January 30, 2013 By D. Craig MacCormack
It’s difficult to imagine now, but there was a day not long ago when digital signage didn’t exist. Today, it’s impossible to go almost anywhere without having your senses bombarded with moving pictures, images and sounds promoting something.
Your doctor’s office, local government building, favorite restaurant, mode of public transportation and even mom-and-pop corner store all use digital signage to get their messages out.
Oh, yeah, it’s also in every sports stadium and concert arena around the country, or at least the ones that understand how people take in information today.
So, how did this happen? No one’s really sure, but what’s clear is a fast-paced world like the one in which we live calls for a dynamic solution that catches your attention in a split second before you look back down at your smartphone.
In fact, the founders of Denver-based Ping HD sort of stumbled into the digital signage business. Before starting Ping in 2007, Caruso and his co-founders were involved in the design of concession stands at sports stadiums, shopping malls and the like.
CI Snapshot: Ping HD
Primary Location: Denver
Additional Locations: Chicago (regional creative and sales office), Salt Lake City (sales), New York/NJ (sales)
Principals: Peter Stamos (president), Greg Lewis (managing director)
Years in Business: 6
No. of Projects per Year: 40 (2012)
Top 3 Vertical Markets: Sports & Entertainment, Retail, Hospitality & Leisure
Top 5 Brands: Philips, LG Electronics, NEC Display Solutions, ViewSonic, Chief
My company provides (fill in the blank) better than any other company: a quality value engineered solution tailored specifically for each project
At some point, they noticed an emerging trend and decided to shift their focus, says Kevin Goldsmith, director of digital media operations for Ping HD. He joined the company shortly after it launched, coming from the U.K. and a job at digital signage software company Remote Media.
“They saw a unique opportunity,” says Goldsmith of the company founders. “They wanted a solution and couldn’t find one.”
Recognizing this opportunity and committing to it has paid off for Ping HD. The integrator saw its revenue grow by 35 percent from 2011 to 2012 and, based on backlog and target projects for 2013, it expects even more growth in 2013.
Ping HD’s core business comes from retail, sports and entertainment and hospitality and leisure, says Goldsmith, “and it’s why we still want to land-grab as much business as we can in those vertical markets.” That’s not to say the integrator will necessarily restrict itself or avoid taking on work in other verticals. It has moved into convention centers over the past year or so, completing jobs at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and McCormick Place in Chicago, for instance.
Meanwhile, Ping continues to roll out a digital concierge solution in the hospitality space.
Standing Out Amid Clutter
While the world of digital signage installers has become crowded and lucrative enough to have an entire Las Vegas annual trade show dedicated to the hardware, software and content, Ping HD still finds ways to set itself apart in the cluttered space.