrally operate an entire network of digital signs. Digital Signage software allows users to manage their signage content from any remote location with network connectivity, enabling efficient management of all their digital communication from a single location.

What are the Key Benefits of Using Digital Signage Software?

Ad Optimization

Digital Signage software enables advertisers to easily switch ad messages, and test results in different environments. Marketing messages and visual content can, therefore, be measured and optimized easily, helping marketers understand the specific content that works for a particular audience.

Easy Screen Grouping

With Digital Signage software, users can manage multiple digital screens, and organize these screens into related groups. This allows a business to easily manage a set of similar screens together with a single playlist of content and not have to individually program playlists for each screen.

Content Creation

Digital Signage software offers some content creation capabilities. Users can often choose from a library of templates that are professionally designed, and easily modify text and messaging to have content ready to publish quickly.

Which industries use Digital Signage Software?

Digital Signage is ubiquitous in all modern cities across the world today. We see them in airports, retail stores, malls, hotels, metro stations, hospitals, restaurants, banks, schools, sports stadiums, theatres, and large events.

What are the Key Benefits of Using Digital Signage Software?

According to a study by Russell Reynolds Associates, digital signage (and the software to manage it) is becoming a must-have tool in healthcare, retail, technology, nonprofits, education, and corporate offices.

Who are the users of Digital Signage Software?

Digital Signage software is a powerful tool to deliver advertising and communication messages for a variety of industries. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Digital Signage software is usually managed by the team which is involved in creating and coordinating business and brand messages. These users include members of marketing departments, corporate communication teams, HR heads, Cultural Management, Event Managers, and Sporting Organizations, and Customer Support Managers.

Why is Digital Signage Software Important?

Digital Signage software plays a key role in the digital transformation journey of a business specifically related to marketing, communication, and advertising. Digital Signage software help in a number of use-cases.

Effective Communication

Digital Signage ensures that they are eye-catching and it is one of the most customizable forms of publicity. It is almost guaranteed that they are seen by the target audience. Merchants in the retail industry can use attractive displays to showcase their brand and wares, thereby driving revenue and boost profits. They also play an effective role in inducing impulsive buying in shoppers.

Why is Digital Signage Software Important?

Monitoring of Digital Signage Displays

Larger organizations may have digital signages that are located across a city or even several cities. For employees who need to manage and monitor these digital boards, physically traveling to each board may not always be possible or practical. A centralized system such as Digital Signage software ensures that large-scale screen deployments are easily managed.

Keep Content Fresh with Playlists

Using Digital Signage software, users can create lists with multiple pieces of content and run these as playlists on their digital display boards. This allows businesses to keep their messaging fresh, without having to constantly swap out content every day, and can only be done using a Digital Signage software.

Real-time Messaging

In dynamic environments such as train stations and sporting arenas, Digital Signage software lets organizers change messages quickly based on events (such as delays, news flashes, or weather information). This enables businesses to stay on top of their digital display information and remain aligned and relevant to any changes in the environment. Retailers amidst COVID-19 lockdowns are integrating their digital signage software with the store's POS system to display information on product availability and purchase limits to customers waiting outside.

What are the Key Features of Digital Signage Software?

Drag and Drop Interface

Digital Signage software allows any user to easily create, schedule, and manage digital signage screens using a drag-and-drop interface. As a result, users need not be technologically inclined to create and deliver dynamic content across digital display boards.

Scheduling and Programming

Digital Signage software offers scheduling capabilities for content created for different screens or groups of screens. This scheduling capability allows users to program content down to the second, and automate message delivery easily.

Network Monitoring and Reporting

Digital Signage software incorporates some basic monitoring mechanisms which help alert users if there are interruptions to the digital content displays, such as network failures, boards going offline, etc. Digital Signage software often offers users with dashboard interfaces that showcase what’s happening across the network. Additionally, the Digital Signage software can offer real-time information on active screens and the overall network health. Some Digital Signage software even offers advanced remote capabilities to view and reboot screens remotely, and install software updates.

Media Approval

Digital Signage software often allows for internal approval systems for content before being pushed to playlists or display boards. This helps ensure content is reviewed and passed by an administrator before going live as a safeguard against accidental, or inappropriate content.

User Access Control

Digital Signage software also empowers users with multiple levels of access controls. These ensure that users with only content creation capabilities cannot publish, and those with permission to publish cannot edit content, unless given specific permission, ensuring integrity and control of critical content.

Multiscreen Support

Today’s digital environment demands businesses use multiple screens types and sizes, which could be both internal (with a store) or outside (public display). These different digital signs also vary with each other in both sizes and formats, and the Digital Signage software needs to be able to deliver content to all of the screens without loss in quality or resizing issues.

What are the Key Features of Digital Signage Software?

AI in Digital Signage Software

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping marketers personalize messages and respond in real-time to dynamic situations.

Let’s look into how AI can be applied to improving digital signage communication.


AI can offer automated changes to content, using data inputs or instructions that are pre-programmed. For example, outdoor digital displays can be affected by weather and by detecting these weather metrics, messages can automatically adjust to show relevant advertising or content based on external weather conditions, without the need for human intervention.

Ads that influence decision making could be shown based not only on analytics but also on the time of day, weather, time of the week, year, and so on. Traffic displays could offer re-routing information based on congestions or accidents.


While it’s still in the testing stages, Digital Signage software could leverage face recognition technologies to offer customized ads or messages on its digital display boards. Burberry was one of the first global retail brands to embrace digital signage. Their London store features mirrors that double as video digital signage displays, and staff is armed with iPads and even RFID-enabled screens that trigger related catwalk footage when products are taken into a fitting room, or near a screen.

Dynamic Content

Digital Signage solutions are being tested to display content based on intelligent inputs it receives using cameras attached to the display. GMC used facial detection to identify gender, facial expressions, age, and more, to change the content on a digital sign automatically, creating a more personalized user experience. For stores selling luxury goods like jewelry, digital displays modeling diamonds on recognizing a potential prior diamond customer can have a subtle yet positive impact on store sales.

Advanced Shopping

AI can be incorporated into digital displays to allow users to compare two products by bringing them near a display board. Customers could also get more information such as real-time pricing by holding up a product near a digital display.

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Buyer’s Guide - Guide to Choose Right Digital Signage Software


Scalability refers to the ability of the software to continue meeting business requirements even as the business needs to grow. Digital Signage software must be able to help businesses manage more than a limited number of digital screens or even a limited number of digital signage types, to be useful as the business requirement changes.

Buyers are recommended to consider peer reviews and expert opinions that are extensively available on Cuspera before making buying decisions. Cuspera’s AI based engine guides you through the requirement process to help you choose the right software.

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Multi-platform Support

Some businesses (such as retailers) must be able to communicate across multiple channels and devices. This means digital signages may include digital displays, interactive kiosks, and video walls. For such businesses, Digital Signage software must be able to support multiple platforms with the flexibility of centralized control.


Digital Signage systems must interact with displays, players, content management systems, or even analytics-related software. Therefore before buying into a Digital Signage software, it is important to check if it is compatible with all the relevant points in the network.

Content Integration

Digital Signage software needs to be able to deliver engaging content, for which content integrations are essential. The content is usually updated by web feed or API (automatic programming interface), which ensures the Digital Signage software keeps the content on screen fresh, without user involvement.

What are the challenges in adopting Digital Signage Software?

Time Delays

Digital Signage software can malfunction to cause time delays or even glitches where the wrong content is being displayed. To avoid this, read product reviews carefully and compare factors such as system requirements and memory usage, which can impact reliability.

Network Problems

Digital Signage software works through networks to deliver messages to the intended display device. The software may require uninterrupted wireless connectivity to ensure smooth and timely delivery of messages. Digital Signage software may vary in their network usage requirements, and this should be considered.


Digital Signage Software can be susceptible to external hacking, putting your messaging, brand, and business at risk. It is essential to consider the security measures incorporated, to ensure that the integrity of your content is maintained.

ROI of Digital Signage Software

In today’s world, digital signage plays a crucial role in the fields of communication and advertising. The digital signage software market was valued at USD 4.48 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 9.24 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 10.2% during the forecast period.

Advanced Digital Signage software can help businesses increase efficiency by reducing the time and costs associated with maintaining physical billboards and print advertising. According to the Small Business Association, LED advertising signs bring in 1000 impressions for merely $0.15, making it one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising. By using Digital Signage software to manage a large number of digital boards, businesses can save advertising dollars in the long run without compromising on message reach.

Digital Signage software can also deliver value by offering emergency messages and directional assistance, in the case of public use. In the recent impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, business operations are able to rely on their Digital Signage software to deliver vital information to their digital signage network without social contact. In commercial businesses, it can help marketers find the right messaging that improves customer conversions, leading to an increase in sales and profitability.

Digital Signage systems can also bring in additional data points from various locations using add-on tools such as cameras and IoT devices. This can offer extremely valuable insights into how customers react to business messaging, gaining an understanding of consumer thinking, and driving future advertising returns.

Digital Signage software can also directly impact revenue by driving sales through promotions, or sponsorships of a related brand or company. According to Digital Signage Express, Digital Signage content helps divert customers from longer waiting times, thereby reducing frustration and creating a 31.8% upswing in overall sales volume.

Finally, Digital Signage software helps increase brand recall, impacting future consumer choices.

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105 Digital Signage Software