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Capitalizing On HD Content Delivery

Delivering customized, targeted high-definition video content ? programming and advertising ? to audiences all over the world is the mission of the new Managed Media Services division recently launched by Minneapolis-based AV integrator, manufacturer, and service company Electrosonic Systems Inc.

The result is a fusion of content and vehicle, offering advertisers the opportunity to route high definition messages to individual displays or groups of displays all over the world, including options far beyond the usual plasma screens in public spaces. Settings for viewing these messages can range from retail stores to airport concourses, and displays can be individually scheduled to reflect local interests, marketing priorities, and time constraints.

“We have a wonderful system for putting ads up on the sides of buildings, or anywhere that people congregate. If you have any group of people who want to get a message across, we have everything they need from the content to the equipment.”

Launching the effort was a major commitment. “The threshold to get into this on a serious level is many millions of dollars over a long period of time,” Mayberry says. The largest cost is talent, he adds — top people to handle software development, engineering, project management, and similar tasks. “We have the most eclectic group of people here,” Mayberry says. “We even compose our own music.”

It took about six months to get the new service into operation, he adds. It wouldn't have been possible, though, if Electrosonic hadn't already had many of its critical elements in its arsenal.

“We have a media content group that allows us to edit content and make sure it works, plus an international service group on every continent,“ Mayberry says. “We could put a worldwide advertising distribution system together. We already had a worldwide sales force, a video display group, and a huge operation in the U.K. People were coming to us every day to find out about digital playback options.”

Electrosonic thought it was vital to move beyond conventional advertising messages on its network. “There are a lot of point-of-sale advertising systems around, even on the grocery store level,” Mayberry says. “But ways to deliver content in the HD world have been very limited. If it's just advertising, people will walk away.”

Hence, Managed Media Services from the beginning paid as much attention to creating quality content as to distributing it.

“Our approach is to actually be able to walk into a major retailer and say, we have a solution for you and your enterprise,” Mayberry says.

Once the system is in place and functioning, he adds, the sky is the limit in terms of future uses. Although Managed Media Services has been in operation only a short time, “Our division is already generating a significant percentage of Electrosonic's revenue,” Mayberry says. “I think you're going to see some very exciting things.”

John McKeon is an independent consultant and writer based in the Washington D.C. area. He can be reached at Preview his novel, “Demented Choirs,” at

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